Event Date: 26 May 2012
Royal Holloway, University of London
11 Bedford Sq
London WC1E 6DP
The Department of History Royal Holloway University of London presents:
Medical Prognosis in the Middle Ages
Peter Murray Jones (King’s College Cambridge) – Practitioners and Prognosis in the Later Middle Ages
Medical practitioners of different types can be shown to have made use of prognostic techniques in their dealings with patients. Prognosis was used, for example, to prepare patients for surgery, to make decisions about whether to treat a patient or not, and to foresee outcomes for particular illnesses. Some practitioners certainly owned or studied learned treatises on prognosis, but there is clearly a distinction to be drawn between theoretical understandings based on scholastic texts and practical deployment of prognosis. This paper will consider some English examples of practitioners who prognosticated, focusing on questions of why and how they did so.