The conception of diseases in the persuasive sections of Hungarian medical recipes from the 16th and 17th centuries: Ágnes Kuna
The conception of diseases in the persuasive sections of Hungarian medical recipes from the 16th and 17th centuries
Ágnes Kuna (Budapest)
Health preservation and the healing process have always played a significant role in human culture. Every age and society cultivated different notions of diseases, which can be evidenced in their linguistic conceptualization. These conceptualizations are fundamentally defined by our embodied cognition as well as our beliefs and belief-systems, the prevailing scientific views of medicine, and the level of institutionalisation – or, in short, the sociocultural factors of the relevant time period and the relevant medical traditions. Previous research on conceptions of diseases relies mostly on the semantic analysis of names denoting diseases (cf. Keszler 2003; Kuna 2010; Norri 1992). The present study, however, aims to investigate the conceptual construction of illnesses in a broader, discourse-analytic framework. It focuses on the persuasive section of medical recipes, which is one of the most relevant genres in the Hungarian medical text tradition of the 16th and 17th centuries. My corpus-based analysis concentrates on the electronic version of the earliest extant remedy book in Hungarian, the Ars Medica (cca. 1577), as well as six contemporary handwritten recipe collections from the 16th and 17th centuries.
The structure of my paper is as follows: Section 2 presents my research questions. In Section 3, the empirical basis of my study is described and placed into the context of 16th-century medicine and the emerging tradition of medical texts. Section 4 provides an...