„Medycyna Nowożytna” T. 17, 2011, fasc.1

25.09.2015 | 12.02.2022

Jowita Jagla – art. Historian, University of Lodz

Mystery of the skin (part I). Sacred healing towards to plague-like, dermatological and veneral diseases. (Figures of patron saints, iconography and presence in culture)

The plague-like, dermatological and veneral diseases expose their presence in the ancient art mainly through the iconography of the healing saints. Skin infi ltrations, dermal naevus of bubonic tumours, skin covered with ulcers, feverish and fl ushing skin are the principal stigmas of the ill, constituting the attribute of the divine doctors. Simultaneously, there was a group of „wounded healers” granted with so called symbolic wound, determining the direction of the curing patronage. The skin of an average man and the skin of a saint were not of the same quality. The fi rst one usually expressed the hallmark of sin, deserved God’s punishment, was forcing the conversion, where the skin of the saint, being the material area of a corporal experience, confi rmed the salutary dimension of suffering. Among the diseases stated in the medieval annals and iconography you can fi nd ergotism (secale cornutum) called the “holy fi re” or the “Saint Anthony’s Fire”. The main patron of this disease is Saint Anthony the Anchorite, who in the iconography was pictured with the attribute of an ill man with burning palm or a hand in fl ames. Another, also frequently mentioned and represented disease was the leprosy, observed in the St. Minus iconography, Saint Martin of Tours iconography (the scene with a sick beggar endowed with the cloak), in Job iconography (Job becomes the „wounded healer” touched by a disease, over which he has the patronage). Job’s syndrome was, and still is, discussed by the medical historians, who wish to believe it was not leprosy, but syphilis or diphtheria.

Weronika Kocela-Polish philologist University of Silesia

Medicine and literature – the picture of ill human being in Żywot człowieka poczciwego Mikołaja Reja

The article describes introduced in ,,Żywot człowieka poczciwego’’ the image of sick and suffering person. The author analyzes introduced by writer different diseases, their reasons and proposed by Rej methods of battle with them. Moreover article shows Rej’ s views and opinions about life and human’s behavior. The article is also attempt of illustrating a level of development of medicine in XVI century.

Jerzy Janiuk – student IHN Polish Akademy of Sciences in Warsaw 

Tuberculosis in Young Poland period and during the interwar in the theory and medical practice (part. II)

The subject of the study is the picture of tuberculosis in turn of XIX and XX century (1890–1939). Tuberculosis has been with people for ages. Due to lack of effective therapy until 50s last century tuberculosis constituted not only a medical problem, but because of the prevalence of infection it was also social problem. It was considered as a fatal disease what made that people were afraid and scared. One of the most important moment in history was discovery R.Koch, who on 29th of March 1882 on an assembly Berlin Physiologists announced an identifi cation the bacillus, which was later called his name. This bacillus was responsible for TB symptoms. Unfortunatelly, it did not improve treatment results. Available effective methods did not play a prominent role, because they were possible only for privileged. Costs of treatment and rehabilitation sick people were very high. TB picture as a disease carrying death has changed over the past several decades. The disease became mainly medical problem, still very important but not crucial. It is not primary what it used to be: a widespread epidemic disease, “white plague” with an enormous social-economic consequences, a cultural phenomenon affecting the fate not only of individuals, but also the whole society.The aim of the study is presentation the medical knowledge about the tuberculosis in period 1890–1939: the symptoms, diagnosis and methods of treatment, preventive actions, and also social and health consequenses and former system of a health service.

Maria Joanna Turos – Ph.D. , historian , etics, Medical University of Warsaw

„… While sober …” or however the anesthesia.A brief attempt to answer the question whether in the early nineteenth century, military surgeons have used pain-relieving drugs

This text is an attempt to answer, based on written documents and preserved objects from the era, the question posed in the title, “… while sober or with anesthesia …”. This is the subject often appearing in popular literature on the Napoleonic era but is sometimes presented in a way to skip the source texts preserved, and showing the reader a picture of passing to the facts of medical science from the beginning of nineteenth century. The preserved documents, especially pharmacopoeias formed at this time (three most important and widely known in Europe have been cited in the text – particularly noteworthy is “Formulaire pharmaceutique a l’usage des hopitaux militaires de la Republique Francaise Paris 1792” a copy of which is preserved in the library in Narbonne), and even more material evidence as described in the article for example the fi eld fi rst aid kit derived from 1810 allow to propose that the well-known analgesics, and physical pain, what particularly draws attention to two works quoted R J Czerwiakowski and works L. Perzyna were considered to be factor in worsening the prognosis. At the same time it is – based on evidence already mentioned – an attempt to supplement the knowledge and information, which clearly lack popular-historical texts.

