Non Magic Medicine In Thedas

A talk with “Surgeon” in Skyhold nets a good look at the state of medical science in Thedas. It’s quite interesting because for all that the world of Dragon Age seems to have healing magic it’s ideas about medicine seem to be quite primeval.  

Surgeon tells us that Magic can’t cure everything, and that she believes that science is the way of the future

Here is where things get interesting. Apparently Thedas believes in the idea of the Humors! History lesson time!

Belief in the four humors and their effects on the body was a system of medicine that started with the Greeks and lasted through most of history since then until the start of modern medicine (the discovery of germs and such) in the 1800s

Basically the idea is that the body is filled with four different humors. When these were in balance the body was healthy but if one had too much or too little of one type it caused illness

treatments included things such as bleeding to get rid of the excess blood.

To clarify bleeding meant cutting a patient or sticking leaches on them.

I also think however that, despite believing in humorism, people like surgeon would have had a major advantage over their real world counterparts that I think would have made non magical medicine in Thedas a LOT more successful. 

People in Thedas did not to deal with the actions of the christian church!

For one thing witch hunts would likely not have destroyed centuries worth of herbal knowledge by killing those who used herbs to heal. Herbalism is a skill that is established and respected in the world of dragon age. I mean we see the use of potions, and poultices in the games. So chances are a good deal of Surgeon’s herbal tonic’s would work if she also has some not based on the concept of humorism. 

Then there is the fact that from what I have seen I think it is unlikely that the Chantry has placed a ban on dissecting the human body, Or even if it has I find it difficult to believe that healing magic does not require a basic understanding of how the body works, and thus that it is highly unlikely people like Surgeon are going around with the impression that human’s have four stomachs because the closest thing to a human they have ever dissected or heard of the distinction of is a cow.

I think what Thedosians do not understand when it comes to medicine is what causes illness. They do not have microscopes to see germs! Magic has likely given them a decent understanding of how the body works. What they do not understand is why it stops working. “Magic can’t cure everything” “Good Health is not magic”

Ancient Egyptian Handbook of Spells Deciphered

Researchers have deciphered an ancient Egyptian handbook, revealing a series of invocations and spells.

Among other things, the “Handbook of Ritual Power,” as researchers call the book, tells readers how to cast love spells, exorcise evil spirits and treat “black jaundice,” a bacterial infection that is still around today and can be fatal.

The book is about 1,300 years old, and is written in Coptic, an Egyptian language. It is made of bound pages of parchment — a type of book that researchers call a codex.

“It is a complete 20-page parchment codex, containing the handbook of a ritual practitioner,” write Malcolm Choat and Iain Gardner, who are professors in Australia at Macquarie University and the University of Sydney, respectively, in their book, “A Coptic Handbook of Ritual Power”. Read more.

Confession:  It bothers me in DA:I that you can only get the codex entries for the assorted wildlife by killing them. My general rule for the DA games (and also Skyrim) is that I don’t kill things unless they pose a genuine threat to me or someone else, so I can’t bring myself to attack the fennecs, snoufleurs, druffalos, and other peaceful creatures.