Medycyna Nowożytna 2012, fasc.1/2

25 września 2015

 

Tomasz Dywan – historian , Department of History of Material Culture of the University of Wroclaw

The response of the faithful to disease in the light of the 17th and 18th century books of miracles from the Catholic Marian sanctuaries of the Ruthenian lands of the Polish Crown

 

There is no doubt that studies on ancient medical culture should take account into non-medical contexts of human behavior towards the disease. The analyzed records, considering that they were fi nally laid by the clergy, refer to the very wide range of devotees of Our Lady, therefore, their interpretation refers to the awareness of all members of the communities surveyed. Based on the records of the books of miracles of selected Marian sanctuaries, an attempt was made to analyze and interpret them in relation to the religious culture of the post-trient era. Then, scientifi c medical knowledge of that time, but above all to the broadly defi ned culture (customs, beliefs, local traditions). The author claims that excluding such context of the quoted sources would not make the understanding of the behavior of people towards the disease complete. 

 

 

Tuszewicki Marek- PhD student at the Institute of Jewish Studies of the Jagiellonian University Faculty of History

Hasidim of Galicia and the Modern Pharmacy in the Light of Be’erot ha-mayyim (Przemysl 1888).

 

Be’erot ha-Mayyim (Wells of Water), a collection of Hasidic commentaries and homilies, appeared for the fi rst time in 1888 in Przemysl (Galicia) as a supplement to Moshe Bavli’s ethical work Ta’amei Mitzvot (16th cent.). Its editor and publisher was Abraham Abbele Kanarvogel, a well-to-do Hasid born in Rzeszow, who lived, however, much of his life in Rymanow. Kanarvogel gathered together seven different brochures (or “wells”), including sermons given by his rabbi and tzaddik R. Zevi Hirsch ben Yehuda Leib ha-Cohen (1778–1847). Only two of those texts can be described as commentaries to Ta’amei Mitzvot, while most of them represent different kinds of Hasidic exegesis of the Torah. The last part of this work titled Be’er Mayyim Hayyim [Well of Living Water] had been composed of three chapters devoted to the matter of health and healing. It represents, at least to some extent, traditional believes and practices, as refl ected in the Hasidic literature and books of segulot (practical means). However the main bulk of the material consists of modern medicines and prescriptions, attributed to famous Austrian physicians: Heinrich Bamberger (1822–1888), Adalbert Duchek (1824–1882) and Josef Škoda (1805–1881). A relatively large number of medical recommendations had been also derived from the Hebrew translation of Hufeland’s Art of Prolonging Life, written at the end of the 18th century by Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland (1762–1836). The present article seeks to explore Kavarvogel’s social background and the attitude of the traditional Jewish population of Galicia, to which he defi nitely belonged, towards contemporary pharmacology, as it appears in the light of his work. Alongside the translation of all three chapters of the brochure Beer Mayyim Hayyim, the article includes their interpretation within the context of German language medical handbooks of that time.

 

 

Maria Joanna Turos- doctor of medical sciences, ethicist, theologian, Medical University of Warsaw

„… While sober …” or however the anesthesia. A brief attempt to answer the question whether in the early nineteenth century, military surgeons have used pain-relieving drugs

 

This is a continuation of the previous article on attempts to respond to the question of the use by military doctors painkillers. This time the topic was narrowed down to the views contained in two major publications, Raphael Joseph Czerwiakowski as is Narządu powszechnego opatrzenia chirurgicznego and Chirurgia praktyczna…, which can safely be called not only the father of Polish surgery, but also the teacher of a generation of military surgeons. Presented in both the abovementioned works detailed discussion then used painkillers can be argued that the same content conveyed to his students, and therefore future military physicians Duchy of Warsaw. This is further proof – and complements the documentary – to the fact that pain killers were well known. This gives a starting-point to suppose that it could be problems in reaching the specifi c written sources, or language barrier (Latin) mean that they are still reproduced the views of “…was not known and not used…”.

 

 

Magdalena Syguda- historian, Institute of History Academy of Jan Dlugosz in Czestochowa

Concerns about children healthcare according to Hygiena polska (Polish Hygiene) by Teodor Tripplin

 

In the nineteenth century, guides paying special attention to the problem of raising a child enjoyed a great popularity. Notable position in polish literature belongs to the Teodor Tripplin’s work Hygiena polska. Author in a very precise manner not only describes many dangers lurking on young children, but also gives specifi c advices on how to prevent them. In his work, he describes different types of diseases that may in any way endanger the child’s life. Treatment methods are also exhaustivly described. Mother and wet nurse roles and their impact on education and later child’s life are deeply covered. Doctor Tripplin took care of every detail during the compilation of his work, which is indeed very important for inexperienced parents. Child room, its design, breastfeeding and even bath are described with great attention to details. No wonder why the Hygiena polska enjoyed popularity among the contemporary society.

