IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 318: Blending the Boundaries: The Four Elements in the Middle Ages, II - Air and Fire

Monday 6 July 2020, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:Queen's University Belfast
Organisers:Elisa Ramazzina, School of Arts, English & Languages, Queen's University Belfast
Irene Tenchini, School of Arts, English & Languages, Queen's University Belfast
Moderator/Chair:Marilina Cesario, School of Arts, English & Languages, Queen's University Belfast
Paper 318-aThe Four Winds and the Map of the World in the Liber De Optimo Fato of Henry VII
(Language: English)
Hilary M. Carey, Department of History, Newcastle University, New South Wales / Department of History, University College Dublin
Index terms: Geography and Settlement Studies, Mentalities, Science
Paper 318-b'The sky was seen to be on fire': Aurorae, Meteors, and Other Signs of Fire in the Early Medieval Skies
(Language: English)
Andrea Maraschi, Department of History & Philosophy, University of Iceland
Index terms: Mentalities, Science
Paper 318-c'Þonne þu fyr sette on mannan þonne nim þu merƿes pores leaf 7 gegniden sealt': Fire in Early Medieval Medicine
(Language: English)
Irene Tenchini, School of Arts, English & Languages, Queen's University Belfast
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Medicine, Mentalities, Science
Abstract

This is the second of two sessions exploring the four elements in the medieval worldview. The elements – earth, water, air, and fire – constituted the macrocosm. The human body, being a reflection of the macrocosm, was considered a microcosm, and was thus composed of four humours, the imbalance of which caused disease. The two sessions examine the elements as wide natural categories, that is either as boundaries or as ‘bridges’ between the microcosm and the macrocosm. The second session is devoted to Air and Fire analysed from different perspectives and in a variety of contexts. It will examine air in late medieval world maps and fiery signs in early medieval skies, as well as investigate the roles of fire in medieval medicine.