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IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 808: Medieval Childbirth: Social Representation and Medical Realities, II

Tuesday 7 July 2015, 16.30-18.00

Organiser:Costanza Gislon Dopfel, Department of Modern Languages / Department of Art History, Saint Mary's College of California
Moderator/Chair:Francesca Marchetti, Independent Scholar, London
Paper 808-aChildbirth in the Late Middle Ages: Hagiography, Medicine, and Magic
(Language: English)
Alessandra Foscati, Dipartimento di storie e metodi per la Conservazione dei Beni Culturali, Università di Bologna
Index terms: Hagiography, Medicine, Social History, Women's Studies
Paper 808-bKnowledge Exchanges on the Physiology of Pregnancy and Birth between India, Iran, and Greece in Late Antiquity
(Language: English)
Paolo Delaini, Dipartimento di Storia Culture Civiltà, Università di Bologna
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Daily Life, Medicine, Social History

Birthgiving and reproduction are the inevitable, defining elements of all societies. Upon them rests the survival of families, dynasties, cities and nations. Despite its vital importance, childbirth remains an elusive moment in historical accounts until the Modern Period, while at the same time playing a central role in political, social, and economic transformations. The two sessions on 'Medieval Childbirth: Social Representation and Medical Realities' explore the historical connection between medical approaches to childbirth, social reform, and political iconography. Ranging from Europe to the Byzantine Empire, from the Mediterranean Basin to Persia, the panels unveil links that span time and space. Session II explores the reality of childbirth as documented in medical treatises, Zoroastrian literature, and popular traditions that encompass religion, medicine, and magic.