Leprosy in Medieval Denmark: an enigmatic disease under investigation

Project: Research

See relations at Aarhus University

Description

My PhD project follows an interdisciplinary approach by merging physical anthropology with traditional and biomolecular archaeology. It investigates the medieval perception of leprosy and leprosy sufferers by using diet in leprosaria and the origin of the leprosy sufferers as proxies.

Leprosy is an infectious disease that may lead to blindness, muscle paralysis and disfigurement, and, as a result, to stigmatisation. The disease was common in Europe during the medieval period, when numerous leprosy hospitals (leprosaria) were established. Leprosaria were monastic institutions, and their purpose (isolation or nursing) has been a debatable subject for historians. Seen from a present-day perspective, leprosy hospitals – having been established during a period when the notion of contagion had not yet been comprehended – do provide an awareness of medieval attitudes towards diseases and social relations.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date01/09/201731/08/2020

ID: 145030915