Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage

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(830 words)

Leprosy has often been regarded as a quintessentially medieval pathology, and the figure of the medieval leper is one entwined with images of pilgrimage (see also Illness Miracles). The healing of leprosi at medieval shrines was perceived as a particularly powerful miracle, both because of the symbolic associations of the disease with sin and because in contemporary medical opinion, leprosy was an incurable condition. Leprosaria, or medieval leper houses, were frequently constructed along popular pilgrimage routes in order to capitalize on the charity of devout travele…

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Julie Orlemanski, “Leprosy”, in: Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage. Consulted online on 30 May 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2213-2139_emp_SIM_000151>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004181298, 20091023

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