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IMC 2016: Sessions

Session 1714: Food as Treatment, III: Beliefs, Deficiencies, and Appetites

Thursday 7 July 2016, 14.15-15.45

Organiser:Wendy J. Turner, Department of History, Anthropology & Philosophy, Augusta University, Georgia
Moderator/Chair:Wendy J. Turner, Department of History, Anthropology & Philosophy, Augusta University, Georgia
Paper 1714-aEarly Evidence of the Association between Goitre and Folly in an Irish Pseudo-Etymology of Boicmell 'Fool'
(Language: English)
Anna Matheson, Centre de recherche bretonne et celtique (CRBC), Université Rennes 2
Index terms: Daily Life, Medicine
Paper 1714-bIllness, Appetite, and Ecstatic Experiences in Eadmer of Canterbury's Vita sancti Anselmi
(Language: English)
Hilary Powell, Department of English Studies, Durham University
Index terms: Daily Life, Medicine, Religious Life
Paper 1714-cFish and Lust: The Contribution of Medicine to the Theological Debate on Fasting Precepts in the 16th Century
(Language: English)
Gionata Liboni, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Università degli Studi di Ferrara
Index terms: Medicine, Religious Life, Theology

This series of panels engages food as both treatment for illness and the reverse, the medieval misunderstanding of food as treatment. Further, some of the papers look at how dietary deficiencies led to medical misunderstanding of health conditions, at how art and literature treat food as symbolic of good health and virtuous living. All together, the three panels on 'Diet and Health', 'Curatives for Ails', and 'Beliefs, Deficiencies, and Appetites' provide an overview of the connections between food and health in the Middle Ages. This panel examines how food deficiencies and appetites effected belief in the Middle Ages, and how this is reflected in medieval food and health care. The first paper takes a look at how the medieval belief that the goitrous were foolish - a medieval stereotype that arose because goitre and cretinism, both caused by iodine deficiency, tended to affect the same populations. Similarly, food elements were entwined with religious ideas. The second paper is concerned with the consumption of partridge and the care of Anselm, which might explain more about his condition. The third paper points out the reflection on the importance of food in the control of passions in the work of the physician Antonio Musa Brasavola (Ferrara, 1500-1555), one of the leading figures of Italian medical humanism.