This exhibit was created by a USU student. (learn more...)


6hoh the Harversters
A scene of everday life depicted in The Harvesters, Pieter Brueghel, 1565



Today, ideas of humors, plague treatment, and beer as bread may seem out of place; relegated to the dust bin of history by modern scientific theory. Yet in the Renaissance, scholars felt secure in their analysis of the world around them. They used a variety of ancient texts, religious theology, and contemporary science, mainly based on the observations of natural phenomenon, to explain sixteenth-century Europe. In Haven of Health, Thomas Cogan relies on the methods and ideologies present in Renaissance medical science when detailing his instructions for living a healthy life as a university student in early modern England. While the ideas of Cogan and other Renaissance scholars may seem dated to a modern reader,  the Haven of Health exemplifies the historical continuity of humans endeavoring to encourage and explain habits of good health.

In addition to helping a reader understand contemporary English ideas of food, drink and daily life, The Haven of Health offers the potential for future research. Cogan's work present future researchers the opportunity to explore the evolution of British medicine, a comparison of medical practices in Contiental Europe and the British Isles, and the impact of his writing among student and general populations.