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In medieval Europe, bleeding was thought to be the most effective cure around. Medical practitioners believed no disease could withstand a nick in the neck from a small blade, otherwise known as a fleam. Have smallpox? No problem. Epilepsy? Easy. Gout? Cured.

But there was a catch.

Before operating on a patient, medieval physicians needed to consult the stars. The success of the procedure depended on it.

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