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Forging Iron and Masculinity: Farrier Trade Identities in Early Modern Germany

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Chapter Summary

Modern works on the history of veterinary medicine prior to the founding of veterinary schools in the late eighteenth century frequently depict the early modern period in Germany as a time governed by the collected wisdom of stable-masters and prescriptive manuals by court-based equine tradesmen. In order to define the court ideal for equine veterinary tradesmen, the author analyses the perspectives of four authors, ranging from the sixteenth to the early eighteenth century: Mang Seuter, Johann Walther, Georg Simon Winter and Johann Conrad Weybold. Although farrier and large-smith were at times interchangeable titles for some smiths, there was no progressive shift in title from large-smith to farrier over time. Over the course of the seventeenth century, smiths who worked with equine medicine attempted to increase the status of their trade and of their own reputation through the strategic use of old and new tropes of masculinity.

Keywords:equine veterinary tradesmen; farrier; Georg Simon Winter; Germany; Johann Conrad Weybold; Johann Walther; large-smiths; Mang Seuter; masculinity



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