Lori Ann Garner
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With empathy and imagination—hybridity in the field
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Old English medical texts such as the Herbarium frequently direct practitioners to find healing herbs, such as leon-fot above, ‘in fields’ [‘on feldon’]. Though feld has since come to refer to cultivated land ‘devoted to a particular crop’, the Old English word had a sense of wildness about it: ‘open country’, ‘land unencumbered by obstruction’. It was in such open, untamed fields that hybridity could best abound and new healing resources be discovered. And in turn it is in correspondingly open academic fields where the complex texts from early medieval England can be most fully understood. As a conclusion to this book’s eclectic approach, this final chapter first looks closely at a single brief remedy, the seemingly unassuming entry for Lion’s Foot in the Old English Herbarium, through the lens of each previous chapter’s approach in turn. Following this up-close strategy, the chapter then pans back out to examine how the analyses in the preceding chapters intersect with and inform one another.

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Hybrid healing

Old English remedies and medical texts


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