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An Issue of Blood. The Healing of the Woman with the Haemorrhage (Mark 5.24b–34; Luke 8.42b–48; Matthew 9.19–22) in Early Medieval Visual Culture

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Chapter Summary

The textual and visual tradition of the story of the woman with the haemorrhage (Mark 5.24b-34), the so-called Haemorrhoissa, is related in a specific way to Christ's healing miracles, but also to conceptions of female menstrual blood. The early-medieval reception of the story also became an important catalyst for uterine taboos, menstruation and tits relation to magical healing, understood as a system of health practices. This chapter treats the theme of the Haemorrhoissa as located in the interstices of exegesis, iconology and anthropology, with an interdisciplinary focus on issue of blood. Firstly, it pursues the exegetical question of the specific nature of the 'issue of blood'. Secondly, it confronts this analysis with the genesis of the motif of the Haemorrhoissa in art, from which the depiction of the issue of blood is absent. Thirdly it examines the movement of the Gospel miracle story into the world of everyday material culture.

Keywords:Christ's healing miracles; Haemorrhoissa; issue of blood; Mark; menstruating woman



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