A Social History of Disability in the Middle Ages: Cultural by Irina Metzler

By Irina Metzler

What was once it wish to be disabled within the center a long time? How did humans turn into disabled? Did welfare help exist? This publication discusses social and cultural components affecting the lives of medieval crippled, deaf, mute and blind humans, these these days jointly referred to as "disabled." even supposing the note didn't exist then, some of the studies disabled humans may need this day can already be traced again to medieval social associations and cultural attitudes.
This quantity informs our wisdom of the subject through investigating the influence medieval legislation had at the social place of disabled humans, and conversely, how humans may turn into disabled via judicial activities; rules of labor and the way paintings might either reason incapacity via business injuries but in addition offer endured skill to generate income via occupational help networks; the disabling results of previous age and linked actual deteriorations; and the altering nature of attitudes in the direction of welfare provision for the disabled and the ambivalent position of medieval associations and charity within the help and care of disabled humans.

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Additional info for A Social History of Disability in the Middle Ages: Cultural Considerations of Physical Impairment (Routledge Studies in Cultural History, Volume 4)

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104 Judicial mutilation was sanctioned not just by temporal law, but it was also underpinned by religious notions. Many hagiographical narratives mention the intervention of a saint to physically punish a miscreant; such punishments often resulted in physically impairing conditions such as loss of limbs or eyes. Just one example may suffice as illustration. 105 Saints of course did not just punish; they helped the victims of judicial mutilation, too—miracles are a bit of a double-edged sword in the narratives.

Already the Visigothic laws promulgated by King Reccesvinth in 654 forbade even the great landholders to mutilate their slaves in any way; although one should note this applied only to actions taken without due legal process:170 If any master or mistress, without a preliminary investigation in court, should openly and wickedly deprive their slave of his nose, lip, tongue, ear, or foot, or should tear out his eye, or should mutilate any other part of his body . . he or she shall be sentenced . .

93 Legal records from Bamberg mention one Hans Lobeles, a cook originating from Worms on the Rhine, who in 1424 was caught red-handed cutting off people’s moneybags. 94 Apart from punishment through the immediate pain of mutilation, the future visible damage to the ears was intended to permanently inscribe the misdemeanour on the body of the convicted criminal. 97 Nasal mutilation can be especially associated with women’s deviant behaviour. 100 As far as visible corporal punishments were concerned, removal of the nose was the most immediately apparent mutilation, observable on the body of the convicted by others before they may have noticed blinded eyes or absent hands.

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