Category Archives: Publications

Urban health in the Middle Ages and Today: Changing Community Politics and Environments

Janna Coomans Through vaccination campaigns and lifting restrictions, authorities across the globe are promoting the idea of a return to normal, yet which form the ‘end’ of the COVID pandemic will take is uncertain. There may be celebrations and post-war-like … Continue reading

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Ethnicity in Medieval Europe, 950-1250

Claire Weeda On 26 March 1215, the brash Bolognese rhetorician Boncompagno da Signa read aloud his manual of rhetoric, Rhetorica antiqua,in front of the college of professors of civil and canon law. If some of his students had nodded off … Continue reading

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Kinetic health: Ecologies and mobilities of prevention in Europe, c. 1100-1600

G. Geltner ABSTRACT: This article coins and deploys the term kinetic health as part of a broader attempt to historicize the mobilities paradigm from the standpoint of past community prophylactics. It uses the example of Galenic or humoral medicine, which for … Continue reading

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The dynamics of healthscaping: Mapping communal hygiene in Bologna, 1287–1383

Taylor Zaneri & G. Geltner Abstract: This article traces how urban communities operating with a humoral or Galenic medical paradigm understood and confronted the health challenges facing them, using the extraordinarily well-documented case of Bologna, Italy. Working within a GIS environment, … Continue reading

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Underground and Over the Sea: More Community Prophylactics in Europe, 1100-1600

By Guy Geltner and Claire Weeda Abstract: Public health historians have repeatedly shown that the theory, policy, and practice of group prophylactics far predate their alleged birth in industrial modernity, and regularly draw on Galenic principles. While the revision overall has … Continue reading

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Politics of Movement: Exploring Passage Points in Responses to COVID-19 and the Plague in the Fifteenth-Century Netherlands

Authors: Janna Coomans, Claire Weeda Abstract Engaging the concepts of flow, circulation and blockage can help us to understand the trajectories of pandemics and the social responses to them. Central to the analysis is the concept of obligatory passage points … Continue reading

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Book Review: “Fumiers! Ordures! Gestion et usage des déchets dans les campagnes de l’Occident médiéval et moderne”

Marc Conesa, Nicolas Poirier (dir.), Fumiers! Ordures! Gestion et usage des déchets dans les campagnes de l’Occident médiéval et moderne. Actes des XXXVIIIes Journées internationales d’histoire de l’abbaye de Flaran, 14 et 15 octobre 2016, Toulouse (Presses universitaires du Midi) … Continue reading

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Roads to Health wins AAIS Book Awards in Medieval Studies

Roads to Health: Infrastructure and Urban Wellbeing in Later Medieval Italy (University of Pennsylvania Press) wins American Association for Italian Studies Book Awards in Medieval Studies for 2019. In this book, Guy Geltner “proposes to examine public health from an … Continue reading

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New Publication: Mapping Health in the Middle Ages

“Public health is often thought of as a by-product of modernity, yet historical evidence shows that numerous stakeholders in Medieval Europe took steps to reduce risks and improve health outcomes.” Guy Geltner, Janna Coomans, and Claire Weeda explain how the … Continue reading

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New Publication: Osteoarchaeology in Historical Context

Osteoarchaeology in Historical Context: Cemetery Research from the Low Countries Edited by Roos van Oosten, Rachel Schats & Kerry Fast Osteoarchaeology is a rich field for reconstructing past lives in that it can provide details on sex, age-at-death, stature, and … Continue reading

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