New book – Medicine and Healing in the Premodern West: A History in Documents – Edited by Winston Black, Broadview Press

Medicine and Healing in the Premodern West: A History in Documents – Edited by Winston Black

Medicine and Healing in the Premodern West traces the history of medicine and medical practice from Ancient Egypt through to the end of the Middle Ages. Featuring nearly one hundred primary documents and images, this book introduces readers to the words and ideas of men and women from across Europe and the Mediterranean Sea, from prominent physicians to humble healers. Each of the book’s ten chronological and thematic chapters is given a significant historical introduction, in which each primary source is described in its original context. Many of the included source texts are newly translated by the editor, some of them appearing in English for the first time.

Preface and Acknowledgements
Questions to Consider


  • 1. The Kahun Gynaecological Papyrus
  • 2. Diagnosis in Ancient Egypt: The Ebers Papyrus
  • 3. A Babylonian Spell against Fever
  • 4. Plague as Divine Punishment in Homer’s Iliad
  • 5. Gods as the Source of Disease: Hesiod, Works and Days
  • 6. Violence and Healing in Homeric Greece


  • Rational Medicine in the Age of Hippocrates
    • 7. Hippocratic Corpus, Nature of Man
    • 8. Plato on the Nature of Disease: Timaeus
    • 9. Thucydides and the Plague of Athens, 430 BCE
    • 10. Hippocratic Corpus, Aphorisms
    • 11. Hippocratic Corpus, Airs, Waters, Places
    • 12. Case Histories from the Hippocratic Epidemics
  • Asclepius, the God of Physicians
    • 13. The Hippocratic Oath
    • 14. Pindar: Apollo Leaves Asclepius with Chiron the Centaur
    • 15. Celsus Celebrates Asclepius as a Man
    • 16. Greek Anatomical Votive Plaque of a Leg
    • 17. Aelius Aristides Dreams of Asclepius
    • 18. An Egyptian God in Greco-Roman Dress: Imouthes as Asclepius


  • 19. Galen, On the Medical Sects
  • 20. Aretaeus the Cappadocian on the Difficult Case of Tetanus
  • 21. Rufus of Ephesus, Medical Questions: Interrogation of the Patient
  • 22. Celsus: A Healthy Regimen without Doctors
  • 23. Dioscorides and the Science of Pharmacology
  • 24. Galen, the Boastful Practitioner: On the Affected Places
  • 25. Galen, On Black Bile: Praising and Rewriting Hippocrates
  • 26. Herodian on a Plague in the Roman Empire


  • 27. Varro, De re rustica: An Early Germ Theory?
  • 28. Vegetius, De re militari: Preserving the Health of Imperial Troops
  • 29. The Legend of Agnodike, a Greek Midwife and Physician
  • 30. Soranus of Ephesus: Instructions for Midwives
  • 31. Cato the Elder’s Roman Remedies: Cabbage, Wine, and Magic
  • 32. Pliny the Elder’s Homespun Medicine: Remedies Derived from Wool
  • 33. Popular Medicine in Verse: The Liber medicinalis


  • 34. Oribasius: A Galenic Diet in the Later Roman Empire
  • 35. Anthimus to King Theodoric, On the Observance of Diet
  • 36. An Early Medieval Primer in Ancient Medicine by St. Isidore of Seville
  • 37. Medicine of Pliny for the Informed Traveler
  • 38. The Herbarius of Apuleius Platonicus
  • 39. Marcellus and His Empirical Handbook of Medicines
  • 40. The Drug Theory of Paul of Aegina


  • Monotheism and Medicine 121
    • 41. The Oath of Asaph, a Jewish Physician’s Oath
    • 42. A Christianized Hippocratic Oath
    • 43. Medicine and Diet in the Rule of St. Benedict
    • 44. Roman Doctors as Christian Saints: Cosmas and Damian
    • 45. Islamic Medicine of the Prophet: Sunan Abu Dawud
  • Early Medieval Responses to Plague and Pestilence
    • 46. Evagrius Scholasticus on the Plague of Justinian
    • 47. Gregory of Tours on Epidemic Disease and the Sickness of Kings
    • 48. A Votive Mass against Pestilence
  • Old English Medicine: Superstition or Empiricism?
    • 49. The Nine Herbs Charm, from the Old English Lacnunga
    • 50. Bald’s Leechbook: Herbal Remedies for Eye Problems
    • 51. Medical Prognostics in Anglo-Saxon England


