New Book – Cultures of Healing. Medieval and After – Peregrine Horden by Routledge

This volume brings together for the first time an updated collection of articles exploring poverty, poor relief, illness, and health care as they intersected in Western Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East, during a ‘long’ Middle Ages. It offers a thorough and wide-ranging investigation into the institution of the hospital and the development of medicine and charity, with focuses on the history of music therapy and the history of ideas and perceptions fundamental to psychoanalysis. 

The collection is both sequel and complement to Horden’s earlier volume of collected studies, Hospitals and Healing from Antiquity to the Later Middle Ages (2008). It will be welcomed by all those interested in the premodern history of healing and welfare for its breadth of scope and scholarly depth.

Table of Contents



  1. The World of the Hospital: Comparisons and Continuities
  2. Poverty, Charity, and the Invention of the HospitalThe Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity, ed. Scott Fitzgerald Johnson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 715-43
  3. The Earliest Hospitals in Byzantium, Western Europe, and IslamJournal of Interdisciplinary History, special issue ed. Mark Cohen, ‘Poverty and Charity: Judaism, Christianity, Islam’, 35:3 (2005), pp. 361–89
  4. Sickness and Healing [in the Christian World, 600–1100]The Cambridge History of Christianity, vol. 3: Early Medieval Christianities, c.600–c.1100,eds. Thomas F. X. Noble and Julia M. H. Smith (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), pp. 416–32
  5. The Late Antique Origins of the Lunatic Asylum?Transformations of Late Antiquity: Essays for Peter Brown, eds. Philip Rousseau and Emmanuel Papoutsakis (Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2009), pp. 259–78
  6. The Sick Family in the Early Middle Ages: The Evidence of Gregory of Tours, not previously published
  7. What’s Wrong with Early Medieval Medicine?Social History of Medicine, 24 (2011), pp. 5–25
  8. Cities within Cities: Early Hospital Foundations and Urban SpaceStiftungen zwischen Politik und Wirtschaft. Ein Dialog zwischen Geschichte und Gegenwart. Ed. Sitta von Reden, Historische Zeitschrift Beiheft No. 65 (München: De Gruyter Oldenbourg, 2015), pp. 157–75
  9. Alms and the Man: Hospital Founders in ByzantiumThe Impact of Hospitals 300–2000, eds. John Henderson, Peregrine Horden, and Alessandro Pastore (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2007), 59–76
  10. The Uses of Medical ManuscriptsMedical Books in the Byzantine World, ed. Barbara Zipser, Eikasmós: Quaderni Bolognesi di Filologia Classica, Studi Online 2 (Bologna, 2013),, pp. 1–6
  11. Medieval Hospital Formularies: Byzantium and Islam ComparedMedical Books in the Byzantine World, ed. Barbara Zipser, Eikasmós: Quaderni Bolognesi di Filologia Classica, Studi Online 2 (Bologna, 2013),, pp. 145–64
  12. A Context for Simon of Genoa’s Medical Dictionary (Clavis sanationis): Medicine at the Papal Court in the Later Middle AgesSimon of Genoa’s Medical Lexicon, ed. Barbara Zipser (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2013),, pp. 15–29
  13. Small Beer? The Parish and the Poor and Sick in the Later Medieval EnglandThe Parish in Late Medieval England, eds. Clive Burgess and Eamon Duffy Harlaxton Medieval Studies 14 (Donington: Shaun Tyas, 2006), pp. 339–64
  14. Musical Solutions: Past and Present in Music TherapyMusic as Medicine: The History of Music Therapy since Antiquity, ed. Peregrine Horden (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000), pp. 4–40
  15. Paracelsus: Renaissance Music Therapy and its AlternativeMusic as Medicine: The History of Music Therapy since Antiquity, ed. Peregrine Horden (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000), pp. 147–53
  16. Aspects of Music Therapy in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: Romanticism, the USA, Mesmerism, TheosophyMusic as Medicine: The History of Music Therapy since Antiquity, ed. Peregrine Horden (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000), pp. 315–37
  17. The Prehistory of Infant Sexualitynot previously published
  18. Thoughts of FreudFreud and the Humanities, ed. Peregrine Horden (London: Duckworth; Bristol Classical Press, 1985), pp. 1–25
  19. PandaemoniumDemons and Illness from Antiquity to the Early-Modern Period, eds. Siam Bhayro and Catherine Rider (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2017), pp. 412–18

About the Author

Peregrine Horden is Professor of Medieval History at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is co-author, with Nicholas Purcell, of The Corrupting Sea (2000) and of both its forthcoming successor and a collection of supplementary studies entitled The Boundless Sea. He is also writing a global history of hospitals.

