Thesis

Herbal healers and devil dealers: a study of healers and their gendered persecution in the medieval period

Long before written record, men and women have known the healing properties of herbs and medicinal arts have been practiced even before the first civilizations emerged. This ancient tradition of treating infirmity with herbal medicants was especially significant during the late middle ages, when women healers became a target and were cast as enemies of society. This thesis examines the evolution of the female healing tradition, focusing on the role of women as healers and their devaluation to witches during the renaissance and early modern periods (1500-1700). This study will also address why women and especially those identified as healers were singled out in the witch crazes that sporadically raged throughout western Europe for over two centuries.

Thesis (M.A., History) -- California State University, Sacramento, 2009.

Long before written record, men and women have known the healing properties of herbs and medicinal arts have been practiced even before the first civilizations emerged. This ancient tradition of treating infirmity with herbal medicants was especially significant during the late middle ages, when women healers became a target and were cast as enemies of society. This thesis examines the evolution of the female healing tradition, focusing on the role of women as healers and their devaluation to witches during the renaissance and early modern periods (1500-1700). This study will also address why women and especially those identified as healers were singled out in the witch crazes that sporadically raged throughout western Europe for over two centuries.

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