Medicine in the Renaissance

Paracelsus (1493 - 1541):

"On ailments which rob us of our reason" (1525)


"And such falling sicknesses have five seats: One is in the brain, the second in the liver, the third in the heart, the fourth in the intestines, the fifth in the limbs.[...]

And this is not only so in human beings but also in every living creature, in animals, which also fall down in the same form as in humans, and the earthquake also has the same origin as the falling sickness.[...]

We say that it is impossible to cure the root of the disease, but that it is possible to prevent the root from growing."

  • Correct statements:
  • Epilepsy is an organic (not an unnatural, mystical) disease.
  • Animals can also have epilepsy.
  • It is not always possible to cure the cause ("root") of the disease, but the symptoms can be treated ("prevent the root from growing"): the principle of symptomatic therapy.
  • Incorrect statements:
  • Epilepsy can have its seat in the liver, the heart, in the intestines or in the limbs.
    (Correct: Every epileptic seizure originates in the brain.)
  • Earthquakes are also of an epileptic nature.
    (Correct: Epileptic activity is connected with the nerve cells.)
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Museo alemán de epilepsia en Kork