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Home > History home > Prospective students > Undergraduate > Medicine and Society in Medieval Europe
More in this section SecondandThird Year Courses

Medicine and Society in Medieval Europe


Value: one unit


Prof Peregrine Horden


Taught through weekly two-hour seminars


3-hour exam (50%), best two of three coursework essays (40%), oral presentation (10%) 

This course explores major themes in the social history of medicine in Europe from the collapse of the Roman empire to the eve of the Renaissance: the response to diseases such as leprosy and plague, medical education and the split between the medical profession and 'alternative' practitioners, the problems faced by female healers, and by Jewish practitioners, the interplay of institutional and community health care and of secular and religious sources of healing. Besides opening up central topics in medieval studies, therefore, the course also deals with subjects of current political debate and students should have no difficulty in finding their feet. No prior knowledge of the subject is expected.


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