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Log In Sign Up. Martynas Jakulis. This led the state governments as well as the philanthropically minded secular and ecclesiastical elites to found new larger hospitals2. The expansion of the city and the growth of its population in a time of relative prosperity and peace posed distinctive challenges to the 1 O. Grell, A. Cunningham, R. Lindemann, Medicine and Society Lindemann, Medicine and Society…, p.

Seria: Zeszyty Historyczne, , No. Nagielski, Warszawa , pp. Only in recent years has the topic been considered from a more con- ceptual perspective. Rowell explored the development of charitable activity in the wider religious context from the beginning of Christianisation until the mid-sixteenth century8.

This article thus aims to examine the changes that occurred in the poor relief and health care structures of eighteenth-century Vilnius. Rochi , also known as rochitae or rochici, and the hospital of the Sisters of Charity Sorores Charitatis , or szarytki. The founding of these functionally distinct institutions, it is argued, also demonstrated the transformations in the local medical marketplace and the growing accessibil- ity of health care among the lower strata of the urban society.

Kuklo, P. Although the city was rarely visited by the rulers, it remained an economic, political and religious centre of regional importance9. The period from the s until the early s was particularly burdensome for the city. The occupation was followed by decades of slow restoration. It should be emphasised that after such a tumultuous period neither the Grand Duchy of Lithuania nor its capital Vilnius experienced any major demographic or economic losses for decades to come.

Relative peace in the city and the broader region allowed the population to grow. Certainly, the overall numbers of the city dwellers must have been supplemented by other immigrants as well. Frick, Kith, Kin, and Neighbors Augustyniak, A. There was of course the possibility to consult with a private medical specialist, such as a medical doctor or a barber surgeon, as well as to approach other kinds of healers, such as wise women or quacks.

There is little doubt that many survived their sickness by depending upon these healing special- ists. Such individuals, as has already been demon- strated by multiple studies14, depended greatly on the medical care provided by charitable institutions. Cunningham, J. The majority of these institutions served as almshouses for the old, the disabled and other socially vulnerable individuals, such as widows or orphans.

The hospital near the church of the Holy Cross administered by the Brothers Hospitallers of St John of God, or Fatebenefratelli, provided fourteen exclusively male patients with medical care.

Due to the small size of the community, the institution rarely admitted more than twelve patients a year He thoroughly reformed the brotherhood and not only placed it under the patronage of the bishop and the cathedral chapter, but also gave it a new name, the Merciful Brothers of St Roch Such a name obviously demonstrated 15 1.

St Mary Magdalene Catholic, established in , 2. Holy Trinity Catholic, , 3. Saviour Orthodox, middle of the sixteenth century, later Uniate , 4. Holy Trinity Orthodox, , later Uniate , 5. Calvinist , 6. St Lazarus Stephen Catholic, , 7.

Lutheran end of the sixteenth century , 8. St Peter Catholic, , 9. Fatebenefratelli Catholic, , Jewish , St Martin Catholic, , Holy Spirit Orthodox, , Congregation of Mission Catholic, Jakulis, Advenit, pp. The brothers, who wore black cloaks with a picture of skull and crossbones, were obliged to care primarily for those infected with plague as well as to bury the victims of the epidemic And yet, as life in the city returned to normal and the threat of a new pesti- lence gradually diminished, new challenges emerged and the institution had to duly adjust to the new circumstances.

The otherwise comprehensive acta of the Vilnius cathedral chapter are silent on when, how and why the hospital was transformed from a pesthouse into a specialised hospital for treating contagious diseases. Nonetheless, the sources from the second half of the eighteenth century reveal that the hospital of St Roch was operating as a kind of incurabili hospital designated for the treatment of venereal diseases choroba francuska Rabikauskas, Vol. I: Dioeceses Vilnensis et Samogitiae, Roma , p.

It should also be stressed that the hospital of St Roch was the only institution that systematically treated venereal diseases in Vilnius. The Sisters of Charity hospital, as will be discussed further, deliberately excluded individuals infected with venereal diseases, whilst analysis of the Fatebenefratelli hospital admission registers revealed that there were only thirty-three 0.

