This volume brings together environmental and human perspectives, engages with both historians and scientists, and, being mindful that environments and disease recognize no boundaries, includes studies that touch on Europe, the wider Mediterranean world, Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
Disease and the Environment in the Medieval and Early Modern Worlds explores the intertwined relationships between humans, the natural and manmade environments, and disease. Urgency gives us a sense that we need a longer view of human responses and interactions with the airs, waters, and places in which we live, and a greater understanding of the activities and attitudes that have led us to the present. Through a series of new research studies, two salient questions are explored: What are the deeper patterns in thinking about disease and the environment? What can we know about the environmental and ecological parameters of emergent human diseases over a longer period – aspects of disease that contemporary persons were not able to know or understand in the way that we do today?
The broad chronological and geographical approach makes this volume perfect for students and scholars interested in the history of disease, environment, and landscape in the medieval and early modern worlds.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Diseases in Historical Environments
Section I: Cleansing and Managing Local Airs, Waters, and Places
1. "For the Good and Pacific State of the People and the Commune": Healthscaping in Bologna and Siena before the Black Death (c. 1100–1348)
Anna M. Peterson and Courtney Krolikowski
2. "The Nourishment of Infections": Disease and Waterscape in Late Medieval Valencia
3. From Helpful Gardens to Hateful Words: Moral and Physical Healthscaping in the Late Medieval Rhineland
Lucy C. Barnhouse
Section II: Recalibrating Airs, Waters, and Places: New Environments, New Mentalities
4. "Turkey is Almost a Perpetual Seminary of the Plague": Relocating Pathogenic Plague Environments
5. Managing Disaster and Understanding Disease and the Environment in the Early Eighteenth Century
6. "Hot Climates" and Disease: Early Modern European Views of Tropical Environments
Section III: Science Meets Historical Disease Environments
7. Environments of Health and Disease in Tropical Africa before the Colonial Era
8. The Rise and Fall of a Historical Plague Reservoir: The Case of Ottoman Anatolia
9. Survival in the Context of Urbanization and Environmental Change in Medieval and Early Modern London, England
Sharon N. Dewitte
Lori Jones is a medical historian at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, Canada. Her research focuses primarily on plague texts and images. She is the author of Patterns of Plague (2022) and co-editor of Death and Disease in the Medieval and Early Modern World (2022) with Nükhet Varlık.