The first source to consider will be a picture by an unknown author titled “A nun feeding a leper.” The painting was created ca. 1275 as an illustration for a psalter and was intended for both secular people and members of the clergy.
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The painting depicts a nun feeding a man with leprosy. Specifically, the basket of fish that the nun hands to the man shows the feeding process, whereas the man’s skin covered with red dots symbolizing leprosy portrays the disease.
Placing the image in a context, one should mention that the Middle Ages were known for the dominance of Christian religion as the foundational guidance and value system for society.
To understand the image better, one might want to ask the questions of who the man in the picture is. Additionally, the nun’s personal story would help to understand why she decided to support those in need.
The second source to consider is “Lepers, Jews, and Muslims: The plot to overthrow Christendom” by Barber (1981). The selected excerpt shows how people with leprosy were ostracized in the Medieval Era. Intended for scholars and general audiences, the article bears quitr strong significance as the evidence of ostracism to which people with leprosy were subjected.
The article tells about the events occurring in 1321, when the alleged conspiracy supposedly created by lepers, Jewish people, and Muslim people against France and its citizens. Specifically, the first paragraph describes the discovery of the ostensible conspiracy. The source in question shows that the life during the specified era was tremendously challenging due to the lack of trust.
The era in question, also belonging to the Middle Ages, is notorious for the lack of education. The specified characteristic does not excuse the malicious intent of the choices described in the article, but it helps understand why these choices were made in the first place.
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To understand the text better, questions such as “Why the specified populations were grouped as one?” could be asked. This question would allow learning more about the nature of prejudices against the described groups.
Written by Ibn Munqidh in the 1100s, “The book of contemplation: Islam and the crusades” is represented by multiple poems created for an average reader and translated into English in 2008.
The excerpt narrates about a grandson of a man suffering from a skin condition, supposedly, leprosy: “It might be leprosy” (Ibn Munqidh, 2008, p. 197). The document details the specifics of the time period, such as the focus on honesty and honor.
The exploration of science was a rather prominent trend in the specified era in the East. The specified knowledge shows why the narration was placed in the described setting.
To improve the understanding of the text, one might consider asking further questions about the grat-grandfather and his great-grandson. An insight into their relationships would help to relate to them closer.
“Statutes of the leprosarium of St. Mary Magdalene Leprosarum in Dudstone, England” is a document written by St. Ivo of Chartres in 1127 and translated into English in 1981. The document was intended for the hospital staff.
The statutes explain how leprosy should be treated in patients. Specifically, every point made by the author illustrates the idea of proper health management as viewed in the specified epoch. The document in question shows that, while leprosy was regarded as a common disease, people were still ostracized.
The era in question is known as the early Middle Ages and is particularly famous for the rapid development of Islam. The focus on religion explains the tone of the statutes, which are based on Christian principles of piety.
The questions that could be raised in regard to the document in question include the reasoning behind the statutes and the challenges of implementing them. Thus, the effects of the statutes could b understood better.
“The decrees of the Third Lateran Council” were written in 1179 by the members of the Lateran Council and represented legal standards aimed at every citizen. The specified document has tremendous significance since it demonstrates relationships within society on the specified time slot.
The document in question prohibits people with leprosy from entering the church. Thus, the Decrees illustrate the discriminatory attitudes toward people with leprosy during the Medieval Ages.
The tremendous significance of Christianity was the main characteristic of the era, which is why prohibiting people with leprosy from entering the church seems to be particularly cruel.
To understand the document better, one might want to ask whether it was intended to shield others or to reinforce the social status quo. To answer this question, primary evidence, such as historical records, will be required.
An excerpt from the book by Wilkinson (1977) depicts the attitudes toward people with leprosy supposedly observed in the Middle Ages yet interpreted through the modern lens. The book is intended for those willing to learn about the treatment of people with leprosy across history.
The excerpt depicts the process of managing leprosy in the ancient times. The mentioning of Sodom and Gomorra as geographic references supports the time placemen of the narrative. The document shows how the disease was managed at the time.
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The epoch described in the narrative is known as highly focused on Christian beliefs. The specified perspective allows understanding the interpretation of leprosy in the story.
The questions to be asked include the need to know more about the people depicted in the story. The answers to these questions will help to relate to them closer.
A nun feeding a leper [Image] (ca. 1275). J. Paul Getty Museum.
Barber, M. (1981). Lepers, Jews, and Muslims: The plot to overthrow Christendom in 1321. History, 1–17.
Ibn Munqidh, U. (2008). The book of contemplation: Islam and the crusades (P. M. Cobb, Ed. & Trans.). Penguin UK.
of Chartres, St. Ivo. (1981). Statutes of the leprosarum of St. Mary Magdalene Leprosarum in Dudstone, England. John Hopkins University Press.
The decrees of the Third Lateran Council (vol. 1). (1179). (N. P. Tanner, Trans.). Georgetown University Press.
Wilkinson, J. (1977). Jerusalem pilgrims before the Crusades. Warminster, 1977.