Medicine and Space

Body, Surroundings and Borders in Antiquity and the Middle Ages


This volume contributes to medical history in Antiquity and the Middle Ages by significantly widening our understandings of health and treatment through the theme of space . The fundamental question about how space was conceived by different groups of people in these periods has been used to demonstrate the multi-variant understandings of the body and its functions, illness and treatment, and the surrounding natural and built environments in relation to health. The subject is approached from a variety of source materials: medical, philosophical and religious literature, archaeological remains and artistic reproductions. By taking a multi-disciplinary approach to the subject the volume offers new interpretations and methodologies to medical history in the periods in question.
Contributors are Helen King, Michael McVaugh, Maithe Hulskamp, Glenda McDonald, Roberto Lo Presti, Fabiola van Dam, Catrien Santing, Ralph Rosen, and Irina Metzler.

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Patricia A. Baker, Ph.D. (2001) in Classics, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, is now a lecturer in Classics and Archaeology at the University of Kent, Canterbury. She has published widely on Roman medicine in particular the Roman army and the material culture of medicine.
Han Nijdam, Ph.D. (2008) in Humanities, Leiden University, is coordinator for Old Frisian and the Frisian Language Database at the Fryske Akademy (KNAW), Leeuwarden, Netherlands. He has published on various aspects of Old Frisian law, particularly on embodied honour and revenge.
Karine van 't Land is a historian and physician affiliated to the Department of History of the Radboud University Nijmegen. She is currently writing a Ph.D. dissertation on the theme of nutrition and identity in late medieval university medicine.
"...this volume reveals (if only in snapshots) the hidden dimensions of the body and the deeper structures that inform cultural discourses on illness and healing [...] This volume is of great value to those interested in the pre-modern body, from its interior spaces to the natural and man-made environments with which it was in constant communication. [...] Medicine and Space: Body, Surroundings, and Borders in Antiquity and the Middle Ages is a meaningful contribution to the history of medicine and the body, and will be useful to students and researchers alike.
Brenda S. Gardenour Walter, Medieval Encounters 19 (2013), pp. 238-242
"...De artikelen en prachtige afbeeldingen in Medicine and space sluiten naadloos op deze inzichten aan. [...] Vooral de inleiding van Patricia Baker en Han Nijdam biedt een zeer helder overzicht van deze verschillende invalshoeken. [...] Medicine and space biedt nu alvast een waardevolle ingang tot allerlei vragen naar het lichaam, ruimte en omgeving..."
Claire Weeda, Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis 126 (2013), pp. 410-411
Preface ... vii
Acknowledgements ... ix
List of Illustrations ... xi
List of Contributors ... xix
Figures and Plates ... following xx

Introduction: Conceptualizing Body, Space and Borders ... 1
Patricia Baker and Han Nijdam

Fistulas, the Knee, and the ‘Three-dimensional’ Body
Michael McVaugh ... 23
Inside and Outside, Cavities and Containers: the Organs of Generation in Seventeenth-century English Medicine
Helen King ... 37

The ‘locus afffectus’ in Ancient Medical Theories of Disease
Glenda Camille McDonald ... 63
Internal, Yet Extrinsic: Conceptions of Bodily Space and their Relation to Causality in Late Medieval University Medicine
Karine van ’t Land ... 85
Permeable Boundaries: Bodies, Bathing and Fluxes: 1135–1333
Fabiola I.W.M. van Dam ... 117

Space and the Body: Uses of Astronomy in Hippocratic Medicine
Maithe A.A. Hulskamp ... 149
Shaping the Diffference: The Medical Inquiry into the Nature of Places and the Early Birth of Anthropology in the Hippocratic Treatise Airs Waters Places
Roberto Lo Presti ... 169
Death and the City: The Human Corpse as an Embodiment of Public Wellbeing in Counter-Reformation Rome
Catrien Santing ... 197

Spaces of Sickness in Greco-Roman Medicine
Ralph M. Rosen ... 227
Medieval Islamic Hospitals: Structural Design and Social Perceptions
Patricia Baker ... 245
Liminality and Disability: Spatial and Conceptual Aspects of Physical Impairment in Medieval Europe
Irina Metzler ... 273

Bibliography ... 297
Index ... 309
Those interested in medical history, classical and medieval history, cultural history, classical languages, medical anthropology, archaeology, disability studies, and gender and body studies.