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Just like us, medieval men and women worried about growing old, got blisters and indigestion, fell in love, and had children. And yet their lives were full of miraculous and richly metaphorical experiences radically different from our own, unfolding in a world where deadly wounds might be healed overnight by divine intervention, or where the heart of a king, plucked from his corpse, could be held aloft as a powerful symbol of political rule.
In this witty and unusual history, Jack Hartnell uncovers the fascinating ways in which people thought about, explored, and experienced their physical selves in the Middle Ages, from Constantinople to Cairo and Canterbury. Unfolding like a medieval pageant, and filled with saints, soldiers, caliphs, queens, monks and monstrous beasts, it throws light on the medieval body from head to toe - revealing the surprisingly sophisticated medical knowledge of the time.
Bringing together medicine, art, music, politics, philosophy, religion, and social history, there is no better guide to what life was really like for the men and women who lived and died in the Middle Ages. Perfumed and decorated with gold, fetishized, or tortured, powerful even beyond death, these medieval bodies are not passive and buried away; they can still teach us what it means to be human.
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- Barry Hufstedler
An interesting medieval time machine
This book was an interesting introduction to the medieval world. If you are interested in medieval history or life, then you should listen to this book. How the medieval world thought about the body and its functions are explored and there are some surprising revelations. The narrator was engaging and this book is not some dry read.
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