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New Book – Medieval Disability Sourcebook – edited by Cameron Hunt McNabb – Punctum Books – 2019

Contributors Danielle AllorMaura BaileyLucy BarnhouseAutumn BattistaPaul A. BroylesEliza BuhrerM.W. BychowskiKaren M. CookAshley CorlissLeigh Ann CraigEmma E. DuncanWill EggersHeide EstesJoshua R. EylerMoira FitzgibbonsAnne GalanaudPierre GalanaudRachael GillibrandEammon GosselinBrandon W. HawkÁrmann JakobssonKolfinna JónatansdóttirAnne M. KoenigRebecca LaughlinKara Larson MaloneyMandy Lowell AlbertCameron Hunt McNabbSara MollerFrank M. NapolitanoSarah Edwards ObenaufLeah Pope ParkerTory V. PearmanAlicia ProtzeAlison PurnellWill RogersMarit RonenRose A. SawyerJulie SingerKisha G. TracyKurt SchreyerShayne SimahkTaylor SpeckerAlyssa StantonJeffery G. StoyanoffKellyn Welch

The field of disability studies significantly contributes to contemporary discussions of the marginalization of and social justice for individuals with disabilities. However, what of disability in the past? The Medieval Disability Sourcebook explores what medieval texts have to say about disability, both in their own time and for the present.

This interdisciplinary volume combines historical records, medical texts, and religious accounts of saints’ lives and miracles, as well as poetry, prose, drama, and manuscript images to demonstrate the varied and complicated attitudes medieval societies had about disability. Far from recording any monolithic understanding of disability in the Middle Ages, these contributions present a striking range of voices—to, from, and about those with disabilities—and such diversity only confirms how disability permeated (and permeates) every aspect of life.

The Medieval Disability Sourcebook is designed for use inside the undergraduate or graduate classroom or by scholars interested in learning more about the field. Most texts are presented in modern English, though some are preserved in Middle English and many are given in side-by-side translations for greater study. Each entry is prefaced with an academic introduction to disability within the text as well as a bibliography for further study.


I) Introduction

By Cameron Hunt McNabb

II) Historical and Medical Documents

  • York Cause Paper E.92: Redyng c. Boton By Alison Purnell
  • Mental Competency Inquisitions from Medieval England By Eliza Buhrer
  • Nuremberg Town Records: Select Entries Pertaining to the Mad and Intellectually Disabled By Anne M. Koenig
  • Tax Relief Requests from Medieval Dijon By Anne Galanaud and Pierre Galanaud
  • Examining for Leprosy in the Fifteenth Century By Lucy Barnhouse Arzneibuch, “On Madness,” Ortolf of Baierland By Anne M. Koenig

III) Religious Texts

Biblical Excerpts

  • Selected Episodes on Healing and Disability from the Vulgate Bible – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John By Will Eggers
  • Miracles in Apocryphal Infancy Narratives By Brandon W. Hawk

Biblical Commentary

  • Catholic Homilies 1.10, Ælfric of Eynsham By Brandon W. Hawk
  • The City of God against the Pagans, Augustine of Hippo By Leah Pope Parker

Miracle Accounts

  • A Miracle of Thomas Becket: De puero syntectino (Concerning a boy suffering from a wasting disease), William of Canterbury By Rose A. Sawyer
  • Njáls Saga By Kolfinna Jónatansdóttir
  • The Life and Passion of William of Norwich, Thomas of Monmouth By Sarah Edwards
  • Obenauf Testimony from the Canonization Proceedings of Charles of Blois By Leigh Ann Craig
  • On the Miracle of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Bernard Gui By Leigh Ann Craig

Saints’ Vitae

  • The Prose Life of Cuthbert, Bede By Marit Ronen
  • The Life of St. Margaret of Antioch By Leah Pope Parker
  • Life of Mary of Oegines By Kisha G. Tracy and Alicia Protze

IV) Poetry

  • Bisclavret, Marie de France By Kisha G. Tracy
  • The Book of Hope, Alain Chartier By Julie Singer