Ewa Szmaj –historian, Medical University of Silesia

Skin and its appendages diseases widespread in the interwar years in Poland on the basis of handbooks for women edited between 1922 – 1939

After 1918 polish society was in a diffi cult situation because of low level of hygiene, prevailing infectious skin diseases and many other factors. There were used polish handbooks for women edited between 1922 and 1939 compared with medical interwar knowledge to prove the thesis above. The examination has shown that the most popular were: parasitic and bacterial diseases and also different types of mycosis. It was necessary to consult a doctor in case of bacterial or mycosis infection, as it was written in analyzed handbooks for women. Furthermore hygiene was the easiest and the most important way to keep healthy skin and the whole organism. Another group of skin diseases, named also “cosmetic defects” contained: seborrhoea, acne , oily hair and dandruff, white hair, hypertrichosis, hyperhydrosis , freckles and other hyperpigmentations of the skin, callus, corns, scras and so on. The interwar handbooks popularized medicaments and cosmetic treatments to eliminate these defects even though they were, according to dermatological nomenclature, in group of skin diseases. This paper is focused on typical skin diseases and cosmetic defects should be analyzed separately and also carefully

Witold Markoń  PH.D. – historian, Archival facility and teaching the history of Academy im J.Długosz in Częstochowa

Physicians in silesian sejm

Maria Kujawska She was a doctor, lived from 1893 to 1948. She participated in the third Silesian uprising in the service of health. She worked at the Society for Womenand the Polish Red Cross. Sanacja was part of the National Union of Christian Work.Former Member of Parliament Slaski 2 and 3 of the legislature in 1930 – 1935. In addition, sat from 12 December 1936 until the outbreak of World War II in the Silesian Provincial Council. During World War II was on exile. After the war she returned to Polish. She worked as a doctor in a health center in Pszczyna until his death in 1948. Alojzy Pawelec lived from 1886 to 1972. He trained as a doctor specializing in the treatment of lung diseases. He participated in the three Silesian Uprisings and shared the plebiscite. He was active in the Association of Silesian Insurgents. He held the position of Chairman of the supervisory board of the settlement, “Ślązak”. He represented a political line connected with sanacja. He held the dignity of the Members of the Autonomous Silesian Parliament II in 1930 and senator of the third, fourth and fi fth term in 1930–1939. The second war he spent in exile. After the war he worked as a doctor in the Lower Silesia. Teodor Obremba lived from 1890 to 1951. He trained as a doctor. He was a national activist and a member of the secret youth organisations. He participated in the three Silesian uprisings in the years 1919, 1920, 1921. He was a member of the municipalities authorities from Mysłowice. Ombremba worked in the Silesian Christian Democrats. He was a member of the Second Silesian Parliament. Bronislaw Hager lived from 1890 to 1969. He was a doctor, Local Government and a member of the Silesian Diet third term. In addition, he was known on the activities of the nation. He took part in the plebiscite in the county zabrzańskim. He participated in the third Silesian uprising. Acted Defence in relation to the Western Borderlands. He held the dignity of vice-mayorTarnowskie Mountains in the years 1928 to 1934. He belonged to a Christiandemocracy. Worked in organizations of Polish doctors. He participated in the Second World War. After liberation, he workedin health care in Upper Silesia.

Magdalena Paciorek- Ph. D – historian of medicine, Institute for the History of Scientes Polish Academy of Scientes

Institution of Professional and Medical Supervision in Poland from 1947 to 1950 – presentation based on the then press publications

 Institution of professional and medical supervision was established by the Minister of Health’s decision on October 30, 1947 and its purpose was to improve the quality of medical practice and establish cooperation between various in-patient and out-patient health institutions. It was also an element of health care system centralisation. Presented in the article development of professional and medical supervision took place in the period when the new political system was being shaped and this undoubtedly infl uenced the fi nal structure of this institution in Polish People’s Republic. The years 1947/48 were still the time of relative liberty, when innovative ideas were still accepted or even promoted and when it was possible to express openly opinions on the level of health care development in rural areas. This liberty was gradually restricted in subsequent years. Published in press articles or consultant reports varied at that time in form and contents. Some were too laconic and gave no new information but there were also some that with disarming frankness pointed to serious shortcomings and errors not only in organisation of controlled units but also resulting from purely professional incompetence. However, with the development of political system in Poland, the consultant reports changed their nature. Often they were written in a ‘politically correct’ manner. Nevertheless, the practice of public self-criticism makes it possible to see problems not only with the organisation of the supervision at that time. It showed the condition of public health care system, the glaring shortcomings resulting to a great extent from personal nad material loss incurred during the WWII but also – in line with the propaganda policy – from the mistakes made in Polish political system before 1939. Despite constant improvements that were introduced especially in 1950, the mistakes were still repeating and reminded those seen in 1948, especially as regards the cooperation of individual institutions in the health care system.

Magdalena Rzadkowolska- Ph.D. – DEPARTMENT OF SCIENTIFIC LIBRARY University of Lodz

Medical book in the repertoire of publishing houses in Lodz in the years 1945–1956

In the article I represented local publications for medical environment. After opening in 1945 the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Lodz, students and teachers started publishing textbooks. Also, private publishers have noticed consumers of medical literature. They were then issued 67 vol. of books. In 1949, the totalitarian state has gained full control over the publishing movement and prohibited the activities of non-state publishers. Since 1951 the major publisher of medical literature has become a local branch of the PWN (State Scientifi c Publishing). He published books for students and dissertations. But decreased the number of published books, since 1948 part of the medical books appeared in the PZWL (National Institute of Medical Publications) in Warsaw.

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