IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 505: Childhood and Disability: Caring, Diagnosing, and Legislating

Tuesday 10 July 2012, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Iona McCleery, Institute for Medieval Studies / School of History, University of Leeds
Paper 505-aCaring for Children in Late Medieval Montpellier
(Language: English)
Lucie Laumonier, Department of History, Concordia University
Index terms: Daily Life, Gender Studies, Mentalities, Social History
Paper 505-bThe King and the Court Jester: Henry IV of Trastámara and a Case for Autism Spectrum Disorder
(Language: English)
Byron Warner, University of Maryland University College
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Mentalities, Rhetoric

Paper -a:
The history of orphans and abandoned children is often focused on institutional responses to this societal issue. The case of the French
city Montpellier is not much different and historians have written about the way in which the city council took care of its youngest in distress.
The expression of ‘caritas’ was also shared by the Montpelliérains themselves. Archival evidence shows that circulation of children between members of families, motivated by the loss of parents, was frequent in the late Middle Ages. Moreover, strangers also took care of infants and children who became isolated by the 14th and 15th crisis.

Paper -b:
Castile’s last Trastámara monarch, Henry IV (1454-74), has historically been considered one of kingdom’s most maligned rulers, and his reign, one of its least fruitful. Since the celebrated endocrinologist Gregorio Marañón’s ex post facto diagnosis of acromegalic eunuchoidism to explain Henry’s bizarre behaviors as they are described in the chronicles, medical science has become an area of interest for scholars interested in the king’s reign. Using a combination of historical sources and contemporary psychological studies, this paper brings new answers (and questions) to the table in an exploration of the possibility that Henry IV may have suffered from an Autism Spectrum Disorder.