Alun Withey
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The Welsh body and popular medical culture
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Individual concepts of illness and the body in Wales involved a range of dynamic and overlapping spheres, including lay referral networks, religious beliefs and affiliation, literacy, language, popular illness narratives and so on. Italian, French and eventually English universities began to offer formal medical training and by 1500 a structure of medical practitioners was well developed. During the sixteenth century, literate Welshmen were beginning to translate English medical texts into vernacular Welsh. For the majority of people in Wales, oral culture was the main means of reception and transmission of ideas. One of the strongest contributory factors in concepts of health and sickness in Wales was religion. Christianity provided an explanatory framework for the body, and stressed the duty of each individual to look after their bodies as the vehicle for their immortal souls.

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Physick and the family

Health, medicine and care in Wales, 1600-1750


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