The Fatebenefratelli most probably excluded venereal cases because of the costly treatment and, possibly, because of internal regulations of the order Jakulis, Advenit, p. Ein Beitrag zur steirischen Sozial- und Medizingeschichte des Geburtstag, ed. Brunner, Graz , pp. A, f. For instance, on 22 June , there were sixty-eight patients in four wards, more than half of whom were isolated in the two wards for venereal patients32, whereas in , the inspectors found sixty-four patients, twenty-nine of whom were venereal cases The surviving sources also reveal very little about how the patients contracted venereal diseases.

However, the majority of the patients obviously became infected through extramarital sexual relations or through an unfaithful spouse. Several laywomen were employed to attend female patients and pregnant women, and two physicians felczer provided other medical services The sources do not reveal what kinds of treatments were applied to the patients, especially those infected with venereal diseases and, thus, one can only speculate about the application of certain medical knowledge.

However, a few mentions of the expenditure for medicines could provide indirect evidence of the nature and peculiarities of the treatment. Therefore, it could be suggested that at least the venereal cases could have been treated with expen- sive mercurial ointments or even guaiacum, a popular, though more expensive, alternative to mercury The Sisters of Charity, another branch of the Vincentian Family, seemed like a viable option.

Siena, Venereal Disease Although the admission register covers the period from November until February , besides names and dates of admission, discharge or death it pro- vides very little information about the nature of illnesses. And yet, despite lack of substantial evidence, the document issued by Gosiewski clearly suggests what kind of patients should be excluded from this hospital.

Bremmer, L. Rosiak, Prowincja litewska This was clearly related to the opening of the new wards in November po przewodzeniu do nowych infirmaryow From that moment on, the hospital admitted no fewer than patients annually and within a decade more than individuals were treated in the institution every year.

Although the admission register ends on 29 February , it is known from other sources that the number of patients grew dramati- cally in subsequent years, and individuals were admitted to the hospital in alone The records suggest that there was also a small group of long-term inmates who lived in the hospital for several years or even decades. I, Vilnius , p. Nonetheless, the number of deaths grew propor- tionally to the increasing number of patients, as is clearly seen in Figure 2.

One might speculate that the increase in the mortality among the Sisters of Charity hospital patients could have occurred not only because of the nature of their illnesses, but also because of hardly controllable overcrowding which was not the case in the Fateben- efratelli hospital and deteriorating hygiene. They were responsible for the nursing of female and male patients, distribution of medicines, and other daily chores, whereas paid professional physicians made the deci- sions regarding treatment and other complex issues.

The surviving records do not suggest what exact treatments were applied to the patients. Conclusion The hospitals of St Roch and the Sisters of Charity, which were established in a short span of over thirty years, were similar in several regards. Moreover, in time both hospitals expanded their premises and became large, complex medical institu- tions with several separate wards for dozens of patients. Nevertheless, these two hospitals had distinctive missions.

It also shows that individuals infected with venereal diseases became more visible in the streets. The hospital of the Sisters of Charity served as an all-purpose medical institu- tion providing treatment for the poor sick with various non-contagious diseases. Thus, poorer Vilnians unable to pay for the services of physicians or even barber surgeons had the possibility to receive proper though not completely free medical care and to approach a professional medical specialist.

II, ed. Related Papers. By Martynas Jakulis. Public Health in Vilnius in the years By Aistis Zalnora. Enlightenment: Medicalization of the Hospital, Vienna


Krzysztof Radziwiłł (1585-1640) i szlachta / Henryk Wisner.

She holds several academic degrees. She was educated at the Sorbonne , Paris , and at the University of Warsaw. Having submitted a dissertation on Rubens and Connoisseurship: On the problems of attribution and rediscovery in British and American collections late 19thth century in English , she was awarded a Ph. She currently lives across Europe with her family. Her particular areas of interest are Rubens , [1] Rembrandt , [2] and J. Pisarek has 15 years experience in researching Old Masters paintings specifically in the area of attributions.


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