Session1510
TitleWater and Health: Religious, Social, and Environmental Perspectives, I
Date/TimeThursday 6 July 2017: 09.00-10.30
 
SponsorWellcome Library, London
 
OrganiserElma Brenner, Wellcome Collection, London
 
Moderator/ChairCarole Rawcliffe, School of History, University of East Anglia
 
Paper 1510-a Building Wells and Cleaning Souls: Maintaining Spiritual Health in a Late Medieval Sermon Series
(Language: English)
Hetta Howes, Department of English, City, University of London
Index Terms: Daily Life; Language and Literature - Middle English; Medicine; Sermons and Preaching
Paper 1510-b Gutters and Cesspools: Waste Water Management and Sanitation in Medieval Montpellier
(Language: English)
Catherine Dubé, Département d'histoire, Université de Sherbrooke, Québec
Geneviève Dumas, Département d'histoire, Université de Sherbrooke, Québec
Index Terms: Daily Life; Economics - Urban; Medicine; Social History
 
AbstractThis session explores the connections between water and health in medieval urban and religious culture. Water had strong spiritual associations, especially with the cleansing of souls and miraculous healing. By the late Middle Ages, people were aware of the connection between polluted water and the spread of disease. The moral imperative to protect the purity of water sources was informed by both religious and environmental thinking. Offenders who polluted urban water supplies, such as butchers, were subject to opprobrium and ostracism. The papers address the multifaceted relationship between water and health by considering a range of sources, from sermons to municipal records.