Jews, Medicine, and Medieval Society
Jews were excluded from most professions in medieval, predominantly Christian Europe. Bigotry was widespread, yet Jews were accepted as doctors and surgeons, administering not only to other Jews but to Christians as well. Why did medieval Christians suspend their fear and suspicion of the Jews, allowing them to inspect their bodies, and even, at times, to determine their survival? What was the nature of the doctor-patient relationship? Did the law protect Jewish doctors in disputes over care and treatment?
Joseph Shatzmiller explores these and other intriguing questions in the first full social history of the medieval Jewish doctor. Based on extensive archival research in Provence, Spain, and Italy, and a deep reading of the widely scattered literature, Shatzmiller examines the social and economic forces that allowed Jewish medical professionals to survive and thrive in thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Europe. His insights will prove fascinating to scholars and students of Judaica, medieval history, and the history of medicine.
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Jews and the Medicalization of Society in the Middle Ages
The Growing Need for Doctors
Church Opposition to the Clerical Practice of Medicine
The Entry of Jews into the Profession
The Making of the Jewish Doctor
The Masters and the Students
Jewish Students in the Faculties of Medicine
The Hebrew Medical Library
Ecclesiastical and Secular Legislation against Jewish Doctors
The Ineffectiveness of Legislation
Jewish Doctors in the Medieval City Numbers and Status
The Number of Jewish and NonJewish Doctors
Women in the Medical Profession
Doctors Hired by Municipalities
Private Practice Doctors and Patients in Daily Encounters
Was There a Mystique about Jewish Doctors?
The Language of Medical Instruction
The Economics of Translation
Strategy and Timing
Reputation Brilliant Medical Careers
Doctors in Princely Courts
Jewish Doctors of International Repute
Royal Favors Bestowed on Doctors
Rejection Apprehensions about Jewish Doctors
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