Saint Anthony's Fire from Antiquity to the Eighteenth Century
Title
Saint Anthony's Fire from Antiquity to the Eighteenth Century
Price
€ 99,00
ISBN
9789462983342
Format
Hardback
Number of pages
264
Language
English
Publication date
Dimensions
15.6 x 23.4 cm
Table of Contents
Show Table of ContentsHide Table of Contents
Preface AGOSTINO PARAVICINI BAGLIANI Acknowledgements List of abbreviations Introduction 1 Interpreting Medical Texts: the Polysemantic Nature of the Lexicon 2 Disease in Non-Medical Texts: Symbol and Literary Topos 3 Studying Saint Anthony's Fire Part I: The Burning Disease. Different Names for the Same Disease or Different Diseases with the Same Name? 1 Ignis Sacer ('Holy Fire') in the Ancient World 2 Ignis Sacer in the Late Antique World 3 Outbreaks of the Burning Disease: Epidemics of Ergotism? 3.1 The Historiae of Rodulfus Glaber 3.2 The Chronicon and Sermons of Ademar of Chabannes 4 Outbreaks of Ignis Sacer 5 The Meaning(s) of Ignis Sacer in Medieval Medical Sources 6 The Thaumaturgical Privilege of Healing the Burning Disease 6.1 The Greatest Thaumaturge: the Virgin Mary 6.2 The Burning Disease in Arras: the Miracle of the Sainte Chandelle 7 The Emergence of Saint Anthony's Fire 8 Saint Anthony's Fire and Ignis Sacer: Was It the Same Disease? 9 Saint Anthony's Fire in Medieval chronicles and Hagiographical Texts 10 Many Different Names for the Same Disease: the 'Wolf', Saint Fiacre's Diseases and Saint Eligius's Disease 11 Saint Anthony's Fire and Ergotism in the Early Modern Period Part II: St Anthony the Abbot, Thaumaturge of the Burning Disease, and the Order of the Hospital Brothers of St Anthony 1 A Brief Preface on the Antonine Order 2 The Legends of the Translation of the Body (or Bodies) of St Anthony the Abbot and the Birth of the Order of the Hospital Brothers of St Anthony 3 The Remains of St. Anthony in Lézat and Their Thaumaturgical Powers 4 The Emergence of the Antonine Order and St Anthony's Holy Remains as Treatment 5 The Hospital of Saint-Antoine-en-Viennois and Its Patients 5.1 The Hospital of Saint-Antoine-en-Viennois and the Hôtels-Dieu: the Thirteenth-Century Antonine Statutes 5.2 The Fifteenth-Century Antonine Statutes 6 Saint Anthony's Fire Sufferers at the Hospital of Saint-Antoine-en-Viennois: the Early Modern Period 7 Beggars, Impostors and Simulators: Feigning Saint Anthony's Fire PART III: The Discovery of Ergotism (Saint Anthony's Fire?) 1 Medieval Epidemics of the Burning Disease as Told by Historians in the 16th and 17th Century 2 The Discovery of Ergotism between the 17th and 18th Century 3 Saint Anthony's Fire as Ergotism? Contradictions in Eighteenth-Century Medical Texts 4 Ergotism in Nineteenth-Century Historiography 5 Ergotism and Convulsive Epidemics: Saint Anthony's Fire? 6 A Final Observation on Ergotism Conclusion Bibliography Index
Also available as
eBook PDF - € 98,99

Alessandra Foscati

Saint Anthony's Fire from Antiquity to the Eighteenth Century

After the discovery of the ergotism epidemics (poisoning caused by ingesting the fungal toxin of rye) and its etiology, eighteenth-century physicians interpreted medieval chronicles in their medical texts in order to recognize the occurrences of ergotic diseases through retrospective diagnosis. They assumed that St. Anthony's fire and ignis sacer ("sacred fire") recorded in medieval texts represented the same disease, ergotism. This interpretative method, lacking a textual basis in the sources, has been incorrectly followed by historians till now. This book examines this historical prejudice through textual analysis, comparing diverse medieval and early modern sources. A striking semantic complexity emerges that changes the concept of St. Anthony's fire and modifies our understanding of diseases in general. This research illuminates aspects of the history of medicine, society, and hospitals.
Author

Alessandra Foscati

Alessandra Foscati holds a PhD in Medieval History at the University of Bologna. She is member of the School of Arts and Humanities, Centre for Classical Studies - University of Lisbon. She is the author of Ignis sacer. Una storia culturale del ‘fuoco sacro’ dall’antichità al Settecento, Florence, SISMEL 2013.