Throughout time people had looked for a range of explanations about the cause of disease.
The movement of the planets was often thought to have a bearing on the way that the world worked and the cause of the spread of diseases such as Plagues.
God was often thought to be the cause of diseases. In a world in which godliness was off the utmost importance a lot of things – like unexplainable illnesses – were considered to be a punishment from god. Where this was the case methods of prevention and cure would be based upon the premise of wanting to please god or atone for ones sins.
Over several centuries, people believed the four humor theory adopted from Greek medicine. According to this theory (which is known today to be a complete non-sense) disease is caused by an imbalance in the four main body fluids called humors.