A summary of a paper given by Professor Christina Lee at the University of Nottingham’s “Making the Medieval Relevant” Conference.
Making the Medieval Relevant: Crossing Boundaries: Interdisciplinary Studies on Disease and Disability
‘Royal’ pediculosis in Renaissance Italy: lice in the mummy of the King of Naples Ferdinand II of Aragon (1467-1496)
Pediculosis seems to have afflicted humans since the most ancient times and lice have been found in several ancient human remains. Examination of the head hair and pubic hair of the artificial mummy of Ferdinand II of Aragon (1467-1496), King of Naples, revealed a double infestation with two different species of lice…
Women Healers and the Medical Marketplace of 16th-Century Lyon Alison Klairmont-Lingo Dynamis: Vol.19 (1999) Abstract Although women’s legal and marital status make them almost invisible in archival documents, what traces remain suggest that women participated in Lyon’s medical marketplace in various ways and under various guises. At Lyon’s municipally-funded poor hospital, the Hotel-Dieu, widows and […]
In the Middle Ages, Christian Europe was in a state of intellectual stagnation and the theological doctrine that pain serves God’s purpose and must not be alleviated militated against the improvement in methods of narcosis. Nuland points out that the Middle Ages in Europe were dark ages so far as advances in the pharmacology of anesthesia were concerned.
Stature and frailty during the Black Death: the effect of stature on risks of epidemic mortality in London, A.D. 1348-1350
Recent research has shown that pre-existing health condition affected an individual ’ s risk of dying duringthe 14th-century Black Death. However, a previous study of the effect of adult stature on risk of mortality during the epidemic failed to ﬁnd a relationship between the two; this result is perhaps surprising given the well-documented inverse association between stature and mortality in human populations.
Behind the purported facts of Theodora’s career as a common prostitute and later as empress are the hidden details of what we might call feminine pharmacology: what were the drugs used by prostitutes and call-girls in sixth-century Byzan- tium? Were there ordinary pharmaceuticals employed by such professionals to stay in business?
In the Middle Ages the heart represented the whole body. Unlike modern man for whom the brain is the centre of higher function, medieval Christians saw the heart as the moral and intel- lectual centre. Saint Augustine contributed much to this attitude by describing the heart not only as the seat of intelligence, will power, memory, emotion, and other feelings but also as the authentic and indivisible source of life.
Civic and Religious Understanding of the Mentally Ill, Incompetent, and Disabled of Medieval England
This brief summary covered the fourth paper given at KZOO’s Mental Health in Non-medical Terms. It covered ways in which theologians, like Thomas Aquinas, tried to categorize mental disability. Aquinas also tried to prove that the mentally impaired were able to receive sacraments depending their lucidity and where they fit in his four categories. It was an interesting and enjoyable paper.