From Marvels of Nature to Inmates of Asylums: Imaginations of Natural Folly

medieval disability

Even human beings were collected when their physical or mental state did not fit the norms of men. According to an inventory in 1621, the portrait gallery of Ambras showed pictures of people who were perceived as giants, dwarfs, or so-called hirsute men.

Was King Richard III a control freak?

King Richard III, by unknown artist, late 16th century

University of Leicester psychologists believe Richard III was not a psychopath – but he may have had control freak tendencies

Dreaming in Dante’s Purgatorio


Three successive nights on the mountain of Purgatory, Dante pauses to rest, engaging in regenerative sleep. As he sleeps, he experiences three distinct morning-dreams, describing each in detail.

The Politics of Madness: Government in the Reigns of Charles VI and Henry VI


This approach is further hampered by the continually changing nature of modem psychology. Due to alterations in the criteria used for diagnoses, terms and illnesses become obsolete, thus negating our previous theories.

Juana “The Mad”: Queen of a World Empire

Joanna 'the Mad' of Castile

It was not until the mid-nineteenth century that scholars discovered new material about Juana in the Spanish and Austrian archives that gave another side to the person of the woman who had been con- sidered “la loca.”

Magical Dream Provocation in the Later Middle Ages

Magical Dream Provocation in the Later Middle Ages

Hidden in the manuscripts of illicit magic we may find a hitherto untreated practical literature of dream divination…this literature sets out to provoke specific kinds of dreams.

Prescribing Love: Italian Jewish Physicians Writing on Lovesickness in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

Early modern Jewish wedding

This paper begins with a general survey of early modern European medical literature concerning lovesickness. This is followed by a short introduction to the Jewish physicians who lived and worked in the geographic area currently constituting Italy during the beginning of the early modern period, focusing on three physicians who wrote about lovesickness…

The Lost Millennium: Psychology During the Middle Ages

Modern depiction of  Peter Abelard and Heloise

The medieval period – roughly the 1,000 years from the classical Greco-Roman age to the Renaissance and modern era has long been neglected in the history of psychology.

Dreaming and the Symbiotic Relationship Between Christianity and the Carolingian Dynasty

Carolingian Lorsch Gospels (circa 778–820)

Setting out to understand the role of dreams during the Carolingian period it is important to note that the dreams to which we have access are those that have been recorded and survived as physical documents for approximately twelve centuries.

The Physicality of Anger in the Middle Ages

medieval anger

The corporeal expression of anger has long carried deep cultural values. This was especially true in the Middle Ages, when anger was understood and valued through the physiognomy of the human body.

An introduction to the investigation into the mental health of female medieval mystics

Catherine of Siena

While the Medieval ascription to madness is known, in the light of recent psychological and medical insights, I will explore alternative explanations for the extreme behaviour of devout women in the Middle Ages.

Fear and its Representation in the First Crusade

Adhémar de Monteil carrying the Holy Lance in one of the battles of the First Crusade

In preaching the First Crusade, Pope Urban II created a synthesis of holy war and pilgrimage, but, by analysing the depiction of fear in histories of the First Crusade, this article supports the position that it was only after the success of the Crusade that a coherent and internally consistent body of thought on crusading developed.

The study of emotions in early medieval history: some starting points

medieval painting

The challenge of making sense of the emotional worlds of past individuals and cultures see, as first, to be particularly acute for the early Middle Ages.

Joan of Arc, creative psychopath: is there another explanation?

Joan of Arc in battle

Many of these facts can be explained by the hypothesis that Joan of Arc suffered from tuberculosis with a temporal lobe tuberculoma and tuberculous pericarditis.

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