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Materia medica animalis: Untersuchungen zum 'Tierbuch' (ca. 1478) des Zuercher apothekerknechts Hans Minner
Marian Elizabeth Polhill
Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, 2002

"This dissertation edits, translates, and analyzes a previously unpublished late medieval pharmaceutical bestiary. While scholarship in medieval German studies has focused on bestiaries from theological and allegorical perspectives, few studies have pursued the medico-cultural implications of the uses of animal products in medieval medicine. My research addresses this gap, editing the Tierbuch by Hans Minner and comparing it formally and substantively to other medieval bestiaries and bestiary chapters in encyclopedias, through which I suggest that Minner created a new genre: the late medieval German apothecary's bestiary. Each passage is analyzed closely and discussed in relation to corresponding indications in the following and other texts: the encyclopedias of Thomas de Chantimpré, Bartholomaeus Anglicus, Vincent of Beauvais, Albertus Magnus, Konrad of Megenberg, and Pliny the Elder; the pharmaceutical texts of Dioscorides and Pseudo-Serapion; the Kyranides and the medical bestiary of Sextus Placitus. The comparison aims at an organo-therapeutic interpretation of the Tierbuch's often ambiguous contents, providing a basis for considering the text's participation in and location at the intersection of medical and sociocultural discourses as well as for engaging with the epistemological consequences of Minner's misreadings of his sources. In addition, the analysis reveals orthographic and semantic variants and lexemes missing in standard Middle High German dictionaries such as those by Lexer and Benecke-Müller-Zarncke, which often fail to list medical terms. Specialists in the history of medicine have recently come to consider Hans Minner one of the most important medieval German pharmacists because of his range of knowledge and prolific output. The edition of the Tierbuch confirms this assessment and contributes to the history of pharmacology, which has tended to neglect both medical bestiaries and Hans Minner; it also establishes the groundwork for future studies dealing with gendered and professional exclusions and definitions of pharmaceutical practice in fifteenth-century Zurich. My editorial principles correspond to those provided in Richtlinien der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft, and my analytical techniques are those of Fachprosaforschung as practiced at the Institut für Geschichte der Medizin in Würzburg, as well as medieval and early modern cultural studies." - abstract

Masters dissertation, 2002. 297 p.

Language: German

ISBN: 0-493-74937-3; PQDD: AAT 3059082
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