The personality of Guibert de Nogent reconsidered

Uncertainty over Guibert’s reasons for writing his autobiography, the De vita sua, has prompted attempts at psycho-historical analyses of his personality.

Both “illness and temptation of the enemy”: melancholy, the medieval patient and the writings of King Duarte of Portugal (r. 1433–38)

Recent historians have rehabilitated King Duarte of Portugal, previously maligned and neglected, as an astute ruler and philosopher. There is still a tendency, however, to view Duarte as a depressive or a hypochondriac, due to his own description of his melancholy in his advice book, the Loyal Counselor.

Medieval mysticism or psychosis?

Alison Torn investigates the strange case of Margery Kempe

The influence of conflicting medieval church and social discourses on individual consciousness : dissociation in the visions of Hadewijch of Brabant

This article examines the influence of the conflicting dis- courses in the medieval church and its social context on the subconscious experiences of Hadewijch of Brabant, a 13th century Flemish visionary, mystical author, vernacular theologian and Beguine leader

Melancholia in medieval Persian literature: The view of Hidayat of Al-Akhawayni

This paper aims to review Al-Akhawayni’s 10th century knowledge on melancholia which can represent the early concept of this disorder in the Near East.

Dreams in Old Norse-Icelandic Royal Biographies as Representations of the Dynastic Identity: The Case of the Fairhair Dynasty

King Hálfdan dreams one day, in a pigsty, that he becomes a man with the finest hair, although the color and length of each ringlet vary. One curl excels in color, brightness and length, signifying St. Olaf, national saint of Norway.

Dreams in medieval Saints’ lives: Saint Francis of Assisi

How do medieval descriptions of dreams or visions reflect spiritual growth? What images are used as rhetorical or hagiographical means? And what can we learn from the interpretation of these spiritual images in a late medieval literary context?

Opicinus de Canistris: Yesterday and today

Opicinus is the first maker of anthropomorphic maps of the countries around the Mediterranean, and the first psychotic cartographer and imaginative writer in the historical field of the Psychopathology of Expression.

An outside for the inside : a psychoanalytic reading of The Book of Margery Kempe

It is evident in Margery Kempe’s visions of holy family life that Virgin and Christ dyad is an oedipal fantasy of the child who is the father of himself.

Anesthesia Drugs in the Medieval Muslim Era

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.

Experience and Meaning in the Cathedral Labyrinth Pilgrimage

A medieval design based in Sacred Geometry principles, this unicursal path through concentric circles is a metaphorical container for spiritualjourneying.

Incubus: the medieval nightmare disease

Some people have nightmares of being crushed to death, either by a person or a thing. In the Middle Ages this type of dream was so common that had it a name: incubus (which means ‘the crusher’ in Latin).

Saint Francis of Assisi: An Exorcist of Demons

Saint Francis was considered such a model of Christian virtue that he was able to perform miracles as an agent of Jesus. Among them, the description of demoniacs and exorcisms are particularly interesting for the history of psychiatry.

Manuel II Palaiologos: Interpreter of dreams?

Discussion on the origin of dreams and the art of dream interpretation always fascinated the Byzantines and other medieval people as it is evident, not only within the numerous texts on the subject, but also in hagiographical and historiographical sources.

Women and Hysteria In The History Of Mental Health

Hysteria is undoubtedly the first mental disorder attributable to women, accurately described in the second millennium BC, and until Freud considered an exclusively female disease.

Fasting and the female body : from the ascetic to the pathological

Importantly, the dietary practices of the early Christians cannot be understood as a single corpus of ideas or practices. It could mean going without food altogether, as in the case of one of the desert fathers, Simeon Stylites, who ate nothing for the whole of lent.

The role of mythical and imaginary figures in the mental framework of medieval society

It is crucial to evaluate also whether or not medieval people distinguished the fiction from reality, and if they did, does this have an impact on the roles which certain figures performed?

The Miracles of Saints Cosmas and Damian: Characteristics of Dream Healing

Cosmas and Damian were trained physicians, already famous during their lives, but their great career as healers started after they suffered martyrdom in 287 or 297.

Erotic Dreams and Nightmares from Antiquity to the Present

Do erotic dreams result from divine intercession, an immoral life, or recent memories? Are they products of the self for which the individual dreamer may be held responsible? Or are they determined by a force majeure such as original sin, or human physiology?

Feeding the Dogs: The Queer Prioress and Her Pets

Everybody knows what we should think about the Prioress’ love for animals. She steals from the poor by feeding her ‘smale houndes’ roast meat and good bread. And she’s breaking the rules just by keeping pets.

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.

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