Thursday, April 14, 2011

Medicine and Astrology in the Middle Ages

In the fourteenth century, the medical sciences were faced with many prejudices of the great doctors mix medicine and superstitions. Moreover, we find in their works a mixture of scholasticism, critics and superstitions. On the one hand, medicine has made great strides with the study of ancient authors, observation and experience, and on the other hand, lacked a solid foundation to medicine and anatomy was not adequately studied.

The fourteenth century, astrology plays an important role in medicine and its role is still important during the modern period. Everyone recognizes that science, what are kings, great scientists or the people. Astrology is an ancient practice that different civilizations have apparently developed independently. It is found in Babylonia as early as 3000 BC in China around 2000 BC, and various forms of astrology also existed in ancient India and among the Maya of Central America. Around 500 BC, astrology spread to Greece, where philosophers such as Pythagoras refined them in their religious and astronomical studies.

In astrology, we observe the positions and movements of astronomical bodies, particularly the Sun, Moon and Planets to interpret events on earth. The famous physician Guy de Chauliac explains the Great Plague of 1348 by the position of the stars.

The ancient astrologers have created the Zodiac, an imaginary area that was divided into twelve equal parts, signs; each bearing the name of the constellation is there. It also considers man as a little world, and all parts of the universe have their analogue in this small world. Thus, man is divided into twelve parts, each of which is governed by the sign of the zodiac match.
In addition, each sign is found in the nature of an element: it allows the observation is done in a mood more accurately. One can imagine the importance that might have a medical astrologer in the Middle Ages and the university greatly promoted. It is hard to distinguish at this time the difference between astrology and astronomy, and found these two disciplines in education.

We do not know precisely university education in this discipline, but the books were studied saitquels: Harbor Sacrobosco for teaching cosmology, the famous Almagest of Ptolemy, the Treaty of Astrolabe, Tables of Toledo for the practice of astronomical tables, and Theorica planetarum Gerardi for planetary astronomy. The teaching was at first in Faculty of Arts, then to a higher medical school. It was this teaching in major universities such as Paris, and the fourteenth century was the golden age of higher education in Western Europe.

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