Wounds and Wound Repair in Medieval Culture


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The spectacle of the wounded body figured prominently in the Middle Ages, from images of Christ’s wounds on the cross, to the ripped and torn bodies of tortured saints who miraculously heal through divine intervention, to graphic accounts of battlefield and tournament wounds—evidence of which survives in the archaeological record—and literary episodes of fatal (or not so fatal) wounds. This volume offers a comprehensive look at the complexity of wounding and wound repair in medieval literature and culture, bringing together essays from a wide range of sources and disciplines including arms and armaments, military history, medical history, literature, art history, hagiography, and archaeology across medieval and early modern Europe.
Contributors are Stephen Atkinson, Debby Banham, Albrecht Classen, Joshua Easterling, Charlene M. Eska, Carmel Ferragud, M.R. Geldof, Elina Gertsman, Barbara A. Goodman, Máire Johnson, Rachel E. Kellett, Ilana Krug, Virginia Langum, Michael Livingston, Iain A. MacInnes, Timothy May, Vibeke Olson, Salvador Ryan, William Sayers, Patricia Skinner, Alicia Spencer-Hall, Wendy J. Turner, Christine Voth, and Robert C. Woosnam-Savage.

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Larissa Tracy, Ph.D. (2000), Trinity College, Dublin, is Associate Professor of medieval literature at Longwood University. She has published widely on violence in medieval literature and culture, including Torture and Brutality in Medieval Literature (D.S. Brewer, 2012) and, with Jeff Massey, Heads Will Roll: Decapitation in the Medieval and Early Modern Imagination (Brill, 2012). She is also the series editor for Explorations in Medieval Culture (Brill), and the editor of Eolas.
Kelly DeVries, Ph.D. (1987), University of Toronto, is Professor of history at Loyola University Maryland and Honorary Historical Consultant for the Royal Armouries, UK. He has published widely, including Medieval Military Technology (2nd ed., University of Toronto Press), Rhodes Besieged (History Press, 2011); Medieval Weapons (ABC-CLIO, 2007), among others — and has appeared on PBS, History, History International, Military History, and National Geographic Channels.
Acknowledgements ix
List of Figures and Tables xi
List of Abbreviations xiii
List of Contributors xvi xxiv
Introduction: Penetrating Medieval Wounds 1
Larissa Tracy and Kelly DeVries
Part 1
The Physicality of Wounds
Section 1
Archeology and Material Culture
1 Battle Trauma in Medieval Warfare: Wounds, Weapons and
Armor 27
Robert C. Woosnam-Savage and Kelly DeVries
2 “And to describe the shapes of the dead”: Making Sense of the
Archaeology of Armed Violence 57
M.R. Geldof
3 Visible Prowess?: Reading Men’s Head and Face Wounds in Early
Medieval Europe to 1000 CE 81
Patricia Skinner
4 Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes: Injury and Death in Anglo-Scottish
Combat, c. 1296–c.1403 102
Iain A. MacInnes
5 “…Vnnd schüß im vnder dem schwert den ort lang ein zů der brust”:
The Placement and Consequences of Sword-blows in Sigmund
Ringeck’s Fifteenth-Century Fencing Manual 128
Rachel E. Kellett
Section 2
6 The Diagnosis and Treatment of Wounds in the Old English Medical
Collections: Anglo-Saxon Surgery? 153
Debby Banham and Christine Voth
7 Spitting Blood: Medieval Mongol Medical Practices 175
Timothy May
8 The Wounded Soldier: Honey and Late Medieval Military
Medicine 194
Ilana Krug
9 “The Depth of Six Inches”: Prince Hal’s Head-Wound at the Battle of
Shrewsbury 215
Michael Livingston
Section 3
10 Wounds, Amputations, and Expert Procedures in the City of Valencia
in the Early-Fifteenth Century 233
Carmel Ferragud
11 The Mutilation of Derbforgaill 252
Charlene M. Eska
Part 2
The Spirituality of Wounds
Section 4
12 “The Wounded Surgeon”: Devotion, Compassion and Metaphor in
Medieval England 269
Virginia Langum
13 “Scarce anyone survives a heart wound”: The Wounded Christ in Irish
Bardic Religious Poetry 291
Salvador Ryan
14 Penetrating the Void: Picturing the Wound in Christ’s Side as a
Performative Space 313
Vibeke Olson
15 Wandering Wounds: The Urban Body in Imitatio Christi 340
Elina Gertsman
Contents vii
Section 5
Passionate Wounds
16 Ascetic Blood: Ethics, Sufffering and Community in Late-Medieval
Culture 369
Joshua S. Easterling
17 Christ’s Suppurating Wounds: Leprosy in the Vita of Alice of
Schaerbeek (†1250) 389
Alicia Spencer-Hall
18 Wounding the Body and Freeing the Spirit: Dorothea von Montau’s
Bloody Quest for Christ, a Late-Medieval Phenomenon of the
Extraordinary Kind 417
Albrecht Classen
19 In the Bursting of an Eye: Blinding and Blindness in Ireland’s
Medieval Hagiography 448
Máire Johnson
Part 3
The Literature of Wounds
20 The Laconic Scar in Early Irish Literature 473
William Sayers
21 “Into the hede, throw the helme and creste”: Head Wounds and a
Question of Kingship in the Stanzaic Morte Arthur 496
Larissa Tracy
22 “They … toke their shyldys before them and drew oute their swerdys
…”: Inflicting and Healing Wounds in Malory’s Morte Darthur 519
Stephen Atkinson
23 Women’s Wounds in Middle English Romances: An Exploration of
Defijilement, Disfijigurement, and a Society in Disrepair 544
Barbara A. Goodman
Afterword: The Aftermath of Wounds 572
Wendy J. Turner
Bibliography 581
Index 635 645
All interested in physical wounds in the medieval culture, archaeology, art history, warfare, medicine, religion, literature and law.
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