The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer

  • The Merchant’s Tale By Moira Fitzgibbons
  • The Man of Law’s Prologue and Tale By Paul A. Broyles
  • The Wife of Bath’s Portrait, Prologue, and Tale By Tory V. Pearman
  • Dame Sirith By Danielle Allor
  • Tale of Constance, John Gower By Will Rogers
  • Complaint, Thomas Hoccleve By Will Rogers
  • Sir Orfeo By Joshua R. Eyler and Emma E. Duncan

V) Prose

  • The Book of Margery Kempe By M. W. Bychowski

Ecclesiastical History, Bede

  • Menstruation, Infirmity, Religious Observance, and The Miracles of King Oswald By Heide Estes
  • Physical Disability, Muteness, Pregnancy, Possession, and Alcoholism By Maura Bailey, Autumn Battista, Ashley Corliss, Eammon Gosselin, Rebecca Laughlin, Sara Moller, Shayne Simahk, Taylor Specker, Alyssa Stanton, Kellyn Welch, and Kisha G. Tracy
  • The Lancelot-Grail Cycle Evadeam, the Dwarf Knight By Kara Larson Maloney
  • Morkinskinna By Ármann Jakobsson
  • Heimskringla, Snorri Sturluson Ólafs saga helga By Ármann Jakobsson
  • The Prose Edda, Snorri Sturluson By Kolfinna Jónatansdóttir

VI) Drama

The Chester Cycle

  • Cure of the Blind Man By Kurt Schreyer
  • Christ and the Leper By Kurt Schreyer
  • The York Cycle Entry into Jerusalem By Frank M. Napolitano
  • The N-Town Plays The Nativity By Jeffery G. Stoyanoff
  • Croxton Play of the Sacrament By Cameron Hunt McNabb Lippijn By Mandy Lowell Albert

VII) Images

  • The Smithfield Decretals By Rachael Gillibrand
  • Visible and Invisible Impairments in Images of Medieval Musicians By Karen M. Cook


Cameron Hunt McNabb is Assoc. Professor of English at Southeastern University. Her primary research interests include disability studies and early drama, and she has published in numerous journals, including Early Theatre, Neophilologus, Studies in Philology, and Pedagogy. Her chapter “Staging Disability in Medieval Drama” is forthcoming in the Ashgate Research Companion to Medieval Disability Studies (Routledge, 2018). She is a strong advocate for undergraduate research, and she and her students have contributed two entries to the Medieval Disability Glossary.

CFP – “Visualizing the Other in the Late Medieval and Early Modern Art (1300–1550)”: 14 –16 November 2019, Ostrava, Czech Republic

The University of Ostrovo and the Vivarium – Centre for Research of the Medieval Society and Culture invites art historians, historians, philosophers and cultural anthropologists to participate in the international conference Visualizing the Other in the Late Medieval and Early Modern Art (1300-1550).

As Medieval Europe was ethnically and religiously diverse, we seek papers exploring the artistic, architectural, and linguistic evidence for the social, cultural, and politcal integration of ethnically and religiously diverse communites.

The aim of the meeting is to stimulate on academic dialogue on the percept on and ex­pression of otherness / other in the late Middle Ages and Early Modern Europe, considering its social, religious and ethnie diversity interactions, coexistence, but also delimitation as means of self-definition and protection.

Nevertheless, the late medievol visualization of the other works with usual stereotypes and cultural images when “the other” is understood as potentially dongerous, transgressing norms and order, and thus negative. Yet the dialogue between them, and us between inclusion and exclusion reveals important relations in the structure of late medieval society.

The perception of the other in medieval art, mentality and culture needs to be discussed and treated as a dynamic intellectual and socio-cultural process (“the process of othering”) in a multi-disciplinary format ranging from texts and image- text schemes to images and fine arts. The following questions can be discussed:

On which occasion was “the other presented as a positive enrichment, was diversity understood as God’s inscrutable, but no doubt wise creation? On which occasion was it understood as potentially dangerous, transgressing norms and order, and thus as negative power? How the late medieval visualization of “the other” worked? How the stereotypes of the good as beauty vs. evil as ugly monstrosity and deformity, e.g. depictions of members of “other” religious communities (Roman Catholic Christians vs. reformers, Jews, Muslims), women, and people “on the edge” has been produced and used?


