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Word Count: 884
FROM HOTEL TO HOSPITAL Hospitality shelter foreigners strangers all these words bring the meaning hotel to mind At first that is exactly what a hospital was The word hospital derives from the Latin word hospes meaning guest Gradually these places catered to the aged and sick and a variety of institutions came into being During the Medieval period people started to realize the need for social assistance for sickness or other mishaps From the Muslim East to the Christian West hospitals became an evident creation The change in character is illustrated in the history of St John Hospital Oxford which originally seems to have served as an entertainment stop for travelers but was refounded in 1231 as a hospital for the sick Manco 1 Endowments are what gave hospitals their start Usually the king granted the right to have wood from the royal forest and straw from the crown lands to help in the building of the institutions Nobles or well-to-do merchants sometimes contributed money and pilgrims gave alms In addition the pope often gave the right to beg in public for a certain number of days By these donations and assistance money was raised for the repair of the hospitals Another common privilege for the newly devised medical centers was exemption from the payment of certain subsidies Markham 1 The building models for hospitals came from the dormitories of the great monastic houses The layout included a long hall for the sick which could be divided by wooden screens By the thirteenth century separate rooms progressively became popular Markham 2 The location of the hospital buildings was closely linked with town life Hospitals were built along routes taken by crusaders Also knightly orders assumed the mission of founding and maintaining hospitals Rosen 439 During the later Middle Ages the cities took an active role in founding hospitals and other establishments for medical care Wealthy citizens sought to outdo one another in advancing their city
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