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Perspectives to Mental (Dis)Order in Later Medieval Europe

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter presents an overview of concepts covered in this book, which sketches boundaries of medieval mental disorders and the attitudes towards those suffering from them, as well as investigates people who were deemed to be mentally disordered. The book covers an area from southern Europe to the Nordic countries, comparison between southern and northern parts of Europe being one of the main goals of the compilation, alongside comparison of various discourses, textual communities and mentalities. The mental disorders are approached from multiple angles, and analysed with diverse source materials and within the framework of several scholarly traditions. Visual evidence and learned Latin texts, as well as vernacular treatises, are scrutinized, thus opening links between art historical, historical and literary discussions and traditions.

Keywords: Europe; medieval literature; mental disorders



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