  • 52. Hunayn ibn Ishaq’s Introduction to Rational Medicine
  • 53. Avicenna, The Canon of Medicine
  • 54. Avicenna on Prognosis through Urine
  • 55. Maimonides and Galen on the Meaning of the Pulse
  • 56. Al-Rāzī, Case Studies in the Spirit of Hippocrates
  • 57. Usamah ibn Munqidh: A Muslim View of Frankish Medicine
  • 58. Al-Rāzī on Diagnosis and Treatment for Smallpox and Measles
  • 59. Pilgrim Medicine: Qustā ibn Lūqā on “The Little Dragon of Medina”
  • 60. Ancient Greeks in Later Medieval Prophetic Medicine: ‘Al-Tibb al-Nabawī


  • Humors, Complexion, and Uroscopy
    • 61. A Clever Duke and a Cleverer Physician in Tenth-Century Europe
    • 62. Constantine the African, Pantegni: Understanding Complexion
    • 63. Simplified Humoral Medicine in Verse: The Salernitan Regimen of Health
    • 64. A Medieval Urine Wheel
    • 65. Constantine the African with a Urine Glass
  • Explaining Diseases
    • 66. Diagnosing Lovesickness: Constantine the African’s Medicalized Emotions
    • 67. Platearius on Leprosy in Theory and Practice
    • 68. Guy de Chauliac’s Personal Experience with the Black Death
  • Observation and Authority
    • 69. Trota of Salerno as a Medical Master
    • 70. Medical Education in High Medieval Europe (Three Accounts)
    • 71. Licenses for Male and Female Surgeons in Medieval Naples
    • 72. A Woman Physician on Trial in Medieval Paris, 1322


  • Herbalism and Pharmacology
    • 73. Macer Floridus, On the Virtues of Herbs
    • 74. Henry of Huntingdon, Herbalism in The English Garden
    • 75. Matthaeus Platearius: Rationalizing Simple and Compound Medicines
  • Arabic and Latin Surgery
    • 76. Learned Surgery: Albucasis on the Treatment of Cataracts
    • 77. Applying Medical Theory to Wound Treatment: Guy de Chauliac
    • 78. Training and Decorum for the Learned Surgeon
  • Medieval Obstetrics and Gynecology
    • 79. Anatomy of the Uterus, Learned from a Pig
    • 80. A Brief Medieval Guide to Uroscopy of Women
    • 81. Contraceptives in the Canon of Avicenna
    • 82. St. Hildegard of Bingen: A Moralized Explanation of Menstruation
    • 83. Trotula: Treating Retention of the Period in Medieval Italy
    • 84. A Medieval Hebrew Treatise on Difficult Births


  • 85. A Doctor and a Saint in Early Salerno
  • 86. The Life of St. Milburga: Physicians and Saints, Healing Together?
  • 87. Doctors and Miracles in the Canonization of Lady Delphine
  • 88. Medieval Jewish Magical Medicine
  • 89. Medieval Christian Healing Charms
  • 90. John Arderne, Astrological Instructions for the Surgeon
  • 91. Astrological Bloodletting Man

Glossary and Index of Key Terms
Further Reading
Permissions Acknowledgements

More info on the editor website

CFP – Leeds 2020 – (Un)bound Bodies: New Approaches

(Un)bound Bodies: New Approaches (Les corps (non)liés)

Leeds IMC | 6th-9th July 2020
For decades, bodies have been a central framework for historical inquiries. No matter how much we try to distance ourselves from them, bodies remain at the centre and borders of scholarship. Medieval bodies were fluid and contradictory loci: bound and unbound, contained yet susceptible to a host of external physical and invisible forces. Bodily boundaries were paradoxically sharp, debated, and real, yet also fluid, permeable and imaginary.
This new strand at IMC 2020 seeks to investigate these ‘real’ and ‘imaginary’ borders of the body and to complicate and critique existing narratives of ‘bound bodies’. As such, this strand is intentionally broad in its scope and embraces innovative and interdisciplinary approaches that push back, and go beyond, established methodologies. 
What? Twenty-minute papers; interest in a roundtable discussion also welcome
Who? Scholars from all career stages, eras and geographies. ECR and Queer approaches are particularly welcome. 
Suggested topics include (but are not limited to): 
· Un-binding scholarship: innovative approaches to bodies
· Bodily layers: ligaments, nerves, blood, bone, flesh, clothing
· Bodies and the cosmos: healing, magical influences, microcosm/macrocosm
· Bodies in flux: sensory experience, synaesthesia, bodily passions and emotions, cross dressing
· Bodily interactions: homosociality, sexuality, movement, legal systems
Please send titles and abstracts (maximum 250 words) together with a short biography and institutional affiliation (where relevant) to Jack Ford ( or Lauren Rozenberg ( 15th September.
Please also see the attached file for the CfP poster. Anyone applying will have to bear in mind that they will need to be registered to attend the IMC and unfortunately, as a new strand, we cannot cover any registration fees or transportation costs. Further information about the IMC can be found here:

Conference – Experiences of Dis/ability from the Late Middle Ages to the Mid-Twentieth Century 22 – 23 August 2019, Tampere University, Finland

Please download the updated conference programme in PDF format here.

Abstracts in alphabetical order can be downloaded here.



Location: Linna building (address: Kalevantie 5), ground floor: lecture halls K103 & K109

(Kalevantie street entrance: one floor down; Pinninkatu street entrance: lecture halls on the entrance floor to the left)


15.15 Coffee and registration – Linna building: ground floor
15.45 Welcome – Lecture hall K103
16.00 Keynote I: David Lederer: Miracle Books as Sources of Early Modern Experiences of Disabilities – Lecture hall K103   Chair: Sari Katajala-Peltomaa
17.00-19.00 Sessions I (2 sessions)
1A Disabled lives I Chair: Hanna Lindberg – Lecture hall K103

Corinne Ball: Fringe dwellers – Experiences of Disability at South Australia’s Destitute Asylum

Kirsi Tuohela: Mental Disability in the 1930s Finland, The Case of Aino Manner (1893-1956)

Marcin Stasiak: “Look! He is a Cripple, But He Can Climb Trees!” Childhood in Life Stories of People with Polio-Related Impairments – Polish Case

1B Revisiting concepts and conceptions  Chair: David Lederer – Lecture hall K109

Adleen Crapo: Choosing Their Words Carefully: Lexicography to Explore Early Modern Experiences of Disability

Patrick McDonagh: Romantic Ideology and the Conceptualization of Idiocy

Simon Jarrett: Myths of Marginality: Locating the Idiot in the Eighteenth Century

Mari Eyice: The Outer Periphery of Empathy – Disability and Emotional Practices in Early Modern Sweden

ca. 19.00-21.00 Evening get-together (Tampere University main building: café-lounge Toivo, address: Kalevantie 4, 2nd floor)

THURSDAY 22 August

9.00 Coffee and registration – Linna building: ground floor
9.30 Keynote II: Donna Trembinski: Disability, Trauma and Conversion in the Lives of Early Franciscan Saints – Lecture hall K103 Chair: Riikka Miettinen
10.30-12.30 Sessions II
2A Religious practice and experiences

Chair: Raisa Toivo – Lecture hall K103

Annette Volfing: Linguistic Impairment and Mystical Status – The Revelations of Margaretha Ebner

Ninon Dubourg: Religiosity and Disability in the Papal Letters (13th and 14th Centuries)

Michael Riordan: Blind Devotion: Sight-Loss and Religion in Early Modern Britain

Sari Katajala-Peltomaa: (Dis)abling Practices: Saints, Demons and Maniacs in the Late Middle Ages

2B Representations     Chair: Daniel Blackie – Lecture hall K109

Virginia Langum: “Tried to make you something you’re not”: Disability History and Historical Fiction

Sara Scalenghe: Visual Representations of Disability in the Late Ottoman Empire

Arndís Bergsdóttir: Mining for Dis/abled Lives in Museum Archives and Coming up with Unruly Matters of Absence

12.30-13.45 Lunch (Restaurant Aleksis, address: Kalevantie 2)
13.45-14.45 Session III: Doing disability history I  Chair: Pertti Haapala – Lecture hall K103

Lotta Vikström: Disability and Partnership in Sweden from Past to Present

Nele Reyniers & Pieter Verstraete: Rethinking ‘Experience’ in the History of Children with Mental Disability

