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Most people think of dragons, knights, and fantastic castles when they think of the medieval period. It was also a time of great discovery and innovation. The Middle Ages were a particularly scary time to be alive. Everything was terrifying and no one truly knew why. They were still learning about the world around them.

The Universe This illuminated manuscript shows an image of the universe, as seen by medieval people. The image is pretty, but we now know it is incorrect. The Earth appears to be at the center of the universe, and it is the only planet depicted. The sun and moon are barely in the picture, much smaller than Earth and off to the side.

Center Of The World This world map shows Jerusalem, the Holy City, at the very center. This map really has no basis in reality. It's more for looks than science, as the geography is incorrect and not to scale.

Out Of This World This astronomical calendar is from the 1300s. The sun and moon are in the wrong position, but the diagram shows an interest in the Heavens that continued throughout the Dark Ages.

Looking Up This diagram shows the signs of the zodiac and planetary orbits. Part of a manuscript made for monks to study, this diagram shows that the Earth is the center of everything, and the sun merely moves around it. This is typical of the Dark Ages, and an accepted theory of the day.

How To Heal A Head This medieval diagram shows the placement of head bandages. Dark Ages medicine was highly defunct. There was no knowledge of how cleanliness and disease related to each other, and bandaging procedures were commonly conducted with filthy hands and wrappings. This diagram shows an emphasis on bandage placement, but none on sterile practices.

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The Female Body This scary diagram is meant to help medieval physicians with the care of pregnant women. The organs are clearly out of place, though this is perhaps due to the fact that so much care was given to labeling each part of the anatomy. In any case, it's not to scale and some body parts are missing altogether.

A Doctor's Guide This diagram shows various points for bloodletting. Bloodletting is one of the oldest forms of medicine, and was in use for thousands of years. Patients were bled for absolutely everything, from a fever to a slight backache. It was believed that tainted blood could be removed from the body to restore proper balance. Small knives were used for this procedure most times, so diagrams like this were needed. This one, however, isn't much help because it doesn't show a lot of detail about where veins

Celestial Calendar The signs of the Zodiac aren't depicted in their astrological formations in this diagram. Instead, they're shown as somewhat fanciful characters. The bright colors and whimsical design are characteristic of the Dark Ages.

Celestial Influence This document shows how the stars influence the human body. It's a bit of pseudo-science that some people believe in to this day, though astrology has grown much more sophisticated as knowledge of astronomy has increased.

Another map of the heavens. This one shows stylized characters who represent celestial objects, and favors the notion that the Earth is the center of the known universe.

This diagram shows what's supposed to be the solar system. However, there are no other planets in the picture. Layers of atmosphere are identified, which makes it more sophisticated than most celestial maps, even if much of it is guesswork. The sun and moon are out of position and the signs of the Zodiac are displayed in a stylized outer ring.

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