Treating the disease: what did doctors know about the disease? How did doctors dress to fight the disease? find an image. What did priests do to help the sick? (see Source 3 p 331). Describe all the remedies/treatments used to treat the disease. Describe the most effective methods of treating the disease.
Doctors had no idea what had caused the Black Death and so they relied on the traditional methods of treating the illness that they knew of. The doctors didn't really know anything about the Black Death they just kind of treated it as it came along. The doctors wore long robes and dresses to protect themselves from the disease, they would also wear a face mask that had a long beak-like structure at the front. The beak would contain a sweet smelling scent of herbs or oils, designed to filter any bad smells that the doctor might have been exposed to. When dealing with an ill person, the priest always took the lead, the doctor was only permitted to assist once the praying was finished. The bloodletting and letting the leaches suck your blood didn't work very well. There were attempts to cut off the buboes to remove the 'bad' blood, which often did a bit more to spread the disease. Doctors encouraged infected patients to smell good scents such as flowers, bundles of herbs, and oils. The people tried everything to get rid of this horrible disease but it was just to powerful for anything they tried. The most effective methods of treating the disease were those that involved forms of quarantine. These cures didn't fully get rid of the disease but those who used quarantine as a treatment had less of a chance of dying.
Religious Beliefs: What was the attitude of the medieval Church towards medical science? Why was there suspicion between Christians and Muslims during the Middle Ages? Why were the Jews persecuted during the time of the Black Death? Who were the Flagellants and how did they respond to the disease? How were the dead treated?
Because the Church controlled every decision made about education in the medieval times, the medical science and doctors found it hard to treat and get rid of the disease with the priests and church in the way of trying to help which really they weren't. Christians and Muslims looked at each other with suspicion mostly because of the Crusades and of the efforts of Spanish Christians to recapture Spain from Muslim control. Throughout Europe people looked for someone to blame for the disease and that quickly fell on the Jews, they were suspected of having poisoned the air or of infecting the wells. The Jews were torched and killed for this. The flagellants were a religious group of people that responded very publicly to the spread of the plague. They believed that whipping themselves with steel-tipped whips would show their willingness to be punished for their sin, and win God's favour. The dead were buried in mass graves on the outskirts of town, but very rarely was a proper funeral held for those who had died.