Disability in Medieval Europe: Thinking about Physical Impairment in the High Middle Ages, c.1100–c.1400, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Disability in Medieval Europe

Thinking about Physical Impairment in the High Middle Ages, c.1100–c.1400, 1st Edition

By Irina Metzler


356 pages

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This impressive volume presents a thorough examination of all aspects of physical impairment and disability in medieval Europe. Examining a popular era that is of great interest to many historians and researchers, Irene Metzler presents a theoretical framework of disability and explores key areas such as:

  • medieval theoretical concepts
  • theology and natural philosophy
  • notions of the physical body
  • medical theory and practice.

Bringing into play the modern day implications of medieval thought on the issue, this is a fascinating and informative addition to the research studies of medieval history, history of medicine and disability studies scholars the English-speaking world over.


"…what an extraordinary achievement this pioneering book is." – Social History of Medicine

"When Irina Metzler's book first came out in 2006, it was not immediately evident that it was one of those rare pioneering works that opens a whole field of study in a discipline. … But Metzler performed important services for both medievalists and for scholars in Disability Studies. … Metzler's book has opened an important conversation and provides, for those interested in the issue of disability in the Middle Ages, a welcome place to begin." – Leah Shopkow (Indiana University), The Medieval Review

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. The Theoretical Framework of Disability 3. Medieval Theoretical Concepts of the (Impaired) Body 4. Impairment in Medieval Medicine and Natural Philosophy 5. Medieval Miracles and Impairment 6. Conclusion

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Medieval Religion and Culture

This series presents developments and debates within the field of medieval religion and culture. It provides a broad range of case studies and theoretical perspectives, covering a variety of topics, theories and issues.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Medieval
MEDICAL / History