Monastic medicine from the classic Era to the Renaissance: development of nephrology

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The monastic medicine era started in the VI century A.D. and developed in the following centuries particularly in the IX and × centuries. The development of Nephrology was fundamental in this period. In fact, for about two thousand years, the study of urine was the only test carried out directly by the doctor.

Rereading old codes that are still found in Montecassino's archives, it is possible to observe the great efforts made by the monks to copy, translate and organize ancient texts, which sometimes consisted only of notes written in Greek. These texts which were surely used for teaching and were consulted in the “Ospitia”, were not only used to treat sick monks, but also all the population that resorted to the “Ospitia” when in need.

This opening towards the world external to the Monastery, towards the so-called lay world, ensured that all copied and stored texts became available to the various Medical Schools established in the centuries that followed, particularly to the Salernitan Medical School that became a principal centre for the study of Medicine in the Western world during the early Middle Ages.

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