World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Medical Renaissance

Article Id: WHEBN0014973076
Reproduction Date:

Title: Medical Renaissance  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Medicine in the medieval Islamic world, Renaissance, Learned medicine, Al-Kaŝkarī, Muhammad ibn Aslam Al-Ghafiqi
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Medical Renaissance

The front cover illustration of De Humani Corporis Fabrica, On the Fabric of the Human Body, written by Andreas Vesalius, showing a public dissection being carried out by Vesalius himself.

The Medical Renaissance, from 1400 to 1700 CE, is the period of progress in European medical knowledge, and a renewed interest in the ancient ideas of the Greeks and Romans.


Progress made during the Medical Renaissance depended on several factors.[1][2] Printed books based on movable type, adopted in Europe from the middle of the 15th century, allowed the diffusion of medical ideas and anatomical diagrams. Better knowledge of the original writings of Galen in particular, developed into the learned medicine tradition through the more open attitudes of Renaissance humanism. Church control of the teachings of the medical profession and universities diminished, and dissection was more often possible.

In the 17th century the microscope was an important technical advance.


Ambroise Paré (1510–1590)

Paré was a French surgeon, anatomist and an inventor of surgical instruments. He was a military surgeon during the French campaigns in Italy of 1533–36. It was here that, having run out of boiling oil (which was the accepted way of treating firearm wounds), Paré turned to an ancient Roman remedy: turpentine, egg yolk and oil of roses. He applied it to the wounds and found that it relieved pain and sealed the wound effectively. Paré also introduced the ligatures of arteries; silk threads would be used to tie up the arteries of amputated limbs to try to stop the bleeding. As antiseptics had not yet been invented this method lead to an increased fatality rate and was abandoned by medical professionals of the time.[3]

Additionally, Paré set up a school for midwives in Paris and designed artificial limbs.[4]
This drawing by Leonardo da Vinci of a foetus in the womb is one of many detailed anatomical drawings by the artist

Andreas Vesalius (1514–1564)

Vesalius was a Flemish-born anatomist whose dissections of the human body helped to rectify the misconceptions made in Ancient Times, particularly by Galen, who (for religious reasons) had been able only to study animals such as dogs and monkeys.[5] He wrote many books on anatomy from his observations, most notably De Humani Corporis Fabrica, which contained detailed drawings of the human body posed as if alive.[6]

William Harvey (1578–1657)

William Harvey was an English medical doctor-physicist, known for his contributions in heart and blood movement. Although not the first to propose pulmonary circulation (Ibn al-Nafis, Michael Servetus and Realdo Colombo preceded him), he is credited as the first person in the Western world to give quantitative arguments for the circulation of blood around the body.[7] These were the foundation for the further research on the heart and blood vessels.[8]


  1. ^ OCR GCSE: Medicine Through Time
  2. ^ Parragon, World History Encyclopedia
  3. ^
  4. ^ Ambroise Pare
  5. ^ Andreas Vesalius
  6. ^ BBC - History - Andreas Vesalius ( 1514–1564)
  7. ^ Spotlight Science 9 (GCSE Science Text Book)
  8. ^ Kids Work! > History of Medicine

Further reading

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.