University of Cambridge > > Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Seminars > Healing Words: Hagiographic Evidence for Medieval Medical Practices

Healing Words: Hagiographic Evidence for Medieval Medical Practices

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Moritz Baumstark.

Hagiographic narratives, with their colourful tales of miraculous cures performed by saints, have frequently been used to illuminate medieval healing practices. In many cases historians have sought to draw comparisons, but in so doing they have detached these narratives from their political and social contexts. This paper explores the conceptual and methodological problems associated with using saints’ Lives as sources of historical enquiry. By basing much of the discussion on a single case study – the hagiography of St Mildrith – this paper will demonstrate that it is only through close textual, contextual and codicological study that we can begin to piece together a picture of medieval therapeutic practice.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Seminars series.

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