Medieval and early-modern Regimina Sanitatis frequently offer instructions about bathing. Analysis of the Tregement der Ghesontheyt, the first Dutch translation of Magninus Mediolanensis’ Regimen Sanitatis (c. 1335), printed by Thomas van der Noot in Brussels (1514), shows that these instructions are to be found in parts of the text that concern the regulation of metabolic processes. My paper explores the language and metaphors found in the bathing instructions of the Tregement der Ghesontheyt. In this paper I will aim to show that these metaphors are part of a set of metaphors for processes of transformations of living matter. This set of metaphors is based on the observation of change in the visible and natural world as formulated in early Greek medicine and natural philosophy.
Death played an important role in late medieval religious communities. On the one hand, remembrance of the dead created a continuity with the past, because the dead remained part of the group and their live histories set a good example for further generations. On the other hand, there was the constant prospect of one’s own death. Which role did this perception of death play in the creation and continuation of group cultures? Based on both historiographical texts and sermons my paper will explore the way in which different religious communities built their identity through this double perception of death and afterlife.
In order to describe mystical experiences, many medieval authors made use of metaphors to bridge the gap between the invisible divine reality and the linguistic conception of the finite world perceivable with senses. From an anonymous Dutch sermon collection from the 16th century (KB The Hague no. 133 H 13) metaphors from the natural world are analysed, which were used to depict God, the unity with God, and the mystical process. The theology in these sermons is deeply rooted in the works of several important late medieval mystics such as Eckhart and Ruusbroec, and therefore the metaphors will be explained within the context of the mystical theology from the 14th to the 16th century.