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A leprától a spanyolnátháig.

Szemelvények a medicina egyetemes és magyar vonatkozásaiból, kitekintéssel annak hadtörténeti vonatkozásaira az első világháborúig

Leprosy to Spanish Fever.

Excerpts of the Universal and Hungarian Aspects of Medicine with a View to their Military-Historical Aspects
Scientia et Securitas
Katalin Mária Kincses
Sándor Szakály

Összefoglaló. A tanulmány az egyetemes és magyar medicina járványtörténeti és hadtörténeti összefüggéseit vizsgálja történeti példák alapján, a kérdés fontosabb vonatkozásainak vázlatát igyekszik megrajzolni. A szerzők megállapítják, hogy a járványtörténet az orvostörténetnek egyik azon fejezete, amelyik a hadtörténelemhez is szorosan kapcsolódik, ily módon a téma a tágabb értelemben vett, korszakokon átívelő védelempolitika tárgykörébe is illeszkedik. A felsorakoztatott példák rávilágítanak, hogy a járványok természetszerűleg a háborúk kísérői voltak, ugyanakkor azok terjedéséhez is hozzájárultak. Az európai társadalmak a történeti korokban a legnagyobb járványokat intézményi szinten csak a katonaság bevonásával, valamint már a középkortól kezdve egészen a legutóbbi időkig csak katonai szigorúságú intézkedésekkel voltak képes megfékezni.

Summary. The foundations of modern medicine were formed during the Enlightenment. Medical treatment in Europe took its present form in the second half of the 19th century, when healing based on observations, experience, idealistic philosophical theories and beliefs were supplanted by medicine based on scientific empiricism due to the turbulent development and specialization of natural sciences. Today, healing is based on basic laboratory research. Hygiene, supported by bacteriological research, has come to the fore in clinical practice. The healing network (hospitals, medical institutions and healing society in general, from doctors to caregivers) and the public health insurance system have been established.

The history of human conflicts coincides with the history of medicine. The history of war and the epidemics that have plagued humanity are an extreme form of both of these. A common feature between ancient and modern societies is that their greatest public health challenge is/was caused by infectious and epidemic diseases, which are/were the leading cause of mortality from time to time. The authors cite examples from epidemiological history and solution strategies in Europe and Hungary. The history of epidemics in the Middle Ages, Early Modern and Modern Ages is one of the chapters of medical history closely related to military history. In this way, the topic naturally fits into the scope of defense policy (military) in a broader sense, spanning the epochs. The examples show that epidemics not only accompanied the wars, but that the movement of soldiers also caused large-scale epidemics in Europe to a large extent or facilitated their spread. At the same time, the solution was in the hands of the armies, the military administration. In the Middle and Early Modern Ages, the only effective way to deal with epidemics, i.e., quarantine, could be implemented and maintained only with the participation of military forces.

In Europe, epidemic management has been changing since the 18th century. At the same time, the greatest epidemics from the 18th century until the end of the First World War could only be curbed at the institutional level with the broad involvement of the army. Military mentality and rigor have been reflected (in a good sense) in effective epidemic management in European culture. From the Middle Ages to the present day, the management and possible curbing of major epidemics, in addition to extensive vaccination efforts, could have been maintained only with the participation of the military.

Open access


Guild migration in Hungary in the 16th to 18th centuries can be best captured by exploring the migration of young artisans. Peregrination and the migration of young artisans were a process of learning and making contacts in a foreign environment over several years. We will be looking at the life, tasks, objectives and, not least, knowledge acquisition and career strategy of one age group, young men roughly between the ages of 16–20, who in the early modern period were the main depositories of local economic and political power in Europe, including the territories of the former Kingdom of Hungary – especially in the towns – and who were entering local economic and political power after half a decade or so of studying.

This highly mobile way of acquiring knowledge abroad through university and guild migration provided an experience of leaving the familiar home base. What these young men had in common was that their learning process took place in a foreign territory, far away from their home, in the unfamiliar environment of another country, using a different language. In the case of both groups of learners, the existence of a network of family ties, which can be traversed in several directions, proved to be a key organising factor. This link between the – mainly German-speaking – urban and rural citizens in Western Europe and the Hungarian (and Transylvanian) citizens in the early modern period was always evident in the guild organisation, both economically and culturally.

Open access