Medieval and Early Modern medical compendia (Arzneibücher) include longer or shorter treatises, prescriptions and other materials of various origin. For this reason, it is not uncommon for scholars working on them to come across charms and blessings aimed at healing a given pathology or at helping in its treatment (e.g. charms for staunching blood, for a good wound progress, against worms, etc.). Some of these verbal remedies are explicitly recognized and introduced as such by the author of the medical compilation, some others are not distinguished from other prescriptions explaining, for example, how to prepare a powder or a drink. German charms have been repeatedly studied and classified according to aim, structure and motives. Nevertheless, none of the existing works has ever taken into account Low German charms and blessings, unless they could be considered variants of analogous High German texts. A specific, systematic work on Low German magical formulas would, therefore, be more than desirable. In this paper, which aims at representing a first and delimited step in this direction, I will search for healing charms and blessings in a wide corpus of Middle Low German medical and surgical sources, paying particular attention to their structure and to the motives and patterns they employ, in order to identify any specifically Low German peculiarity (e.g. predilection and / or idiosyncrasy for a pattern or a theme).

Charms and Blessings in the Middle Low German Medical Tradition

Benati, C.
2017

Abstract

Medieval and Early Modern medical compendia (Arzneibücher) include longer or shorter treatises, prescriptions and other materials of various origin. For this reason, it is not uncommon for scholars working on them to come across charms and blessings aimed at healing a given pathology or at helping in its treatment (e.g. charms for staunching blood, for a good wound progress, against worms, etc.). Some of these verbal remedies are explicitly recognized and introduced as such by the author of the medical compilation, some others are not distinguished from other prescriptions explaining, for example, how to prepare a powder or a drink. German charms have been repeatedly studied and classified according to aim, structure and motives. Nevertheless, none of the existing works has ever taken into account Low German charms and blessings, unless they could be considered variants of analogous High German texts. A specific, systematic work on Low German magical formulas would, therefore, be more than desirable. In this paper, which aims at representing a first and delimited step in this direction, I will search for healing charms and blessings in a wide corpus of Middle Low German medical and surgical sources, paying particular attention to their structure and to the motives and patterns they employ, in order to identify any specifically Low German peculiarity (e.g. predilection and / or idiosyncrasy for a pattern or a theme).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/860868
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