Medieval Herbal Remedies: The Old English Herbarium and Anglo-Saxon Medicine

Routledge
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This book presents for the first time an up-to-date and easy-to-read translation of a medical reference work that was used in Western Europe from the fifth century well into the Renaissance. Listing 185 medicinal plants, the uses for each, and remedies that were compounded using them, the translation will fascinate medievalist, medical historians and the layman alike.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Aug 21, 2012
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Pages
350
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ISBN
9781136613883
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / Medieval
Literary Criticism / General
Medical / Pharmacology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Research into the emotions is beginning to gain momentum in Anglo-Saxon studies. In order to integrate early medieval Britain into the wider scholarly research into the history of emotions (a major theme in other fields and a key field in interdisciplinary studies), this volume brings together established scholars, who have already made significant contributions to the study of Anglo-Saxon mental and emotional life, with younger scholars. The volume presents a tight focus - on emotion (rather than psychological life more generally), on Anglo-Saxon England and on language and literature - with contrasting approaches that will open up debate. The volume considers a range of methodologies and theoretical perspectives, examines the interplay of emotion and textuality, explores how emotion is conveyed through gesture, interrogates emotions in religious devotional literature, and considers the place of emotion in heroic culture. Each chapter asks questions about what is culturally distinctive about emotion in Anglo-Saxon England and what interpretative moves have to be made to read emotion in Old English texts, as well as considering how ideas about and representations of emotion might relate to lived experience. Taken together the essays in this collection indicate the current state of the field and preview important work to come. By exploring methodologies and materials for the study of Anglo-Saxon emotions, particularly focusing on Old English language and literature, it will both stimulate further study within the discipline and make a distinctive contribution to the wider interdisciplinary conversation about emotions.
In the period just prior to medicine's modernity—before the rise of Renaissance anatomy, the centralized regulation of medical practice, and the valorization of scientific empiricism—England was the scene of a remarkable upsurge in medical writing. Between the arrival of the Black Death in 1348 and the emergence of printed English books a century and a quarter later, thousands of discrete medical texts were copied, translated, and composed, largely for readers outside universities. These widely varied texts shared a model of a universe crisscrossed with physical forces and a picture of the human body as a changeable, composite thing, tuned materially to the world's vicissitudes. According to Julie Orlemanski, when writers like Geoffrey Chaucer, Robert Henryson, Thomas Hoccleve, and Margery Kempe drew on the discourse of phisik—the language of humors and complexions, leprous pustules and love sickness, regimen and pharmacopeia—they did so to chart new circuits of legibility between physiology and personhood.

Orlemanski explores the texts of her vernacular writers to show how they deployed the rich terminology of embodiment and its ailments to portray symptomatic figures who struggled to control both their bodies and the interpretations that gave their bodies meaning. As medical paradigms mingled with penitential, miraculous, and socially symbolic systems, these texts demanded that a growing number of readers negotiate the conflicting claims of material causation, intentional action, and divine power. Examining both the medical writings of late medieval England and the narrative and poetic works that responded to them, Symptomatic Subjects illuminates the period's conflicts over who had the authority to construe bodily signs and what embodiment could be made to mean.

Numerous Byzantine and Western sources describing the events of the Fourth Crusade have now been translated into English. However, the same is not true for material on Frankish Greece, despite this region’s importance to late medieval crusading. The Chronicle of Morea is the key source for the history of the Frankish states established in Greece after the conquest of Constantinople in 1204 and their relations with the reviving Byzantine Empire during the 13th century. It is also an important source for the growth of the Venetian maritime empire. Most of the action centers on the Peloponnesus, then called Achaia or Morea, where crusaders William of Champlitte and Geoffrey of Villehardouin (nephew of the famous chronicler) established a principality and the Villehardouins a dynasty. Preserved in a unique fourteenth-century manuscript, the Old French version of the Chronicle of Morea is a contemporary account of Frankish feudal life transposed onto foreign soil. It describes clashes, conquests, and ransoms between the Franks and Byzantines, as well as their alliances and arranged marriages. A rich source, the Chronicle of Morea brims with anecdotes giving insight into the operation of feudal justice, the role of noble women in feudal society, the practice of chivalry, and the conduct of warfare. Versions of the Chronicle exist in Aragonese, Greek, and Italian, as well as in Old French. However, this is the first translation into English or any other modern language of the Old French text, thus opening its content to a wider audience.
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