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21

The first example of catapulting plague victims into a besieged city was that of Caffa (Modern day Feodosia) in the Crimea. This was in fact the first account of plague in European history. Caffa had been under siege by the Mongol (aka. Tartar or Golden Horde) army. The siege had been long a protracted. First starting in 1343, it was lifted by the arrival ...


15

Your main question has been pretty well answered, but I'd like to clarify a few points: If the attackers had plague victims to toss over the wall, it means they were also exposed to the plague. Which might adversely affect their ability to maintain the siege. Even an extremely virulent plague like the Black Death only killed something like a third to ...


12

The Ancient Egyptians were pretty much aware of the general mechanics of childbirth. The earliest source I could find is one of the Kahun Papyri, the Kahun Gynaecological Papyrus (~1850 BC). It deals with women's health, including pregnancy, fertility, menstrual issues and medical contraception. This last issue, contraception, is the more revealing of the ...


12

Here are some methods that were used throughout history to fight infection. Australian Aborigines discovered that eucalyptus and tea tree bark and leaves could ease certain infections. Other aboriginal societies used local herbs to help ease the symptoms of infection. This was typically tribal knowledge passed down through generations of healers. As ...


12

Because the medical profession was opposed to it. Roosevelt's administration feared that including the universal health insurance provisions would kill the entire Social Security Act. For the sake of passing the Social Security bill, we postponed the introduction of the bill on health insurance as the opposition was so great from the American Medical ...


10

The oldest human could still live to be over 100 just as they do today. This was of course much rarer. Here's some data from the University of Texas on the matter. Infant Mortality by that page was 31.9% considerably worse than even the worst of the world 60 years ago. This was skewed by infanticide and such.


9

Expanding on @MonsterTruck's comment above, China (especially the east part) is really good for food production. According to Wikipedia's list of countries by agricultural output China has 17 per cent of global agricultural production today, compared to around 7 for the European Union, 7 for India and 4 for the United States. I would expect the construction ...


8

"Taking a vomit" may have meant more generally taking something to cause vomiting, what we would call an emetic. See eg. http://thequackdoctor.com/index.php/tag/17th-century/ If you are ill it's because something is out of balance. It's a lot easier to get stuff out of a patient to adjust the balance - so the popularity of purges, emetics, bloodletting ...


7

How do you defend against the plague? You seal up any house that gets hit. This was how they controlled the plague in Milan so I'd expect other cities and fortresses took similar measures at various times. Biological Warfare was quite common in the ancient and medieval world.


7

Pre-19th century transplants are not well documented. The first possibly real human transplant was in India. It is unknown if it was successful or not: The first reasonable account is of the Indian surgeon Sushruta in the 2nd century BC, who used autografted skin transplantation in nose reconstruction rhinoplasty. Success or failure of these procedures ...


6

Castro make the cuban medical system the showcase of socialist success. He prepared the educational system to make more medical. See chart at the end source. In fact the export of cuban medical is a one of the big business Castro made. For example in the case of Angola and Venezuela where you can find a big amount of cuban medical the gov of these country ...


5

I'm not sure that this was all that common as a means of overtaking a besieged castle. Perhaps more than anything else, it was intended to have a psychological effect on the occupants. As for how they defended themselves, quite honestly they couldn't. The most common means of handling this was to designate individuals who were responsible for gathering the ...


5

The other issue is that because disease was not fully understood, the efficacy of this maneuver would be mixed at best. Sure, if you send plague victims over the wall, that could give the people inside of the city the plague. However, the belief at the time was that disease was caused by bad smells, and so a dead, decaying horse would have been believed to ...


5

China is the world's third largest country in size, after Russia and Canada. The latter two are further north, much colder, and less hospitable to population growth. China is one of the world's oldest civilizations. Others, such as Egypt, Babylon, and even India are much smaller in size. The combination of large land area (in a mostly temperate climate) ...


5

Yes, there may be "soldiers" considered neutral - even if they are members of armed forces, provided that their sole duty was medical aid for the wounded ("ambulances"). The seminal document is the "initial" Geneva Convention 1864 ("Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field"), initiated by Henry Dunant, after the ...


