Hygiene in ancient times and the feudal system

Empirical observation from everyday experience in the field of personal life, and eventually of social practice was the basis of hygienic knowledge already in ancient times. Based on the instinctive desire of people to preserve life and health, these observations gradually expanded. Depending on the climatic conditions in which people lived, from the habits and social organization of society, hygiene measures, covering a wider field of life improved, although there are no theoretical foundations for their improvement did not exist: the practice is considerably ahead of theory, as is often the case in other areas of human knowledge.

The simplest hygienic rules, some of which have survived until now, were known to many ancient peoples 3000-4000 years BC. In ancient Chinese medical books were discovered hygienic rules and tips regarding proper diet, mode of work, rest and sleep, and beneficial effects of natural factors on human health. During excavations in the ancient Chinese cities made discoveries indicating the presence of facilities of health improvement. Not less valuable discoveries relating to the improvement of populated areas, were discovered during excavations of settlements stainability (managed, for example, in one of Indian cities to find the remains of the city sewer). Rich in hygienic advice of ancient Indian medicine. Most of them pertained to nutrition (recommended intake of milk, plant foods, honey), diet and personal hygiene (care for the oral cavity, change of clothes, bathing, etc.). Hygienic measures were wide spread in Ancient Egypt (1500 BC). Here were found the huge buildings for the water supply of towns, there were rules to clean streets and houses, the disposal of excreta and garbage, drainage of soil, etc.

Hippocrates (460-377 BC).

These principles have been expressed in more complete form later, in ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. The development of sanitary culture in Ancient Greece is connected with the name of the ingenious doctor, as it is called, the “father of medicine” Hippocrates, the first who put forward the idea of value for the human body to the external environment. Hippocrates wrote the treatise “On air, waters and places”, where these natural factors are considered from the point of view of their impact on human health. In further observation and reasoning of Hippocrates has been widely developed in the writings of the Greek scholars of the later period and became the basis of sanitary-technical measures implemented in the cities of Ancient Greece. So, in Athens, were built with plumbing and drainage for removal of liquid effluent, was organized by the permanent supervision of the sale of food and housing, was carried out disinfection in the simplest form of sulfur fumigation of premises in which there were infectious patients, there were public baths and bathing. In Sparta first became widely used physical culture to the development of physical power and create a mighty army, and these events were closely connected with observance of sanitary rules.

Later, however, and the few achievements in sanitation practices among the ancient civilized Nations disappeared with the transition to feudalism. Were deliberately abandoned even the rudiments of pre-existing hygienic measures, as prevailed in the middle ages, religious views of Christian doctrine were based on the preaching a complete disregard for the health of a person. Christianity encouraged people to ascetic way of life for the salvation of souls. Ascetics-ascetics who lived in caves, consciously suffering hunger and cold for years, not consume water for body care, considered Holy. Naturally, in such conditions could not be and speeches about compliance with any requirement of not only public, but even personal hygiene. Cleanliness was at such a low level that nothing could prevent the spread of epidemics. Plague (as it was called at the time of the black death), leprosy, smallpox, trachoma, syphilis embraced by the masses. The attempts of feudal lords to be fenced off with walls and moats in medieval castles did not save them from impending danger. As an example of the consequences which resulted from this neglect of elementary sanitary practices, you can specify that in the XIV century in Europe died from the plague around 25 million people.

Cities in the middle ages were built without planning and without sanitation facilities, with narrow streets, sewage was dumped directly into the street, do not comply with the rules of personal hygiene. Due to the domination of the clergy and the feudal-lords of sanitary culture has ceased to exist. However, in some countries there were attempts by some leading scholars to promote the rules of the sanitary practices of the past. So, at the turn of the XII and XIII century in Italy was published the essay of Professor John Mediolanum containing only rules of diet, and later there were writings that were given descriptions raged at the time of epidemics. But all these works until the end of XV century on the merits has not helped in improving the sanitary condition of settlements, except only that, from the fourteenth century, for the disinfection of infected dwellings and belongings of patients began to use sulfur fumigation and disinfection with chlorine.

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