15.00-17.00 Sessions IV    
4A Military and veterans I   Chair: Tuomas Laine-Frigren – Lecture hall K103

Geoffrey L. Hudson: Gender, Social Negotiation & Disabled Ex-servicemen in England, 1600–1800

Anthony Farrell: Disabled veterans of the First World War in Ireland and the Irish Free State 1914 to 1945

Virva Liski: Mental Disability among Veterans of the Finnish Civil War in 1918–1939

4B Disability and legal cultures Chair: Raisa Toivo – Lecture hall K109

Ashley Elrod: Debating Incompetence: Law and the Lived Experience of Disability in Early Modern Germany

Lola Digard: Alleviate and Compensate: The Office des Paiseurs in the County of Flanders in the late Middle Ages

Hanna Bjorg Sigurjonsdottir: Disability, Punishments and Poverty in Iceland (1500–1800)

Jenni Kuuliala & Riikka Miettinen: Searching for Experiences in Late Medieval and Early Modern Legal Documents

17.00 Coffee
17.15-18.45 Sessions V    
5A Military and veterans II Chair: Ville Kivimäki – Lecture hall K103

Catherine Beck: Unserviceable, Being Insane: Mental Disability and Difference in the Eighteenth-Century British Navy

Tuomas Laine-Frigren: Adjusting Emotions. Psychosocial Rehabilitation of Finnish Brain-injured Soldiers in the 1940s-1950s

Tom Probert: ‘[A]n adventure into mental illness’: Psychiatry and Stigma during Britain’s postwar period of decolonisation

5B Disabled lives II      Chair: Hanna Lindberg – Lecture hall K109

Stan Booth: Richard Steele: A Life Well Lived

Chris Mounsey: Documenting the Life of Thomas Gills, Blind Man of St Edmundsbury

Sólveig Ólafsdóttir: The Shelter from the Storm

20.00- Conference dinner for speakers (Restaurant Tampella, address: Kelloportinkatu 1)


FRIDAY 23 August

9.30-11.30 Sessions VI    
6A Disabilities in the Middle Ages I Chair: Jenni Kuuliala – Lecture hall K103

Oana Maria Cojocaru: Disabled Children and their (In)visible Experiences in Byzantium

Heidi Russenberger: Disability, Bodies, and Identities in Fourteenth Century Canonisation Inquests

Catriona McKenzie & Eileen M. Murphy: Considering Care: Flexion Deformities in the Gaelic Medieval Population of Ballyhanna, Co. Donegal, Ireland

Elin Ahlin-Sundman: The Perfect Body: A Case Study of Clerical Masculinities and Male Bodies in Late Medieval Iceland

6B The disabled and the state in the 20th century Chair: Pirjo Markkola – Lecture hall K109

Anna Derksen: The Nordic Disability Movements and Experiences of Charity and Welfare in the Mid-20th Century

Rabia Belt: Disabling Democracy in America: Disability, Citizenship, Suffrage and the Law, 1819–1920

Radu-Harald Dinu: Disability under Communism in Eastern Europe. What we know and what we don’t know

11.30-12.30 Keynote III: David Turner: Disability and Political Activism in the British Industrial Revolution – Lecture hall K103   Chair: Pertti Haapala
12.30-13.45 Lunch (Restaurant Aleksis, address: Kalevantie 2)
13.45-15.15 Sessions VII  
7A Disabilities in the Middle Ages II     Chair: Donna Trembinski – Lecture hall K103

Haraldur Þór Hammer Haraldsson: Lived Lives of the Different Bodied Dead

Christopher Crocker: Disability and Dreams in the Medieval Icelandic Sagas

Eva Thórdís Ebenezersdóttir: Differently Human or Simply Supernatural


7B Human rights     Chair: Ville Kivimäki – Lecture hall K109

Klaudia Muca: Between Two Wars. Experience of Disability in 1918–1939 in Poland

Maija Koivisto: Eugenic, Deaf Women, Marriage Law, Sterilization and Abortions in Finland 1929–1969

Hanna Lindberg: Being a Minority within a Minority. The Case of the Finland-Swedish Deaf in the mid-20th Century

15.15-16.15 Session VIII: Doing disability history II      Chair: David Turner – Lecture hall K103

Shawn M. Phillips: A Comparison of Home and Institutional Care in the US (1850–1950): Osteobiography as a Method to Recover the Dependent and Disabled Experience

