Treatment of horses or “maréchalerie” in the Latin West during the Middle Ages

par Yvonne Poulle-Drieux, Archiviste paléographe, Adel.

The art of horse healing involves practical knowledge developed by the farriers from late Antiquity (Vegetius) until the 16th century. In the mid 13th century, De medicina equorum by Jordanus Ruffus was the first amongst a series of veterinary treatises, which ended with the famous Treatise on Anatomy by Carlo Ruini (1598). As in human medicine, farriers based their treatments on the principles of Methodism and the Theory of Humours. The farriers were trained by seniors of their own corporation; they were skillful surgeons, who tried to avoid animal suffering. Magic or religious healing practices were exceptional.

Bull.Soc.Hist.Méd.Sci.Vét., 2007, 7 : 4-25