Blood-letting

The practice of blood-letting or bleeding (phlebotomy) was general throughout the medieval period. It was considered a panacea for a variety of ills. In monasteries, monks were treated at set times of the year, which were known as tempora minutionis = time of lessening. They would spend three days in the infirmary, the time the loss of blood - the minutio -was thought to affect the patient. The person in charge of the operation was known as the minutor. During this time, those in the infirmary would not be required to attend matins. In this rather special period outside the monastery's regular routine, it was common for the monks to chatter and gossip in a way that would have been inappropriate elsewhere, although by the 15c much of the inner discipline of the monasteries had dissolved.

Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. .

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  • blood-letting — (n.) also bloodletting, early 13c., blod letunge, from BLOOD (Cf. blood) + LET (Cf. let) (v.). Hyphenated from 17c., one word from mid 19c. Old English had blodlæte blood letting …   Etymology dictionary

  • blood-letting — 1) N UNCOUNT Blood letting is violence or killing between groups of people, especially between rival armies. Once again there s been ferocious blood letting in the township. 2) N UNCOUNT Journalists sometimes refer to a bitter quarrel between two …   English dictionary

  • blood letting — n. phlebotomy, draining of blood for medical purposes; killing, bloodshed …   English contemporary dictionary

  • blood-letting — n. Bleeding, phlebotomy …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • blood-letting — …   Useful english dictionary

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  • Letting — Let Let, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Let} ({Letted} (l[e^]t t[e^]d), [Obs].); p. pr. & vb. n. {Letting}.] [OE. leten, l[ae]ten (past tense lat, let, p. p. laten, leten, lete), AS. l[=ae]tan (past tense l[=e]t, p. p. l[=ae]ten); akin to OFries. l[=e]ta,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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