When I was in high school I hated history. It played on my fear of numbers. I had to learn which year, whatever happened. Not being able to keep that straight always ruined my exam scores. Now that I am wiser, and soon to be history myself, I find that I have developed a certain appreciation for previous goings on.
Since I did the piece on Nursery Rhymes with its mention of the Black Death, I’ve wondered what medicine was like in the Middle Ages. So here is my initial find. First, only rich men became doctors as only they could afford an education at one of the few Universities. Women were not allowed. Imagine that!
In all things medicine, the pecking order went like this. Physicians were the most respected. Then came Surgeons, their reputations was just above that of Barbers even though they shared the same professional association which was the Company of Barber Surgeons. The Barbers were only allowed to pull teeth or let blood. I hope not at the same time. I wonder if he did both in the same place.
Then there was the Apothecary, which was the way to go for most people with ailments. He was the dispenser of whatever drugs there were at that time. He also sold sweets, cosmetics and perfumes. He clearly had all the goodies. His professional association was the Grocer’s Guild.
‘Wise Woman,’ was the title reserved for a woman whose specialty it was to use herbs to produce homemade remedies. Wise Women provided the hope for cures for the poor of the day. I think my mom is a direct descendant!
The above site have a host of cool information on the Middle Ages. Never thought those words would pass my lips.