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Storage jar used for Fumitory Water, Italy, 1640-1660

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    Glossary: storage jar

    A jar used to store objects or substances.

    Glossary: humours

    The fluids of the body whose balance is essential to well-being. They are blood, choler (yellow bile), phlegm, and melancholy (black bile). The system of the humours was closely related to the theory of the elements by the Ancient Greeks (especially Hippocrates), who were the first society to widely embrace the theory and apply it to medical practice. In Ancient Roman culture, the theory of the humours was embraced by Galen. During the neo-classical revival in western culture, the theory of the humours was a dominant form of medical practice. Its legacy in the form of activities such as blood-letting continued in England into the eighteenth century.

    Glossary: leprosy

    A chronic disease that affects the skin, mucous membrane and nerves. It is now confined mainly to the tropics and is transmitted by direct contact. Previously a widely feared disease, leprosy is not highly infectious.

    Glossary: pharmacy

    The preparation and medicinal dispensing of drugs.

    Glossary: theriac

    An ointment used as an antidote to snake venom or other poison.

    Glossary: fever

    A rise in body temperature above normal. Fever usually occurs as a natural response to infection.