Caring for the Living Soul

Emotions, Medicine and Penance in the Late Medieval Mediterranean


Caring for the Living Soul identifies the fundamental role emotions played in the development of learned medicine and in the formation of the social role of the "physicians of the body" in the western Mediterranean between 1200 and 1500. The book explores theoretical debates and practical advice concerning the treatment of the "accidentia anime" in diverse medical sources. Contextualizing this literature within the developments in natural philosophy and pastoral theology during the period, and alongside local and social contexts of medical practice, emotions are revealed to have been a malleable topic through which change and innovation in the field of medicine transpired. Bringing together a wide range of untapped sources and creating connections between emotions, religious authorities, and medical practitioners, this study sheds light on the centrality of the discourses of emotions to the formation of the social fabric.
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EUR €99.00USD $115.00

Biographical Note

Naama Cohen-Hanegbi, Ph.D. (2011), a lecturer in medieval history at Tel Aviv University, has published articles on emotions in medieval medicine and on Juan d'Aviñón's medical works. Together with Piroska Nagy she has edited The Medieval Book of Pleasure (Brepols, forthcoming).

Table of contents

Acknowledgments Introduction 1 Accidents, Passions, Habits, and Sins 2 Between and within Body and Soul 3 Treating Emotions 4 Passiones del Alma—Castile, c. 1380 5 Mourning and Melancholy and the Boundaries of Sorrow in 15th-Century Italy Conclusion Bibliography Index


Caring for the Living Soul converses with scholars of history of emotions, pre-modern medicine, and healthcare, opening new routes to consider the intellectual culture within the western Mediterranean setting.


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