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Écrire la maladie au XVIIe siècle

Une étude de la production imprimée lyonnaise
Cécile Floury-Buchalin


Two periods of the printed production of Lyon have been studied : from 1601 to 1607 and from 1693 to 1699. In all the books gathered, it appears that more than a half of the authors (whether clergymen, historians, poets or doctors) have an interest in Illness, Health or related matters. This interest prevails all throughout the 17th century and relies on a reality which is more cultural than pathological : biblical illnesses such as leprosy, blindness or sterility assume a particular importance. But both religious and medical influences are present and Galen’s humours theory is prevalent in most of the books. Moreover, from the medical and the religious point of view alike, illness is regarded like an abnormal state, like a consequence of men’s guilt. Thus therapeutics as well as spiritual care appeal to come back to an pure paradisiacal original health. Nevertheless a divergence between medical and religious points of view appears concerning human body: should it be kept in contempt or, at the contrary, should it be admired and healed as a creation of God?

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Electronic reference

Cécile Floury-Buchalin, « Écrire la maladie au XVIIe siècle », Cahiers d'histoire [Online], 47-1 | 2002, Online since 13 May 2009, connection on 25 May 2018. URL :

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