“Medycyna Nowożytna” T. 19, 2013, fasc. 2

23.03.2015 | 12.02.2022


Jagla Jowita

„The secret of the skin – part II. Skin – the area of memory and experience in the cultural and iconographic image of Saint Bartholomew. 


The symbolical phenomena of the skin has its own visual and cultural reflection in the centuries-old iconography of Saint Bartholomew in which the Saint is depicted in two different ways: either alone with the attribute of skin resembling a piece of cloth / coat / fabric or as a martyr who was or is being „stripped” from his skin. The low relief from the Cathedral in Peplin (13th/ 14th century), the seventeenth-century painting from the church dedicated to Archangel Michael in Sępopol and the nineteenth-century painting from the church in Płoskinia dedicated to Saint Katherine are examples of the former way of depicting Saint Bartholomew. Examples of the latter way of depicting the Saint include: compartments of the triptich from  Niedzica (around 1450)  and from Kamionka Wielka (around 1460), a painting from Byszew (15th century) and also two paintings of Michael Willman: one from the church dedicated to Saint Bartholomew in Trzebnica  (1685) and one from the abbey-church in Lubiąż (1662). The act of killing Saint Bartholomew is shown here in a form of an absolutely brutal theatre, a „butcher’s” play – Saint Bartholomew is stripped of his skin just like a brutally murdered, slaughtered animal. Skin begins to dominate in the early depictions of Saint Bartholomew. It is transformed into a separate, imitative entity that imitates the corporeality of the Saint – it has its face, hands and legs. In this case, such creation of the skin, in the likeness of man, is supposed to make its lost shape more realistic and thus bring it closer to the Saint and make it look like it was still connected with the body. At the same time, from the beginning of the 16th century, works, inspired by the anatomic iconography, the so called „écorché” – an anatomic model without its skin, depicting Saint Bartholomew alone, holding skin, start to appear (the anatomic image of „écorché”  was present, among others, in the works of Berengario da Carpi or Andreas Vesalius). The popularity of the medical graphics was the reason of the dynamic, jumping, dancing, walking écorché becoming one of the most favourite motive of sculptors and graphic artists of the sixteenth century such as Baccio Bandinelli, Marco Ferreri d’Agrate, Willem van den Broeck. One of the best known examples of Saint Bartholomew as an écorché is the sculpture by Marco d’Agrarte from the Cathedral in Milan (1552/62) which is a hidden self-portrait of the artist.

In all of those depictions the cloak made of skin makes Saint Bartholomew a new man. Being stripped of the skin he is also stripped of his sins. The stripped skin changes Saint Bartholomew’s body into a body that is unblemished and clean.


Turos Maria Joanna

Sober or howeveranesthesia. Peering into the militarypharmacopoeia. … or tying to answer the guestion whether in the erly XIX century, military surgeons have used painrelieving medications. Part III.

Text is presenting on the basis of the extant documents, including manuscripts from the era, as represented in the period of the Napoleonic wars supplies pharmacies and military surgeons treatments of pain. The fact that they use document also quotes diaries.


Pękacka –Falkowska Katarzyna

To Discipline and to Help – City Midwives (Stadthebammen) of Torun in the Eighteenth Century (Some Remarks on Oaths and Statutory Orders for Midwives)

The paper is a contribution to the discussion on midwifery in Royal Prussia and Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the eighteenth century. We examine Torun’s municipal midwives’ (Stadthebammen) lives and work. E.g. we give an account of their duties, salaries, privileges and focus on their ambiguous relations with city physicians (Stadt-Physici), surgeons, barbers. In the appendix to the paper are contained two early modern oaths of Torun’s city midwives and a statutory order for them, which probably remained in force up to the year 1817, when Instruction vor die Hebammen in den kleine Städten und auf dem plätten Lande. Instrukcya dla Bab, dzieci z porodzenia przyimuiacych, w małych Miastach y na otwartych mieysach Kraiu was issued. The Hebammenordnung for Torun’s city midwives was a German translation of Panaiota Condoidi’s O poryadochnom uchrezhdenii babich’yeva dela v pol’zu obshchestwa (1754) and presumably was entered in the municipal records by Johann Thomas von Soemmerring, the city physician.


Robak Igor J., Srogosz Tadeusz

Valentin Otamanowski as a historian of medicine and pharmacy of south-eastern borderlands of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

In the paper we analyse Valentin Otamanowski`s contribution to the medical historiography. He was an activist of the Ukrainian authorities in the years 1917-1918, the participant of combats with the Bolscheviks, imprisoned in 1930, a long-prisoner of camp, a professor of medical schools in 1950s and 1960s. In 1920s Otamanowski conducted the research on the history of medicine and pharmacy in Vinnytsia and the district of Vinnytsia at the end of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. After returning from the camp, on the basis of previous studies, chronologically and geographically he expanded the scope of its interests in the history of medicine and pharmacy, while remaining within the limits of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Despite the adoption of the Sovjet paradigm of the history of Ukraine, these studies are of great value because of a large number of facts, based on numerous documents that were destroyed during World War II, as well as the level of expertise.


