8 Dec 2015 05:41 UTCTue 8 Dec 2015 - 5:41 am UTC
I'm looking for some details that would give character or flavoring to some writing. I'm open to medical ideas from approximately the 11th to the 13th century. (Since I'm looking for flavor as much as fact, I'd also be open to literary quotes from the 18th or 19th century writers who described the medieval ages in highly idealized fact and fiction.)
A good answer would include 2 or 3 of any of the following
* description of medical technique for any of these injuries
* quotes about such an injury or it's care from an actual historical source or from a 19th century semi-fictionalized source (Middle English, Middle English translated to be more modern, or 19th century English)
* a recipe for a salve or medicine for one of these conditions
* quotes about related medical beliefs (Middle English, Middle English translated to be more modern, or 19th century English)
* any information about blood letting being used for any of these conditions
Also, knowing the source of the quote or information is a big plus. Anonymous sources are just fine. I'd just want to know what book/manuscript/ballad or rough era it came from.
8 Dec 2015 10:51 UTCTue 8 Dec 2015 - 10:51 am UTC
When I said that "a good answer would include 2 or 3 of any of the following," I meant two or three things total, NOT two or three things from each category.
8 Dec 2015 23:05 UTCTue 8 Dec 2015 - 11:05 pm UTC
There are a number of books on the subject, some of which are partially or completely available through Google Books:
Medicine in the Crusades: Warfare, Wounds and the Medieval Surgeon by Piers D. Mitchell
Medieval Medicine: The Art of Healing, from Head to Toe
Medieval Medicine: A Reader
This discussion forum also has some good info:
8 Dec 2015 23:08 UTCTue 8 Dec 2015 - 11:08 pm UTC
Also, here is a recipe for Calendula Salve, used for treating cuts, abrasions, bruises, sore, etc.:
11 Dec 2015 09:28 UTCFri 11 Dec 2015 - 9:28 am UTC
Lanfranc of Milan (c1250–1306) wrote about treating wounds, but I haven't found his work in modern English, only in medieval English with notes from 1894:
On page 33 he starts by discussing a simple flesh wound made with knife, sword, spear or arrow. Basic treatment involves bandaging, applying white of egg to avoid swelling, and rest.
A long, shallow wound that needs no stitching can be treated with a powder of 1 part frankincense, 2 parts sanguis draconis, and 3 parts quicklime [surprising?!], laid around it but not in it, and left for four days. The wound should be held in place with triangular "plumaciols" (pads), fixed with binding, over a linen cloth moistened with a mixture of 2 parts egg-white and 1 part oil of roses. (Page 35 - see diagrams.)
More detail follows about deeper wounds, needles and sewing. Stitches should be spaced apart by the width of a little finger, and made with twined, waxed, un-knotted thread and a triangular needle (page 36). There are other recipes for ointments, powders etc. throughout, with opium (page 41) added to a paste of oil of roses and bole armoniac if required for pain.
Next he talks about healing wounded sinews. Wounds with a discharge should have a small “tent” (roll of soft absorbent material - Oxford English Dictionary) inserted, but it must not touch the sinew. They can be treated with a mixture of 3 drachms of rose-flavoured honey and a little barley flour, boiled and then beaten for a long time before adding 1 drachm of white terebinth. A little frankincense, mastic and sanguis draconis should be added later, once the wound is almost dry. (Page 46)
He discusses blood letting in the chapter about bruising from sticks, stones, and accidents with horses. (Page 51- see notes in margin.)
If Lanfranc meets your needs, I could offer to help with a particular section that interests you, but I’m not a fluent reader of this kind of text!
Lanfranc aka Lanfrank:
Middle English dictionary:
15 Dec 2015 17:38 UTCTue 15 Dec 2015 - 5:38 pm UTC
I'm glad we managed to find some of the details you were looking for.
Rose honey is obviously the thing, going by the gruesome story of Prince Harry's surgery.