Religious paradigms of medieval medicine

Professor Oparin О.А.

Kharkiv Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education, Head of the Department of Therapy, Rheumatology and Clinical Pharmacology

Ukrainian Academy of the History of Medicine

It is shown that in the Middle Ages the sanitary and epidemiological state was characterized by the absence of a sewerage and water supply system; complete unsanitary conditions, both in the city as a whole and in individual houses; lack of elementary rules of personal hygiene; a high percentage of infant mortality and almost unceasing epidemics. It is shown that medicine in the Middle Ages was based on the principles of scholasticism, which rejected in principle any scientific discoveries and opposed faith and science, which made its development impossible in principle. The methods of treatment used by medieval medicine were based on gross superstitions, which boiled down to belief in the healing power of amulets and talismans; attributing the influence on human health to the location of the stars; the role of conspiracies and the healing power of crushed stones and minerals. It has been established that the basis of medieval medicine was primarily the teachings and ideas of the medieval church about the immortality of the soul, saints, illness, education, in which rude pagan beliefs and philosophy prevailed, making not only impossible the development of medicine as such, but also leading to mass epidemics, unsanitary conditions, the growth of neuropsychiatric diseases, and decrease of the duration and quality of life of the population.

Key Words: medieval medicine, religious paradigms, methods of treatment.

Download.PDF (eng)

Для цитування:

  1. Oparin, А. Religious paradigms of medieval medicine // Східноєвропейський журнал внутрішньої та сімейної медицини. – 2022. – № 2. – С. 58-67. doi: 15407/internalmed2022.02.058
  2. Oparin А. [Religious paradigms of medieval medicine]. Shidnoevr. z. vnutr. simejnoi med. 2022;2:58-67. doi: 10.15407/internalmed2022.02.058


  1. Antonetti P. Everyday life in Florence in the time of Dante. M.: Young Guard, Palimpsest; 2004.
  2. Aristotle. Works. In 4 volumes. Asmusa V, Mikeladze Z, Rozhansky I, Dovatura A, Cassidy F. M.:; 1975−1984.
  3. Weiss G. History of civilization. In 3 volumes. M.:EksmoPress; 1998.
  4. Vlasov S. Constantine the Great. M.: Young guard; 2001.
  5. Gergely E. History of the papacy. M.: Respublika; 1996.
  6. Gibbon E. Decline and fall of the Roman Empire. In 7 volumes. M .: Terra; 1997.
  7. Gurevich A. Culture and society of medieval Europe through the eyes of contemporaries. M.: Art; 1989. 368 p.
  8. Fences M. The Papacy and the Crusades. M.: Ed. ANSSSR; 1960. 264 p.
  9. Ivanov K. Middle Ages. M.: AST; 2018. 384 p.
  10. Klulas I. Daily life in the castles of the Loire during the Renaissance. M.: Young Guard; 2006.
  11. Korelin M. Important moments in the history of the medieval papacy. St. Petersburg: Brockhaus-Efron; 1901.
  12. Laviss E, Rambo A. The era of the Crusades. St. Petersburg: Polygon, AST; 1999.
  13. Le Goff J. Civilization of the Medieval West. M.: Progress; 1992.
  14. Lee G. History of the Inquisition in the Middle Ages. M.:; 2010.
  15. Llorente J. History of the Spanish Inquisition. In 2 volumes. M .: Ladomir, AST; 1999.
  16. Miller A. History of the Christian Church. In 2 volumes. Germany, Biefeld: GBV; 1994.
  17. Moulin L. Everyday life of medieval monks. M .: Young Guard, Classic; 2002.
  18. Oparin A. History of Ancient and Medieval Medicine. Kharkov: Fact; 2017. 784 p.
  19. Oparin A. History of medicine in the Renaissance and Reformation. Kharkov: Fact; 2018. 416 p.
  20. Robertson D. History of the Christian Church. In 2 volumes. St. Petersburg: I-e I.L. Tuzova; 1890–1891.
  21. Ru S. Everyday life in medieval Paris. M.: Young guard, Palimpsest; 2008.
  22. Sidorov A. Waiting for the Apocalypse. Frankish society in the era of the Carolingians, VIII–X centuries. St. Petersburg: Nauka; 2018. 223 p.
  23. Shaff F. History of the Christian Church. In 8 volumes. St. Petersburg: The Bible for All; 2008–2010.
  24. Yuten S. Daily life of alchemists in the Middle Ages. M .: Young Guard, Palimpsest; 2005.
  25. Yastrebitskaya A. Western Europe XI-XIII centuries. M.: Art; 1978. 176 p.