Article

Medicine

Peter Murray Jones

in Medieval Studies

ISBN: 9780195396584
Published online December 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396584-0051
Medicine

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)
  • Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)
  • Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy
  • Byzantine and Medieval Art (500 CE to 1400)
  • Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

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Medieval medicine in Europe from 500 to 1500 was not an enclosed world; intellectual influences—as well as diseases—came from the Islamic world and from the Greeks in the Byzantine Empire. Epidemic diseases followed trade routes from east to west. The heritage of ancient classical medicine was passed to the West through translation from Greek and Near Eastern materials. This bibliography will focus primarily on the reception of this material in the West, and on Europe rather than Asia or Africa. Medicine was unusual among the medieval disciplines in being both art and science. Also it was not easily separable from the occult arts and sciences in the Middle Ages. Magic, alchemy, and astrology all had close links with medicine, but these subjects will not receive attention here. Instead, the focus will be on the art of healing and the science of medicine, together with the social matrix and disease environment within which they flourished. Religion, on the other hand, cannot be left out: medieval Christianity was closely bound to medicine, embracing as it did the notion of Christus Medicus (Christ the healer) and the healing miracles of the Virgin Mary and the saints. National traditions of medicine in the Middle Age are not treated here (with an exception for England), unless publications on particular traditions have a broader European resonance.

Article.  10145 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) ; Literary Studies (Early and Medieval) ; Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy ; Byzantine and Medieval Art (500 CE to 1400) ; Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

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