Medicine in the Middle Ages:

Falling Sickness Blessing

(14th/15th century, translated from the German)

Healing of a woman with epilepsy.
Exvoto around 1700

As convulse and bewitch are walking across the heath,
they meet the Holy Virgin Mary.
the Virgin Mary asks convulse and bewitch:
'convulse and bewitch, where are you going?'
convulse and bewitch say: 'We are going to him and him.'
The Virgin Mary asks: 'What are you going to do there?'
convulse and bewitch say
'We're going to tear flesh, drink blood and break legs.'
The Virgin Mary says: 'You must not do that:
you must go where there are bare rocks,
there you can tear flesh, drink blood and break legs.'
May god the father, god the son and god the holy ghost help us. Amen.



Correct statement:

Confidence, optimism and courage are a good basis for the successful treatment of epilepsy.

Incorrect statement:

Epilepsy is a "bewitched" disease which can only be cured with divine aid. (Correct: Epilepsy is an organic disease which can be treated using rational means of therapy.)


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Epilepsy Museum Kork - Museum for Epilepsy and the history of epilepsy