Chapter ID: CBB062001558

O entendimento do corpo monstruoso no Portugal do século XVIII (2021)


This chapter argues that the interpretation of monsters as prodigies was still dominant in the Portuguese literature of the first half of the 18th century. This situation contrasts with European centers of learning where natural causes were in general invoked. This is probably related to the importance of religion in Portuguese society, as well as to the fact that the clergy controlled the censorship of books and other printed material and favoured moral lessons even at the cost of a lack of validation. The analysis has also shown that this kind of understanding was not restricted to “popular” audiences, and was also shared by some physicians who lacked a critical attitude in the validation of monstrous occurrences. The research has shown a significant change in the second half of the 18th century. During this period, Portuguese study and debate concerning monstrous beings was often carried out within certain enlightened principles and, in particular, with the aim of eradicating superstition.

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Authors & Contributors
Sill, Geoffrey M.
Gladfelder, Hal
Madden, Deborah
Garrett, Frances Mary
Milner, Matthew
Forrest, Satnam Mendoza
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
History of Religions
Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies
Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation
History and Theory
Archives Internationales d'Histoire des Sciences
Cambridge University Press
University of Texas Press
University of Toronto Press
New York, City University of
University of Pennsylvania Press
Medicine and literature
Human body
Medicine and religion
Witchcraft; demonology
Wesley, John
Plautus, Titus Maccius
Blackmore, Richard, Sir
Cicero, Marcus Tullius
Huarte, Juan
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
Time Periods
18th century
17th century
16th century
Early modern
19th century
Persia (Iran)
Great Britain

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