Incipit 1 : Workshop de Estudos Medievais da Universidade do Porto, 2009–10
As atitudes face à doença no Portugal dos séculos XIV e XV : A lepra, os leprosos e as leprosarias
Rita Luís Sampaio da Nóvoa
AbstractDisease as a historiographical problem has been relatively absent from the Portuguese medieval studies’ list of main interests. Although it is mentioned in several articles – mainly published during the 80’s and 90’s -, the disease appears mostly as a secondary topic associated with larger problems (such as assistance and poverty) and has not yet being subject to more thorough studies. In an opposite sense, the international historiography, especially English and French, has been developing interesting and renewed perspectives that include not only the medieval perceptions about disease but also the attitudes towards the sick individuals. The following article pursues some of these new perspectives and applies them to the 14th and 15th Portuguese context. In particular, it focuses on the validity and/or historiographical utility of equations like “leprosy = fright of contagion”, “leper = poor and outcast”, “leper-house = social segregation”. In this sense, I will start by discussing the concept of disease and then move on to the analysis of the Portuguese sources, with special attention to Lisbon and other urban contexts like Porto, Coimbra, Évora and Santarém, asking questions such as: was the notion of leprosy as a contagious disease common in urban contexts? If it was, the attitudes towards lepers were solely guided by that notion or were there other factors that should be taken into consideration? How pertinent is a generalist approach that reads lepers as outcasts? What differences were there between the “lepers that walked the world”, the lepers that lived in leper-houses and the domestic lepers? Should leper-houses be considered only as prophylactic mechanisms and spaces of social exclusion or should they also be considered as institutions that enabled the integration of lepers?
Data da última atualização: 2015-01-26
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