  • Visualizing the religious otherness (visual and textual sources)
  • Ethnic, regional and racial diversity and its reception in visual culture
  • Gender and sexuality as distancing strategies
  • Monstrosity and deformity as a visual expression of otherness
  • Evidence of social transgressions, breaking norms and rules
  • Medieval theory of perception of the other
  • Otherness in profane visual culture and marginal iconography
  • Animals used as exempt for sin, transgression and malevolent behavior
  • Exotic, oriental, and other distant places as a source of otherness
  • The other understanding of the world: naturel sciences and metaphysics
  • The other in Latin world as participants of prosperity
  • Conversion and consequences in the science and culture of central European Christians

The conference will take place from the 14th to 16th November 2019 at Ostrava University, Czech Republic.

We welcome submissions for 20- minute oral presentations. Please, send your proposed title and an abstract of 300 words of maximum length with your name, contact and institution details to Daniela Rywikovà ( by 20th July 2019.


Prof. Waldemar Delugo (University of Ostrava)

Dr Jan Dienstbier (Czech Acodemy of Science)

Dr Teresa Poe (University of central Oklahoma)

Dr Daniela Rywikovà (University of Ostrava)

Dr Maria Theisen (Austrian Academy of Science)

New book – A Cultural History of Bathing in Late Antiquity and Early Byzantium by Michal Zytka, ed. Routledge

This book discusses social, religious and medical attitudes towards bathing in Late Antiquity. It examines the place of bathing in late Roman and early Byzantine society as seen in the literary, historical, and documentary sources from the late antique period. 

The author argues that bathing became one of the most important elements in defining what it meant to be a Roman; indeed, the social and cultural value of bathing in the context of late Roman society more than justified the efforts and expense put into preserving bathing establishments and the associated culture. 

The book contributes a unique perspective to understanding the changes and transformations undergone by the bathing culture of the day, and illustrates the important role played by this culture in contributing to the transitional character of the late antique period. In his examination of the attitudes of medical professionals and laymen alike, and the focus on its recuperative utility, Zytka provides an innovative and detailed approach to bathing.

Table of Contents

  • List of Figures
  • Abbreviations
  • Introduction
  • 1: Baths and Roman society
  • 2: Baths, bathing and religion
  • 3: Bathing in medicine
  • 4: Final conclusions
  • Appendix
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Michal Zytka, having obtained his MA at Lódz University, Poland, continued his research career at Cardiff University where he completed his doctoral thesis. Following a period of freelance editorial and translation work, he is now also pursuing a career in the Civil Service. He is a co-translator and the English language editor of Cereals of Antiquity and early Byzantine times: Wheat and Barley in medical sources (second to seventh century AD), published in the Byzantine Lodziensia series, Lódz 2014, and of the forthcoming The Bulgarian State in 927–969: The Epoch of Tsar Peter I.

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New book – Old Age in Early Medieval England A Cultural History by Thijs Porck ed. by Boydell and Brewer

First full-length study of the notion and concept of old age in early medieval England.

How did Anglo-Saxons reflect on the experience of growing old? Was it really a golden age for the elderly, as has been suggested? This first full survey of the Anglo-Saxon cultural conceptualisation of old age, as manifested and reflected in the texts and artwork of the inhabitants of early medieval England, presents a more nuanced and complicated picture. The author argues that although senescence was associated with the potential for wisdom and pious living, the Anglo-Saxons also anticipated various social, psychological and physical repercussions of growing old. Their attitude towards elderly men and women – whether they were saints, warriors or kings – was equally ambivalent.
Multidisciplinary in approach, this book makes use of a wide variety of sources, ranging from the visual arts to hagiography, homiletic literature and heroic poetry. Individual chapters deal with early medieval definitions of the life cycle; the merits and drawbacks of old age as represented in Anglo-Saxon homilies and wisdom poetry; the hagiographic topos of elderly saints; the portrayal of grey-haired warriors in heroic literature; Beowulf as a mirror for elderly kings; and the cultural roles attributed to old women.

Table of contents:

Definitions of old age
Merits of old age
Drawbacks of old age
frode fyrnwitan: Old saints in Anglo-Saxon hagiography
hare hilderincas: Old warriors in Anglo-Saxon England
ealde eðelweardas: Beowulf as a mirror of elderly kings
gamole geomeowlan: Old women in Anglo-Saxon England

THIJS PORCK is Assistant Professor of Medieval English, Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society, Leiden University. 

An e-book version of this title is available (9781787444690), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.

Keywords: Anglo-Saxon StudiesMedieval HistoryMedieval Literature

More info on the editor’s website