The boundaries between mental, social and physical order and various states of disorder – unexpected mood swings, fury, melancholy, stress, insomnia, and demonic influence – form the core of this compilation. For medieval men and women, religious rituals, magic, herbs, dietary requirements as well as to scholastic medicine were a way to cope with the vagaries of mental wellbeing; the focus of the articles is on the interaction and osmosis between lay and elite cultures as well as medical, theological and political theories and practical experiences of daily life.
Time span of the volume is the later Middle Ages, c. 1300-1500. Geographically it covers Western Europe and the comparison between Mediterranean world and Northern Europe is an important constituent.
Contributors are Jussi Hanska, Gerhard Jaritz, Timo Joutsivuo, Kirsi Kanerva, Sari Katajala-Peltomaa, Marko Lamberg, Iona McCleery, Susanna Niiranen, Sophie Oosterwijk, and Catherine Rider.