Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: 13th century

  • Pope John XXI, the only physician to become pope

    Pope John XXI was born in Lisbon between 1210 and 1220. His original name was Pedro Rebuli Julião and he was also referred to as Petrus Hispanus (Peter of Spain). He was the only Portuguese ever to be pope. Strictly speaking he should have been John XX, but because of an error number XX was…

  • St. Godric and the lost leper hospital of Darlington

    Stephen Martin UK   Fig 1. Godric praying to the Virgin, c 1400. PD-US, accessed: wikimedia, original: ©British Library Board, Cotton, Faustina, VI, ii 16 V. In the late 1100s, the English monk Reginald of Durham wrote an account in Latin of the hermit St. Godric, whom he knew personally.1 Reginald attributed over two hundred…

  • Salernitan women

    Vicent Rodilla Alicia López-Castellano Valencia, Spain   Figure 1. A miniature from Avicenna’s Canon representing the Salernitan Medical School. Source The first medical school in the Western world is thought to be the Schola Medica Salernitana (Figure 1), which traces its origins to the dispensary of an early medieval monastery.1 The medical school at Salerno…

  • Science versus religion: the medieval disenchantment

    JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. An engraving showing a monopod or sclapod, a female Cyclops, conjoined twins, a blemmye, and a cynocephali. By Sebastian Münster 1544. Source History is a novel whose author is the people. -Alfred de Vigny (1797-1863)   In medieval times, knowledge, beliefs, and faith were largely centered upon a…

  • A happy individual knows nothing

    Basil Brooke Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa   Socrates and his students. Seljuk manuscript, early 13th century. Mubashshir ibn Fātik. Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul It seems that most people, most of the time, tend to avoid the really big questions, the hows and whys of existence, preferring to wait and see what happens when they die.…