By Possession (Medievals)
Ergot, a fungus which grows on rye and other grain during wet seasons, causes two sets of symptoms—convulsive, which causes contortions, twitching and hallucinations—and gangrenous, which causes nausea, burning sores, pain and loss of limbs, as well as hallucinations. When the people were at St. In , the Order of St. Anthony was founded to treat people so afflicted. As St. Anthony was the patron saint, the condition was called St. One day, in , a woman in Strasbourg began dancing in the street, which might not seem all that unusual, but she kept dancing, and people joined her — 34 within the week and more after that.
None of these people could stop dancing, though they were frightened and desperate.source site
Medieval Political Philosophy (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Town authorities and physicians thought that when the dancers got tired they would stop, so they built stages, hired musicians and set aside places for them to dance. Strangely enough, dancing plagues were not uncommon. Ten other breakouts of compulsive dancing had occurred before A massive outbreak happened in , taking over entire towns in Belgium, Luxembourg and France.
There was no cure for this frenzied dancing — prayers were the best, and perhaps only option. Ergot poisoning has been suggested as a cause for the dancing plagues of medieval Europe. Ergot, however, causes loss of motor control, not continuous coordinated movements.
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A historian named John Waller studied the phenomenon and concluded it was most likely mass psychogenic illness caused by intense stress. As cause of the stress, Waller cites the unrest of the times — harsh winters, famines and strong supernatural beliefs — including the belief that Saint Vitus, if angered, would send a dancing plague upon an unrepentant people.
Catching Water Elf Disease resulted in painful and itchy red sores, blackened nails, fever, fatigue and watery eyes. Some cures and treatments were recorded by Anglo-Saxons in the 10th century. Sufferers should smear the resulting salve on their forehead, eyes and any sore body parts.
It resulted in painless, black lesions on the neck that could rupture into large open sores. Its cure was simple if unusual — a touch from the king or queen.
Medieval medicine of Western Europe
Perhaps some did find relief, as placebos can be powerful. Many kings and queens performed the touching ceremony — either by touching the necks of the ailing or by handing them a coin picturing an angel. During the Middle Ages, convents were often afflicted by mass motor hysteria, starting around and lasting about years. While some or perhaps most nuns were devoutly religious, many others were placed in convents unwillingly.
Many convents were poor and life was harsh with physical labor, a strict diet and unstinting prayers. Due to stress, many nuns would exhibit hysterical behaviours — from acting out sexually to signs of demonic possession such as foaming at the mouth, fainting and screaming to behaving as certain animals. Yet she was in for a shock when she met David de Abyndon, a tradesman of extraordinary poise—and baffling indifference to her social status. For Christiana has no idea that she is but a prize in a royal deal between the king and a passionate man who now realizes that by winning her body, he may have lost his heart….
By Posession For years she thought he was dead.
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Returned from the Crusades, the young squire who was once her hero was now her lord, a hardened man determined to reclaim the lands usurped by his stepbrother. Addis cannot afford to be distracted by a woman—even one as tempting as Moira. Yet his desire for her may be more dangerous than his deadliest battles. For by law, Moira belonged to him—but possessing her heart is another affair. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 2.
Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Nov 21, Anne rated it it was amazing Shelves: keep-forever-and-ever-and-ever , medievals-to-cherish.
By Arrangement was the first book I ever read by Madeline Hunter, and it remains near the very top of my keepers. Why I love this book: I love to read and want to be a writer, and when I grow up, I want to write like Madeline Hunter. She weaves a story about deception, desire, innocence and betrayal. It's a complex story and one where no one is as they seem -- so you are constantly taken by surprise.
Rich historical detail about 14th century Europe, its merchant trade and political intrigue. Ther By Arrangement was the first book I ever read by Madeline Hunter, and it remains near the very top of my keepers.
There is humor too as the hero and heroine get to know and appreciate one another. The heroine, Christiana, is a noblewoman -- she is betrothed to a rich merchant, David. This is totally NOT how she has seen her future as a noblewoman. This is a HUGE deal, because the merchant class were viewed as underlings. She has lost her position and it stings.
She's angered and begs and pleads with David, our hero, for release from the agreement -- David doesn't disclose the reason for the betrothal, and is very attracted to Christiana -- she senses there is more to their betrothal than mere attraction and there is! Him: Sensuous, experienced, intelligent, wealthy, honor bound and hiding secrets. Her: Innocent, beautiful, clever, a realist, and determined. Because she's an innocent she doesn't see the spell David weaves from the very beginning -- a spell of honest desire, longing, and a relationship built on openness about what lies between them if not exactly complete honesty with Christiana.
You can see their future even before they can, and it is so tantalizing that it keeps you moving forward through the book like magic. Lovely read. Captivating and complex. Gorgeous narrative, wonderfully sensual love scenes, humor, suspense Jul 31, Jujubee rated it it was amazing. A must have series for your library. Can't go wrong with Madeline Hunter! She's my go-to read every time. Anastasia rated it it was amazing Jul 21, Amy Meeker koller rated it really liked it Aug 16, Cory Ida rated it really liked it Sep 25, Busygirl rated it really liked it Sep 01,