IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 329: Writing about Health: Fertility, Physiognomy, and Fitness

Monday 9 July 2012, 16.30-18.00

Moderator/Chair:José Martínez Gázquez, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona
Paper 329-aReglas para el médico, reglas para el paciente en el Breviarium de Johannes de Sancto Paulo
(Language: Español)
Alejandro García González, Departamento de Filología Clásica, Universidad de Valladolid
Index terms: Language and Literature - Latin, Medicine
Paper 329-bFemale Fertility in Hildegard von Bingen's Causae et Curae and Scivias
(Language: English)
Victoria Alison Woolley, University of Bristol
Index terms: Gender Studies, Sexuality, Theology

Paper -a:
The texts written at the well-known Medical School of Salerno contributed to establish a rule stystem for both theoretical and practical Medicine. They are attested rules regarding doctors and rules regardings patients. We will discuss this system in the medical compendium known as Breviarium of Johannes de Sancto Paulo. This text and the Salernitan work Practica of Plateario became a model followed by later encylopedias of medical practice of 13th and 14th centuries.

Paper -b:
This paper offers readings of Hildegard von Bingen’s treatment of female fertility in Causae et Curae and Scivias. These readings demonstrate that a stable understanding of female fertility exists across both works. However, each text attaches very different meanings and levels of virtue to this central female trait. In Causae, woman’s fertility is closely linked to her secondary and inferior position in creation. In Scivias, it allows her to participate in the divine nature. Recognising elements of both coherence and difference across the generic divisions within Hildegard’s corpus, the paper challenges the conflicting interpretations that currently frame debate.