The black death as a terror of humanity – Gotha

Insights into Early Medicine (2): Exhibitions of the exhibition "A Divine Art" presented at Gotha.

Gotha. In the Middle Ages and early modern times, there was virtually no disease that transmitted horrors such as plague. No disease has made the powerlessness of medicine so dramatic. The cause of the plague and its routes of transmission were completely unknown at the time. The bacillus Yersinia pestis was only discovered in 1894, a prerequisite for the development of effective drugs.

Already in the 14th century, however, it was known that it was wise to impose 40 days on travelers from contaminated port cities, to determine if an infection was present. This forced isolation, prolonged until healing or death of patients, has proved useful in preventing or curbing the spread of the disease.

Nevertheless, the worst epidemics of plague raged again and again Europe it cost millions of lives. Research now assumes that the mortality rate was often 20, sometimes more than 50%, depending on the severity of the plague. Entire families, villages and towns have been literally wiped out.

It is therefore believed that the great scourge of London In the years 1665 to 1667, more than 100,000 people, about one fifth of the total population of the city, are victims. Also in Thuringia the epidemic raged again and again, so in 1683 Muhlhausen with more than 8,000 dead.

In the treatises on plague, doctors and doctors in the city described the plague, gave practical advice on how to behave, and named the remedies that were supposed to help. The same is true of the Saxon Beech wood coming Andreas Starck (1552-1611), who as a doctor of the city göttingen . Erfurt and Muhlhausen Act, published in 1597 on the occasion of an epidemic of the "Treaty of Pestilentz". The object was to know how, with the help of God, one could be saved or healed from the plague "by means of creation". As it has been supposed that the plague is caused by a miasma, a material formed by fouling processes in the air and in the water, recommended Starck Always ventilate and spread aromatic herbs and woods in the house. In addition, Theriak is a proven remedy, an antidote known since antiquity against all types of poisons. Aware of the high risk of infection, the doctor called on the authorities and the public to take hygiene measures: isolation of the sick, fast burial of the deceased, closure of the hospital. public baths and the wine houses as well as the cleansing of one's own body, including sweat, enema, cupping and bathing. A bleeding is not recommended. However, the people who could afford it had recourse to the oldest recommendation, which was: flee as much as you can to escape the plague. Some doctors also followed this motto, while others stayed in their community and often paid for it with their own deaths.

Scientific reports

A special tour of the historic medical show will take place on Wednesday, June 5th at 5pm.

About well-being and hospitals in Thuringia the scientist at the end of the Middle Ages in times of plague, leprosy and syphilis Julia Mandry June 5 at 6:15 pm, a public lecture on Castle Friedenstein ,

"Divine Art Medicine and Illness in the Early Modern Period" elite , until June 23, castle Friedenstein , Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pmSascha Salatowsky is a consultant at the Research Library elite l & # 39; University Erfurt ,