Cora Šalkovskis: Speaking of without speaking for: Anonymity, Ethics, the Dead, and the Psychiatric Historian


ca. 16.15- Closing & coffee

 Conference website:

CFP – Leeds IMC 2020 – ‘Minority and Marginalised Experiences’, organised by An Australasian Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies


Recent scholarship has begun to acknowledge that the focus of Medieval and Early Modern Studies has long been on the elite, male, western European experience. New movements in academia are addressing this imbalance, acknowledging that women, ethnic minorities, and other marginalised groups contributed richly to the fabric of medieval and early modern life. Ceræ aims to join this shift in focus to the experiences of minority groups, marginalised peoples, and life in non-western territories with a conference session at IMC Leeds 2020.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Experiences of minority or marginalised groups
  • Writings by minority or marginalised groups
  • Literary depictions of minority or marginalised groups
  • The effacement of minority or marginalised groups
  • Marginalia
  • Experiences on the transition of a border or landscape
  • The law of minority and marginalised groups
  • Minority and marginalised cultures, beliefs, and celebrations
  • Experiences of disability and physical and mental illness

Ceræ invites submissions encompassing all aspects of the late classical, medieval, and early modern world. There are no geographical restrictions. As an interdisciplinary journal, Ceræ encourages submissions across the fields of archaeology, art history, historical ecology, literature, linguistics,  intellectual history, musicology, politics, social studies, and beyond.

Abstracts of 250 words should be sent to by 1st September 2019.

Attendees are responsible for all fees and costs associated with attending the IMC, and for registering for the congress.

For further enquiries contact our Editor:; or get in touch via Facebook ( or Twitter (@CeraeJournal).

CFP – The Senses in Medieval and Renaissance Europe: Hearing and Auditory Perception – Trinity College Dublin 24-25 April 2020


The Senses in Medieval and Renaissance Europe: Hearing and Auditory Perception

Trinity College Dublin

24-25 April 2020

Proposals for papers are invited for a conference on The Senses in Medieval and Renaissance Europe: Hearing and Auditory Perception, which aims to provide an international and interdisciplinary forum for researchers with an interest in the history of the senses in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.


Keynote Speaker:

Professor David Hendy, University of Sussex

Echoes on the Air: How Modern Media Evoke and Dramatize
the Sounds of the Distant Past

The history of the senses is a rapidly expanding field of research. Pioneered in Early Modern and Modern Studies, it is now attracting attention also from Medieval and Renaissance specialists. Preoccupation with the human senses and with divine control over them is evident in a range of narrative texts, scientific treatises, creative literature, as well as the visual arts and music from the pre-modern period. This conference – the second in a series devoted to the five senses – aims to contribute to this expansion by bringing together leading researchers to exchange ideas and approaches.

The conference organisers have signed a five-book contract with Brepols which is based on the theme: ‘The Senses in Medieval and Renaissance Europe’. The proceedings of our 2016 conference, ‘Sight and Visual Perception’, held in University College Dublin, edited by Ann Buckley and Edward Coleman, are due for publication in 2020.

We invite proposals from the full range of disciplines including (but not limited to) history, archaeology, musicology, art history, architecture, literary studies, acoustics, astronomy, physics, medicine. Contributions from established and early-career scholars as well as postgraduates are all equally welcome.

Suggested topics include (but are not limited to):

  • humanly organised sound
  • music (social and religious ritual; art, leisure)
  • musica et scientia
  • sound and social meaning
  • sound and the emotions
  • sound and healing
  • sound and the body
  • soundscapes
  • sound and nature
  • sound and the regulation of time
  • sound and religious experience
  • deafness and its consequences
  • hearing and medicine
  • exploring the physics of sound in the middle ages and renaissance

Titles and abstracts (maximum 300 words) together with a short biography, institutional affiliation (where relevant), and contact details should be sent to by 1 December 2019. Proposals for panels are also encouraged.

Registration fee €40 (Students and other concessions: €25)

Click here to download Conference Poster.



Welcome Pack

Organizing Committee:
Dr Ann Buckley (Trinity College Dublin)
Dr Edward Coleman (University College Dublin)
Dr Carrie Griffin (University of Limerick)
Dr Emer Purcell (National University of Ireland)

Forum for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Ireland (FMRSI)

Facebook: Twitter: @FMRSI