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Medical Writing in Transition: Between Ars and Vulgus

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image of Early Science and Medicine

The form and content of vernacular medicine, particularly in translations from Latin writings, differ both from scholastic learning and from popular lore. As a Middle High German version of Bernard de Gordon's Lilium medicine shows, the translator aimed for broader intelligibility than teachers, by elucidating terms and simplifying theories. Nevertheless, he also evinced a bookish superiority to lay people by his concern with precision and disdain for illiteracy. At the same time, a greater closeness to a popular level was reflected in the admiration for masters and in the esthetic importance of emotions.

Affiliations: 1: University of Virginia


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