Medical Writing Criticism: Sexuality - Essay

Winfried Schleiner (essay date 1995)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: “Renaissance Moralizing about Syphilis and Prevention,” in Medical Ethics in the Renaissance, Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 1995, pp. 162-202.

[In the following excerpt, Schleiner considers the moral connotations that physicians of the Renaissance associated with veneral disease.]

While the problems of removing male and female seed have received little attention by modern historians of medicine or of anthropology, the history of venereal disease—more specifically, the morbus Gallicus or syphilis—has been the focus of considerable interest. Modern discussions include the following questions: Was the morbus Gallicus a new...

(The entire section is 16905 words.)

Anne Van Arsdall (essay date 1996)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: “The Medicines of Medieval and Renaissance Europe as a Source of Medicines for Today,” in Prospecting for Drugs in Ancient and Medieval European Texts: A Scientific Approach, edited by Bart K. Holland, Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1996, pp. 19-37.

[In the essay below, Van Arsdall provides an overview of medical knowledge from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, arguing that the historical texts represent the sum of what was known about disease and the body at the time.]


This chapter outlines the practice of medicine and the use of medicinal remedies from the early Middle Ages through the Renaissance in...

(The entire section is 9484 words.)

Rose A. Zimbardo (essay date 1996)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: “Satiric Representation of Venereal Disease: The Restoration Versus the Eighteenth-Century Model,” in The Secret Malady: Venereal Disease in Eighteenth-Century Britain and France, edited by Linda E. Merians, Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1996, pp. 183-95.

[In the essay below, Zimbardo considers the cultural views on venereal disease as represented in the popular fiction of the Restoration Period and the eighteenth century, noting its transition from public and comical to private and immoral.]

The Restoration period in England (1660-1700) is what the philosopher Hans Blumenberg calls a “zero point,” a moment in cultural history when an...

(The entire section is 5694 words.)

Julie Peakman (essay date 1998)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: “Medicine, the Body and the Botanical Metaphor in Erotica,” in From Physico-Theology to Bio-Technology: Essays in the Social and Cultural History of Biosciences: A Festshrift for Mikuláš Teich, edited by Kurt Bayertz and Roy Porter, Atlanta, GA: Rodopi, 1998, pp. 197-223.

[In the essay below, Peakman examines eighteenth-century erotica as a means by which the public grappled with emerging scientific ideas about the body and sex.]

Arbor Vitae, or the Tree of Life, is a succulent Plant; consisting of one straight Stem, on the Top of which is a Pistillum, or Apex. … Its Fruits, contrary to most others, grow...

(The entire section is 8341 words.)