Skip to main content

IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 1721: Bloodletting within the Borders of Media, Medicine, and Species

Thursday 9 July 2020, 14.15-15.45

Organiser:Elke Krotz, Institut für Germanistik, Universität Wien
Moderator/Chair:Nicolas Huss, Deutsches Seminar, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen
Paper 1721-aSingle-Sheet Wall Calendar, Manuscript, or Printed Treatise: A Media History of Bloodletting Texts
(Language: English)
Elke Krotz, Institut für Germanistik, Universität Wien
Index terms: Language and Literature - German, Language and Literature - Latin, Manuscripts and Palaeography, Medicine
Paper 1721-b'Hie solt du niht lazen': A Universal Remedy at Its Limits
(Language: English)
Ylva Schwinghammer, Institut für Germanistik, Universität Graz
Index terms: Language and Literature - German, Medicine
Paper 1721-cTransbordering: From Bloodletting to Transfusion
(Language: English)
Lisa Glänzer, Institut für Germanistik Universität Graz
Index terms: Medicine, Science

Bloodletting is considered as one of the most popular therapeutic methods of the Middle Ages and was recommended for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of various illnesses. This session explores some points of intersection between theory and practice, physicians and barber-surgeons and human and veterinary medicine.

Paper -a:
What do different media - single-sheet wall calendars, bloodletting treatises in manuscripts and informations given in account books - tell about physicians, barbers and patients? Why were single-sheet leaves inserted in manuscripts and vice versa manuscript pages used as a vademecum? How do printed and handwritten texts interdepend? (E. Krotz)

Paper -b:
The limits of contraindications: Instructions for bloodletting can be found in nearly every medieval medical text. However, a closer look reveals a number of indications to determine whether or not bloodletting is suitable, like vitality, temperament, age, symptoms, pregnancy, temperature, zodiac signs, date… If these rules are consequently followed, the actual practice runs within narrow bounds. (Y. Schwinghammer)

Paper -c:
Transbordering - from bloodletting to xenotransfusion: Bloodletting not only describes the healing process for the reduction or removal of harmful bodily fluids, but also represents a method for obtaining blood from vertebrates, culminating in the blood transfusion from animals to humans in the course of the 17th century. Blood was thus attributed a life-preserving or life-donating function. The idea that its transfer not only transforms strength and health, but also character traits, also raises questions about the role of the blood-donating animal. (L. Glänzer)