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Walking CorpsesLeprosy in Byzantium and the Medieval West$
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Timothy S. Miller and John W. Nesbitt

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451355

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451355.001.0001

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Byzantine Medicine

Byzantine Medicine

(p.48) Chapter 3 Byzantine Medicine
Walking Corpses

Timothy S. Miller

John W. Nesbitt

Cornell University Press

This chapter first focuses on the problem of contagion regarding Elephant Disease, before turning to the notion that leprosy increased sexual desires in its victims, and to the methods of classifying leprosy as a disease. It remarks on the difficulties of mapping the relationship between Byzantine medicine and leprosy as well as identifying the practices of medieval Greek physicians, thus limiting this chapter's scope to an examination of how Christian ideas about leprosy helped shape Byzantine medical theories about the disease. In addition, this chapter examines how Greek medical ideas about leprosy influenced Christian leaders in constructing leprosariums and in organizing therapeutic routines for patients in these institutions.

Keywords:   contagion, sexual desires, classifying leprosy, Byzantine medicine, Greek medical ideas, Christian ideas about leprosy, leprosariums

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