The largest study to date on ancient leprosy DNA reveals previously unknown diversity of strains in Medieval Europe
The authors of a new study suggest that an explanation for the prevalence of leprosy in medieval East Anglia may possibly be found in the sustained Scandinavian trade in squirrel fur – an animal known to carry the disease.
During the Middle Ages, nearly everyone in Europe was exposed to the disfiguring, painful and ostracizing disease of leprosy. But did contracting the disease necessarily increase a person’s chances of dying?
In light of the similar moral and spiritual content of leprosy and madness as concepts, this comparison indicates that a morally condemned or stigmatized condition was not sufficient to generate persecution, or to produce a persecuted social identity.
Medieval leprosy victim in English cemetery was likely a religious pilgrim, possibly from overseas
Author and historian, Rebecca Rideal, on leprosy in London during the Middles Ages and Early Modern period.
We’ve just released our latest issue of the Medieval Magazine in celebration of International Women’s Day!
There has always been some doubt as to whether Bruce, who died in 1329, did suffer from leprosy.
The bones of the man, probably in his 20s, show changes consistent with leprosy, such as narrowing of the toe bones and damage to the joints, suggesting a very early British case.
An investigation into maxillary sinusitis in the remains of individuals from the medieval hospital of St. James and St. Mary Magdalene, Chichester, England, offered an opportunity to study the possible relationship between this condition and leprosy in an archeological population.
Disease was more common, as already unsanitary populations grew more crowded, culminating with the devastating Black Death. With mostly Church chronicles telling the story, and a sense of religion underlying everyday life, comparisons were bound to be drawn between plagues and unruly dissent. On the one hand sickness of the body and the other a corruption of the mind.
Scholarship on Amis and Amiloun has generally been divided into two critical schools. The majority of critics have read the work as an exemplar of perfect friendship, overlooking (or ignoring) any trace of homoeroticism, citing the possibility itself as anachronistic, or explaining away its presence by offering historical or theoretical justification for intimacy among medieval men.
Why was there a sudden drop in the incidence of leprosy at the end of the Middle Ages?
Why bother with the weakest members of society by allocating substantial resources for keeping them alive and well in designated spaces?
Medieval teen king, precocious politician, and successful battlefield commander, Baldwin IV not only surmounted disabling neurological impairment but challenged the stigma of leprosy, remarkably continuing to rule until his premature death aged twenty-three.
Baldwin IV was born in Jerusalem of King Amalric and Queen Agnes of Courtney in 1161. Intellectually
and physically gifted as a boy, he seemed well equipped to inherit the Crusader kingdom.
By focusing upon the institutional provision made available for victims of leprosy in London between 1100 and 1500, we can explore the complexity of reactions to a disease that might be regarded as either a punishment for sin or a mark of divine favour.
I will argue that the leprous body was an intermediary to the body of Christ in the mind of late medieval viewers.
Monica Green, known as ‘the foremost authority on medicine in the Middle Ages,’ examines how her field has changed in recent years.
Audio podcast of a lecture by John Hine Mundy
Τhe purpose of this study is to describe the diseases for which divorce could be issued if one of the spouses wanted, in Byzantine times.
It will be seen below that many of the legendary happenings on which belief in the curative powers of saints was based were ridiculously improbable or impossible.
Leprosy or Hansen’s Disease represented a major social, moral, and health concern during the Middle Ages. Few diseases have evoked the social responses that leprosy did during the Middle Ages
This symposium explores the social stigmatization of disease by considering the long-term history of leprosy: from the origins of the pathogen Mycobacterium leprae to the foundation of leprosaria in late medieval Europe to the creation of leper colonies in the 19th and 20th centuries.