 

 

Jowita Jagla – Ph.D -art historian University of Lodz

The portrait of diseases in the paintings from Warmian sanctuaries in Święta Lipka and Chwalęcin – a comparative refl ection

 

A chronicle record of miraculous healings is an essential part of the painting decoration in two Warmian sanctuaries – in Święta Lipka and Chwalęcin. The author of the painting decoration, created between 1722 and 1727, in Święta Lipka is Maciej Meyer. The essential part of the iconographic programme – a cycle of miracles performed by Saint Mary of Święta Lipka – is presented in a form of 109 signed medallions (mainly miraculous healings). These medallions are in fact a catalogue of diseases that were plaguing the 18th century pilgrims who are presented as sacrifi cers – kneeling, placing one’s hand on one’s heart – or, less frequently, depicted as ill organs. The paintings are redolent of courtly charm, airiness and lightness. Although there are only six presentations of the miraculous healings in the sanctuary in Chwalęcin – performed by the miraculous crucifi x – they do constitute an essential part of the painting decoration made by Jan Lossau between 1748 and 1749. In contrast to the paintings from Święta Lipka, the health conditions presented in Chwalęcin are totally deprived of the “attractive retouch.” The state of ailment/illness seems to be extremely dramatic and painful both for the depicted ill person and his or her family. The idea behind the miracles “told” through the means of paintings was the same in both sanctuaries. The paintings translated the facts written down in the church books into a more vivid and in consequence into an easier language. Not only did they become an illustrated chronicle of the sanctuaries but also means of propaganda, making the sanctuaries looked at as centres of holy, healing powers! At the same time, from today’s perspective, these paintings are a phenomenal evidence of old illnesses and man’s constant struggle with his/her body. The struggle in which experiencing the miraculous animated role of sacrum was more than often a turning point on the way to recovery.

 

 

Anna Trojanowska – Ph. D historian of pharmacy Institute of the History of Science Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw

General Comments on Medicines in Nauka Materii Medycznej (1830) by Konstanty Porcyanko

 

In the early nineteenth century, Materia Medica (medical material) was one of the subjects taught in the Department of Medical Sciences at the University of Vilnius. In the period 1822–1830, these lectures were given by Konstanty Porcyanko. Notes of his lectures, held in the Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences in Vilnius, became the basis for my thesis. In the thesis, I present general remarks about medicines, the defi nition of a medicine, classifi cation of therapeutic methods, comments on the assessment tests and on the therapeutic properties. It is worth mentioning that Porcyanko emphasized the signifi cant impact of chemistry, which provided new opportunities for the development of knowledge about medicines. He noted, however, that the knowledge was incomplete, and the new studies needed to be approached with caution.

 

 

Anetta Luto Kamińska- Ph.D. linguist, Literary Research Institute Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw

Balneotherapy in the eyes of a sixteenth-century physician as described in Cieplice by Wojciech Oczko (1578)

 

Wojciech Oczko, a renowned sixteenth-century physician and specialist in medical theory, wrote a book entitled Cieplice. The task was commissioned to him by king Stephen Bàtory (Polish: Stefan Batory) who wanted to consult his court physician about the effi cacy of bath therapy, today practiced at spas. Educated at home and abroad, the doctor approached the assignment with due diligence and wrote the book in which he presented the ancients’ opinions on balneotherapy, listed a range of foreign and domestic hot springs, and explained how thermal waters could be applied in practice. He also described the effect of thermal waters on the human body as well as the complications which could result from using them in treating internal and external diseases. Oczko indicated which ailments could be cured with balneotherapy and how it should be applied to achieve maximum effects. He also provided many signifi cant technical details pertaining to the use of waters in therapy and recipes for various kinds of medicine based on thermal waters. Accroding to Oczko, it is worth applying balneotherapy both as complementary therapy and as basic treatment when other methods have failed and there is no hope of recovery for the patient. The purpose of this paper is to acquaint the contemporary reader with the medical knowledge of balneotherapy as it was 400 years ago, relying on a direct account of a Polish Renaissance physician. The book is not easy to read due to the intricacies of the Old Polish language that sometimes may be understood only by a linguist.

 

 

Piotr Marian Ernst – historian. Medical University in Poznan

Sanitary conditions in years 1945–1949

 

Just after II WW political, social and economic life was organized, in practice, from the beginning. Residential buildings and industrial plants were destroyed. City water supply system was destroyed in 80%, what resulted in huge problems in water supply for citizens. Catastrophic situation took place in the fi eld of health care. While establishing health care centres. Sanitary state of the town Gorzów Wielkopolski In a period between 1945–1949 was highly unsatisfying. Although the town was taken over without any fi ghts, robbery activities by Soviet Army after entering the town, caused signifi cant destruction of infrastructure. Municipal Hospital at Warszawska Street was devastated and robbed by residing in it capturers. Capturing the hospital by Russians resulted in necessity to open hospital rooms in provisional conditions, in adopted to that purpose residential buildings, in which there was any possibility for heating. Additional factor affecting the epidemic situation was a fl ow of Polish citizens to the town, often sick, as replacement for departed German citizens. All mentioned elements led growth of infectious diseases cases. The authorities made attempt to combat that inappropriate state to by a system of vaccination and also by organizing in a later period so-called sanitary – ordering actions. All such undertakings not always were successful.

 

 

Magdalena Paciorek – Ph.D. historian of medicine, Institute of the History of Science Polish Academy of Sciences

Recruitment of medical students at the faculties in the second half of the 40’s and 50’s of the twentieth century – a policy of state authorities to intelligence

 

At the end of 1940s and beginning of 1950s, when Communists took over the government in Poland, the changes were introduced in political, economic and social life of the country. As regards the society, adjusting the Poles to the imposed model required the policy to be planned in advance. ‘A new morality man’ means a man devoted to the system, who implements orders of superiors faithfully, is blindly obedient and follows Marxism-Leninism ideology. It was relatively easy to gain such type of supporters in the case of individuals coming from lower classes, who were privileged at that time. However, it was more diffi cult to win over followers from intelligentsia. The study seeks to answer the question whether the then authorities succeeded in creating the new model of a man in the analysed period of time, at the example of students of Polish medical universities. The study presents the policy carried out by the then authorities to achieve that goal. The discussed issues include system of enrolment and scholarships that paved the way to universities not only for people who graduated from secondary schools but also for those who benefi tted from social advancement.

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