Between the East and the West…

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V0034892 Christ healing a leper. Woodcut by an unidentified cutter, 1

Christ healing a leper. Woodcut by an unidentified cutter, 1571, after Jost Amman. (Wellcome Library no. 6i).

The next seminar in the 2013-14 History of Pre-Modern Medicine academic seminar series, will take place on Tuesday 29th October.

Details: François-Olivier Touati (Université François-Rabelais, Tours)

‘Between the East and the West: transmission of diseases, connection of medical responses during the Middle Ages’


The demographic disasters of two pandemics of plague mark the start and the autumn of the Middle Ages. Their impact imposed a model of pathological diffusion from the East to the West. Was this true of other diseases? And to what extent did the increase in exchanges produced by the crusades in the 12th and 13th centuries reinforce this phenomenon? In this paper, the validity of this  model of diffusion will be examined through the example of leprosy. The question forces us to compare medical responses, their connections, and their significance on both sides of the Mediterranean.


The seminar will take place in the Wellcome Trust, Gibbs Building, 215 Euston Road, NW1 2BE.  Doors at 6pm prompt, seminars will start at 6.15pm.

The seminar series is focused on pre-modern medicine, which we take to cover European and non-European history before the 20th century (antiquity, medieval and early modern history, some elements of 19th-century medicine).

Further details on the seminar series are available in a previous post.

Ross Macfarlane

Ross Macfarlane is the Research Engagement Officer at the Wellcome Library.

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