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The archaeology of monastic healing: spirit, mind and body

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By | Early Medicine, Events and Visits

The next seminar in the 2017–18 History of Pre-Modern Medicine seminar series takes place on Tuesday 21 November.

Vein man image in medieval manuscript.

MS. 544: Book of learned medical treatises with some additional practical texts (Miscellanea Medica XVIII), early 14th century, page 276.

Speaker: Professor Roberta Gilchrist (University of Reading), ‘The archaeology of monastic healing: spirit, mind and body’

This paper highlights the potential of archaeology to contribute new perspectives on medieval monastic healing. What new questions about healing traditions are prompted by recent excavations at the sites of monasteries and hospitals in Britain? Key assumptions concerning the treatment of the sick in medieval infirmaries are tested, revealing evidence for possible specialist interventions in medieval healing, beyond spiritual succour and basic nursing care.


Wellcome Library, 183 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE.

Doors open at 6pm, seminar will start at 6.15pm.

The seminar series is focused on pre-modern medicine, which we take to cover European and non-European history before the 20th century (antiquity, medieval and early modern history, some elements of 19th-century medicine).

Further details on the seminar series are available in a previous post.

Ross Macfarlane

Ross Macfarlane is the Research Engagement Officer at the Wellcome Library.

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