HS 399 Medieval Medicine

Despite our popular understanding of the European middle ages as a dirty, disease-ridden, hopelessly backward period, the sources show us quite a different picture. Although a lack of understanding of the means of genetic change and the cause of viral and bacterial disease caused medieval people to understand the human body very differently than we do, that system was not without its logic and efficacy. This course will explore the human body and its diseases in the middle ages through a series of connected readings that introduce the body as a conceptual system and medieval science’s attempts to understand it. We will then look at the growing field of genomic research as a way of understanding and comparing our modern systems of understanding the body.

Course Objectives