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@emuehlbe Thanks @emuehlbe, for this invitation to revisit my 2009 state-of-the-field essay on Medieval Medicine. Gosh, what led me to write it? First of all, I had been doing synthetic bibliographical work on the topic of ♀'s medicine for 20 years at that point. 1 of my early essays ...
@emuehlbe (journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.108…) had been transformative of my thinking & gotten me hooked on the value of taking the pulse of a field/question. In that 1989 essay, I found that, contrary to common belief (and I had believed it, too), ♀'s health was *not* exclusively ♀'s business ...
@emuehlbe in the Middle Ages. Men wrote books on ♀'s medicine; men owned books on ♀'s medicine; men could be found advising on aspects of ♀ physiology & disease. On the flip side, it was *really* difficult to find evidence of ♀ as medical practitioners. It was even difficult to find
@emuehlbe ... midwives. That was the real shocker. I would return to that question of how to document ♀ practitioners several times. And I would continue to compile bibliography from across Europe up thru 2010. (My last biblio is here: sciencia.cat/biblioteca/doc….) What that taught me ...
@emuehlbe was that there was tremendous value in going long & broad: not limiting myself to 1 language tradition or country, but looking at health/medicine phenomena from as many angles & sources as possible. So the breadth you see in the 2009 essay is the long-term result of that. ...
@emuehlbe What specifically led me to write the History Compass piece in 2009 was my sense of frustration that, despite the wealth of evidence I knew existed for medieval medicine, & the wealth of really high-quality scholarship (edited texts like the @ArnaldusV series, reference works ...
@emuehlbe @ArnaldusV like Linda Voigts & Patricia Deery Kurtz's eTK/eVK project: mdr-maa.org/resource/voigt…, & so much more), a lot of "general" medievalists didn't know about these resources & didn't think to ask "medical" questions about their own work. At the same time, I was getting busy launching
@emuehlbe @ArnaldusV ... a listserv that would allow those of us researching in the field to communicate quickly w/ each other. When I started the list, I thought maybe 70 people, max, would be interested in joining. We have over 800 people, from all over the world, who belong now! So even I was ...
@emuehlbe @ArnaldusV underestimating how broad the interest was. The other thing that was already apparent a decade ago was how transformative the Digital Humanities (#DH) shift was going to affect the field of medieval medicine. As a subfield of intellectual history, the study of texts is a ...
@emuehlbe @ArnaldusV foundational part of the work that we do. But the vast, vast majority of medieval medical texts had never been edited by modern scholars & lay scattered in libraries all over the world. I myself spent over a dozen years editing just 1 group of texts, the #Trotula, so I knew how
@emuehlbe @ArnaldusV exhausting that work was. (And more medieval translations of the #Trotula are still being found! See this from Dec: ) But what if, instead of having to travel to all those libraries--spending days, weeks, months traveling--the manuscripts could come to you?
@emuehlbe @ArnaldusV This technological shift toward digitization is what has, & continues, to transformed the field of medieval medicine. Not simply does online access to these precious objects allow us to pursue our individual research, it allows us to do collaborative work. If all the #Trotula MSS
@emuehlbe @ArnaldusV ... that are online now (e.g., this thread from Jan.: ) had been online 20 years ago when I pub'd my edition of the Latin text, there could have been a proliferation now of comparable vernacular editions. French, Dutch, Italian, Hebrew--they're all ...
@emuehlbe @ArnaldusV available now. And that proliferation of digitized materials--that universal accessibility of the medieval medical patrimony--is what's also allowing the field to now live up to its potential to "go global." But me stop for a minute to see if you have questions. In the meantime,
@emuehlbe @ArnaldusV ... here's a little treat I found the other day, courtesy of @BLMedieval, which has been 1 of the leaders in high-quality digitization. It's from Brunetto Latini's *Li livres dou tresor* (The Book of Treasure, bl.uk/manuscripts/Fu…) & shows "medicine" (fisique) among the Arts. The upper register of a page displaying all the different branches of the Arts. Fisique (medicine) is in the third row on the left.
@emuehlbe @ArnaldusV Oops, sorry for the Cookie-Monsterism. Should have been, "But let me stop ..."
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