Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Demons and Mental Disorder in Late Medieval Medicine

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

This chapter traces the late medieval medical approaches to the role of demons in affecting a person's mental wellbeing. First, it looks at the earlier medical texts which provided the basis for late medieval ideas about demonic mental disorder. Next, the chapter discusses the ideas of Latin medical writers active between the thirteenth and the fifteenth centuries. It also looks at some of the ways in which physicians sought to dismiss the belief that demons caused mental disorder by claiming that visions of demons were hallucinations and that only ignorant people took them literally. Finally, the chapter analyzes the strange, apparently demonic symptoms displayed by certain mentally disordered people, such as the ability to prophesy and discusses how did late medieval physicians account for these, and how willing were they to concede that demons might be involved in these cases?

Keywords: demons; epilepsy; medieval medical approach; melancholia; mental disorder



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Mental (Dis)Order in Later Medieval Europe — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation