Premodern Healthscaping in European Association for Urban History Conference 2018

Premodern Public Health: Comparing Cities 1250-1750

Thursday 30th August 2018
Room 22 09:00-10:30, 11:00-12:30

Address: Department of Business Studies – Roma Tre University, Via Silvio d’Amico 77 – 00145 Roma.

This session aims to bring together scholars engaged in research into public health strategies and interventions, and resilience thereto, in late medieval and early modern urban communities. This is a dynamic area of research, which is revealing the myriad of ways in which urban public health policies and practices aimed at creating healthier environments. In particular, a consideration of preventive rather than simply curative measures have revealed new spaces of medical practice, including streets, homes and workplaces alongside large civic healthcare institutions, as well as broader communities of practitioners. Until recently, medical and environmental history’s main focus steered towards post-plague epidemiology, the development of humoural theory, or hospital institutions offering physical and spiritual care. Social and medical historians, together with archaeologists, are, however, increasingly engaging in interdisciplinary research into preventative health measures directed at and/or implemented by an urban public.

Crossing geographical, disciplinary, and linguistic boundaries, this session aims to further increase understanding of how late medieval and early modern urban governments attempted to regulate urban public health through statutes and bye-laws, policed by officials and prosecuted by the judiciary, as well as responses thereto from industries, guilds, brotherhoods, communities and individuals. These dynamics of communication and contestation will be carefully situated within the built environments they helped to shape.


09:00–10:30 The View from the Street: Leet Courts as Agents of Sanitary Policing in Late Medieval English Cities.

Carole Rawcliffe

Preserving and Building Healthy Urban Spaces: Solutions and Conflicts in Premodern Imperial Cities and Towns.

Annemarie Kinzelbach

Minds in the Gutter: Corruption in Late Medieval Valencia.

Abigail Agresta

10:30-11:00 Coffee break
11:00-12:30 Health Matters: Defining the Bonum Commune in Conflicts in Late Medieval Italy and the Low Countries.

Claire Weeda

Learning from the Countryside: Field Masters (camparii) and Urban Healthscaping in Later Medieval Piedmont.

Guy Geltner

Pre-industrial Water Management in Flemish Metropoli: Drawing from Archaeological Water Facilities.

Roos van Oosten


Coordinators: Janna Coomans (, Jane Stevens Crawshaw (jane.stevens-, Claire Weeda (

You can find more information at EAUH Conference 2018.

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