Infirmity in Antiquity and the Middle Ages: Social and Cultural Approaches to Health, Weakness and Care

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Christian Krötzl, Katariina Mustakallio, Jenni Kuuliala
Routledge, Mar 9, 2016 - History - 334 pages
This volume discusses infirmitas (’infirmity’ or ’weakness’) in ancient and medieval societies. It concentrates on the cultural, social and domestic aspects of physical and mental illness, impairment and health, and also examines frailty as a more abstract, cultural construct. It seeks to widen our understanding of how physical and mental well-being and weakness were understood and constructed in the longue durée from antiquity to the Middle Ages. The chapters are written by experts from a variety of disciplines, including archaeology, art history and philology, and pay particular attention to the differences of experience due to gender, age and social status. The book opens with chapters on the more theoretical aspects of pre-modern infirmity and disability, moving on to discuss different types of mental and cultural infirmities, including those with positive connotations, such as medieval stigmata. The last section of the book discusses infirmity in everyday life from the perspective of healing, medicine and care.

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List of Figures and Tables
Suetonius and the Emperors
Infirmitas or Not? Shortstatured Persons in Ancient Greece
Performing Disability? Constructions of Infirmity in Late
Nobility Community and Physical Impairment in Later
Towards a Glossary of Depression and Psychological Distress
True Crusading and the Wounds
Imagery of Disease Poison and Healing in the Late
Infirmitas Romana and its Cure Livys History Therapy
The Idea of
Water Basins in Roman Iconography
Sexual Incapacity in Medieval Materia Medica
Infirmi in the Middle Dutch

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About the author (2016)

Christian Krotzl, Professor of History at the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Tampere, Finland. Katariina Mustakallio, Dean of the School of Language, Translation and Literary Studies, University of Tampere, Finland. Jenni Kuuliala, Researcher in Medieval History at the University of Bremen, Germany.

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