5

This was kept a secret for the same reason that FDR "was careful never to be seen in [a wheelchair] in public. Great care was also taken to prevent his being portrayed by the press in a way which would highlight his disability" - the severely ill heir subverts trust in government. This is especially true of the Russian monarchy, which claimed divine right.


4

Thomas Nashe's 1592 work Pierce Penilesse, His Supplication to the Divell implies a use of wigs to hide the indications of venereal disease: "Men and women that have gone under the South pole, must lay off their furde night-caps in spight of their teeth, and become yeomen of the vineger bottle: a close periwig hides al the sinnes of an olde ...


4

While I can't comment on the changing of ones underwear being regulation/recorded in manuals etc. If you visit the Imperial War Museum or the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard much of this kind of thing is covered. On any wooden warship the internal bulkheads were designed to be taken down and stowed in the bilge or the hold (including the captains cabin and ...


4

NASA had known experimentally what near weightlessness felt like at least since 1959, when the famous "Vomit Comet" had enabled humans to experience the condition for up to 25 seconds at a time. This plane followed a nearly parabolic flight path to produce the sensation of weightlessness. Hence there was no reason before the first human spaceflight to ...


4

Hippocrates was fascinated by twins, but the concept and understanding of scientific research was different then from now. In this work, St. Augustine writes on Cicero's commentary to Hippocrates' observations and speculations regarding one particular pair of brothers, who might have been twins. When the very question is that old, I believe attempts to ...


4

Though interpretation is always imperfect, many would use folios from the Florentine Codex as direct evidence for mushroom use among Aztecs, and probably Mesoamericans broadly. Here is the prime piece of evidence: A mushroom is depicted, and given the name "Teonanacatl" An Aztec man sits on a mat that is known to be a ceremonial object. The man is ...


4

I think you are talking about World War I, not World War II. Removing bodies from no-man's land sometimes occurred, but only if it was specifically arranged and a deal was made. If anybody or anything, medic or otherwise went into no-man's land without a temporary truce in place they were liable to be shot. It's very difficult to tell who somebody is from ...


3

I could add a few Farming technology. Ancient chinese farming technology is about as advance as post industrial revolution in Europe. Chinese farm all years. Europeans do not have good irrigation system. Ancient chinese cultures measure prosperity by population growth. The idea is if you govern well, people will come to you (like people flocking US and ...


3

During the plague years of the Thirteenth Century, towns excluded people that had visited plague cities from entering and ships were sometimes quarantined when entering port. Measures for containing plague inside towns included walling up of houses, inhabitants and all or burning of afflicted villages. Anyone who nursed a plague victim in some towns was ...


3

One must be very careful when reading the ancients to not impose modern interpretation, laden as it is with understanding acquired with the aid of the microscope, on ancient texts. Words like atom and element are bandied about, but their meaning is significantly different than today's, aided as it is by chemical understanding wholly obtained in the 19th ...


2

Maggot Therapy has been used since ancient times to treat infected wounds. Several anti-microbial plants have also historically been used. None of the treatments were very effective AFAIK.


2

In Poland a traditional dressing for wounds was bread mixed with spider web, chewed before application. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_penicillin


2

Before science, Speculation from Sci-Fi back to 1873 and Jules Verne "From the Earth to the Moon:Around the Moon" Read it in full yourself from project Guttenberg here http://www.gutenberg.org/files/16457/16457-h/16457-h.htm the section in chapter VIII the neutral point starting: "From the moment they had left the Earth, their own weight..." Then in ...


2

I agree with Steven Drennon about psychological affect. This was probably the main reason for catapulting the bodies. One early example is catapulting to the Hannibal's camp the head of his brother Hasdrubal Barca, who was coming to relieve the siege and was defeated by the Romans.


2

Life for someone with diabetes in the early 20th century would be the same as someone with diabetes now if it was left untreated. The consequences of not treating diabetes include: Heart Disease and Stroke Blindness Kidney Failure Diabetic Neuropathy The discovery of insulin as a treatment for diabetes occurred in the 1920s, so either this family member ...



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