The body and its ideology in three medical manuscripts by John of Arderne

Oberg Stradal, Sara (2011) The body and its ideology in three medical manuscripts by John of Arderne. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This dissertation addresses the different ways in which the body is rendered in three medieval medical manuscripts by John of Ardeme and how this imagery served contemporary ideological purposes. It discusses the clothed body as an indicator of social status but also of gender, which medieval biological views imply is a spectrum. Although the male side of this spectrum was considered superior, certain images subvert this notion by providing alternative views. Diagrams were used in different ways to situate the human body of viewer/reader or patient as a microcosm of the universe. Depictions of the body of the surgeon that bolster his status within the medical establishment were intensified through intervisual references to religious iconography. The body represented in fragments and through the tools that act on it also employ intervisual references to religious iconography that in turn elevate the status of both the surgeon and his procedures. Blood is given special treatment in the manuscript imagery to describe the body as integral and alive, even in images that only depict fragments.. These different findings demonstrate how medieval medical iconography responded to specific social, ideological and theological concerns, and show how Ardeme's ostensibly practical treatise also promoted the social position of surgeons.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: Debra Strickland
Keywords: Art history, Science history
Date of Award: 2011
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2011-74112
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2019 15:33
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 15:33
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/74112

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