Olczak- Kardas Monika

Book health in view of the regulations and literature of the Interwar Period

This paper aims at discussing the issues of book health in the light of reference materials and ministry’s regulations which were published in the Second Polish Republic. Research into schoolbook health was undertaken by some health specialists. The article presents the works of Witold Gądzikiewicz, Aleksander Safarewicz, Marian Falski, Jadwiga Kozłowska. The research included the school textbooks available in the market of that time and demonstrated that none of textbooks under consideration was error free or fully compliant to the standards. The aspects examined comprised, inter alia, print, typesetting, final printing and paper select. Those elements were subjected to analysis in the context of vision problems, including short-sightedness, which readers might suffer from. The examination carried out as well as the regularities discovered gave rise to many demands addressed to those responsible for the preparation and monitoring of school textbooks.


Marek Anna

The principles of treatment of war wounds and ways of conduct with wounds in the interwar Poland

The fundamental changes in treatment wounds took place during the First World War. It was observed that previous treatment methods could lead to the serious and varies complications. Bacteriological researches on “fresh wounds” were carried out by, among others, Pierre Delbet in Paris, Albert Policard in Lyon, Ludwik Aschoff in Fribourg and Läwen together with Hesse in Munich. According to their works changed not only the outlooks on wounds but also the ways of its treatment. First of all, they recognized all war wounds as infected wounds. Their conditions were depended on the kind of germ, its amount in the wound and human immunity. In the beginning of 1915, the “dèbridement” method was started to practice. That method was that they opened the recess in the wound to cleanse it. After cleansing wound, further conduct was depending: on the time from inflicting it and time of transport, on the certainty that the wound was completely cleansed and on the favourable conditions which allowed observing patients for a period of five days. Cutting wound required from surgeon good knowledge of human anatomy, precise operating technique and a lot of experience. In Polish army, during the 1920 war, the cutting method practiced Władysław Sieramski and Michał Latkowski. In the interwar period, Tadeusz Sokołowski was an initiator of introducing the method of cutting wounds.


Paciorek Magdalena

Discipline of working and learning on the example of Polish medical department students at the turn of 1940s and in the early 1950s.

The discipline of learning phenomenon was nothing new in the modern system of education. The purpose of maintaining discipline was subordinating young people to some rules in force. It also served the aim of forming them. Discipline in tertiary education in 20th century was regulated by separate regulations included in subsequent Acts of 1933 and 1937. Typical punishable offences were for example fraud, theft, acts of drunkenness, hooliganism. A person accused of committing them could be punished by admonition or reprimand of varying degrees, to expelling from the university. The punishment was inflicted by disciplinary commissions consisting of selected teaching staff members.

In the post-WWII period, the issue of discipline of learning in tertiary education got a new dimension. The nature of disciplinary commissions was changed already in 1947, and starting from 1950, the scope of offences was broadened with such offences as lack of progress in studying, coming late or skipping lectures or classes, as well as adopting the attitude 'unworthy of a student in Polish People’s Republic’.

In the 1950s, discipline of learning and working became an element of the state policy. The state was striving to implement its first 6-year economic plan for the years 1950-1955, which assumed educating 146,000 graduates from tertiary education[1], among other things. Growth of production output in all industrial sectors – pompously  advertised and promoted at that time – required also proper productive forces. Creation of optimal conditions for studying became one of the main challenges faced by the then state authorities, as this was seen a precondition for achieving planned results and, for example, have set down number of fully trained doctors who could work at foreseen in advance positions. Thus, the state intended to secure the students free education, scholarships, and improve their living conditions. In return, students were expected to obey discipline, that is subordinate to all orders and bans and first of all to complete their studies in due time.

The article presents the development of legislature aimed at achieving the planned outcome, in chronological order. At the example of the medical students environment, the mechanisms of the above-described policy were presented. But was this policy effective?

The Author based her article not only on the press sources but first of all she studied archival documents, for example coming from archives of medical universities or The Central Archives of Modern Records (AAN) in Warsaw.


Kwiatkowska Beata A.

“Homeopata Polski” – magazine polish apologist (follower) doctrine Samuela Frideric Hahnemanna.

,,Homeopata Polski” was a didactic – informational periodica issued in Lviv between 1861 and 1865, it was dedicated to popularise the treatment method invented by a German healer Samuel Frideric Hahnemann. One of its purposes was to help all the doctors unsig this method with self – education through publishing treatment observation. The content of those publications touched the issue of treating people as well as its veterinary use, that was granred a separate part called Popular Homeopathic Veterinary. Apart from publications concerning homeopathic treatment of people and animals translations of articles from overseas periodical and the so called „Novelties from the Word” were also published in the magazine. The „Homeopata Polski” magazine has also become a place for discussion between groups supporting homeopthy and the ones supporting academic medicime (so called allopaths).


Magdalena Grassmann

Preserving medical heritage as illustrated on the basis of the Museum of the History of Medicine and Pharmacy Medical University of Bialystok

The Museum of History of Medicine and Pharmacy Medical University of Bialystok was established in 2011. However, the tradition of preserving the academic heritage, of gathering and presenting exhibits is longer. The Museum of MUB is located in one of the most beautiful historical monuments of North-East Poland – the baroque Branicki Palace. The Museum is a part of the structure of the Independent Department of History of Medicine and Pharmacy, which plays the role of an educational center. The main goal of Museum is the preservation of the academic heritage of the MUB as well as the study and exhibition of old healthcare traditions from the area of the former border between the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Great Duchy of Lithuania.


[1] Polish Journal of Laws. 1950, No 37, item 344, p.10. Act of 21 July1950 about the 6-year plan of economic development and building of foundations of socialism,  for the years 1950-1955.

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