The Dark Ages


During these times, because the extreme penalties, science in any form were stifled so medicine continued to be based upon Galen’s reports and theories. Superstition returned, Monks wrote about medicine, in essence medicine and surgical techniques did not advance at all.

Christian and pagan belief taught that disease was due punishment from God, this divine chastising should not be interfered with. This unfortunately is where the term Dark Ages lived up to its label.

The monasteries became the hospitals of the dark ages as it was there where all the writings about medical conditions were kept.

These contained the cures using herbs and other substances which could only be obtained at that time by the monks. The typical design for this was a hospice at the World War Two battle site of Monte Casino; this was opened by Benedict who later became Saint Benedict.

The religion of Islam was in its infancy but growing rapidly, it was also responsible for advancing medical research. Medical Colleges were built in the Middle East and in the Muslim strongholds of North Africa. This was fortunate for medical science as very little was being done in the Christian controlled states.


"Also say to them, that they suffer him this day to win his spurs, for if god be pleased, I will this journey be his, and the honour thereof."77



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The History of Surgery and Anaesthesia was created as a free resource to educate Students or indeed anyone wishing to understand the beginings of surgery and Anaesthesia.

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