[Human abnormalities--their importance in the world view during antiquity and the early Middle Ages].

Abstract

In consideration of the experience that also in our present day society the development of a handicapped baby is understood by some as the visible result of a morally guilty behaviour of the parents, the present study raises the question, whether the identification of physical appearance and moral attitude has been in a certain historical epoch the preferred approach in science for understanding the origin of human malformations. After the treatment of the teratological theories in greek medicine and aristotelian natural philosophy the question of the origin of human malformation is examined in Pliny's "Historia naturalis" and Augustine's "De civitate dei". A comparison between the theories presented shows that the moral interpretation of human malformation is an inevitable consequence of the augustinian theological thinking.

Cite this paper

@article{Neumann1992HumanAI, title={[Human abnormalities--their importance in the world view during antiquity and the early Middle Ages].}, author={Josef N Neumann}, journal={Sudhoffs Archiv}, year={1992}, volume={76 2}, pages={214-31} }