A comparative study of the hospitals and leprosaria in Narbonne, France and Siena, Italy (1080-1348)
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This thesis analyses the development of the hospitals and leprosaria in Narbonne and Siena from their foundation to the Black Death (1080-1348). Specifically, it examines their respective relationships with the people of Narbonne and Siena and the municipality within a comparative framework. This thesis helps address the gap in comparative studies of the history of hospitals and leprosaria. This comparative study demonstrates how the internal governance of these institutions responded to — and were indeed shaped by — changes in the political and social climate of Narbonne and Siena. This becomes apparent through a comparison of the Hospital of St Just and Hospital of St Paul in Narbonne with the Ospedale di Santa Maria della Scala in Siena. While all these houses were established by ecclesiastical institutions between the late eleventh and mid-twelfth century, there is a marked difference between the growth of the Ospedale and that of the institutions in Narbonne. Furthermore, the Ospedale’s independence from its founders, coupled with Siena’s wealth and population, facilitated its development into a paragon of the medieval hospital. Such elements are absent from Narbonne, which was entering a period of decline in the thirteenth century. This thesis also recontextualises the study of leprosaria in both cities by deconstructing the traditional exclusion narrative; indeed, this study presents the first examination of the lepers and leprosaria in Siena. Examination of these two cities reveals that there were various approaches to supporting and regulating lepers. It also demonstrates that lepers and leprosaria played an important role within the urban environment, by providing lepers a community while also presenting the healthy with an opportunity to serve them and reap spiritual benefits. This thesis provides a comprehensive analysis of the institutional development of assistive houses in these two cities, placing them in their respective political and social contexts and evaluates the relationship of these assistive institutions with authorities, especially the episcopacy, papacy, and municipality.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2022-10-26
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic copy restricted until 26th October 2022
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