Wounds were a potent signifier reaching across all aspects of life in Europe in the middle ages, and their representation, perception and treatment is the focus of this volume. Following a survey of the history of medical wound treatment in the middle ages, paired chapters explore key themes situating wounds within the context of religious belief, writing on medicine, status and identity, and surgical practice. The final chapter reviews the history of medieval wounding through the modern imagination. Adopting an innovative approach to the subject, this book will appeal to all those interested in how past societies regarded health, disease and healing and will improve knowledge of not only the practice of medicine in the past, but also of the ethical, religious and cultural dimensions structuring that practice.
Contents: Introduction: wounds in the Middle Ages, Anne Kirkham and Cordelia Warr; Part I A Medical Overview: The management of military wounds in the Middle Ages, Jon Clasper. Part II Miraculous Wounds and Miraculous Healing: Changing stigmata, Cordelia Warr; Miracle and medicine: conceptions of medical knowledge and practice in thirteenth-century miracle accounts, Louise Elizabeth Wilson. Part III The Broken Body and the Broken Soul: The solution of continuous things: wounds in late medieval medicine and surgery, Karine van't Land; Medicine for the wounded soul, M.K.K. Yearl. Part IV Wounds as Signifiers for Romance Man and Civil Man: Christ's wounds and the birth of romance, Hannah Priest; Wounding in the high Middle Ages: law and practice, Jenny Benham. Part V Wound Surgery in the Fourteenth Century: Medicines for surgical practice in fourteenth-century England: the judgement against John le Spicer, Ian Naylor; The medical crossbow from Jan Yperman to Isaack Koedijck, Maria Patijn. Part VI The Modern Imagination: The bright side of the knife: dismemberment in medieval Europe and the modern imagination, Lila Yawn. Index.