chapter  2
12 Pages

Folz and Printing

Hans Folz creates and repeats multiple analogies of the human body with death, corruption, decay, sublimity, enjoyment and suffering. In his medical works, images of the body express the paradoxes of its roles: locus of disease and death and of eternal bliss; symbol of the unready, the weak, flawed and sinful as well as a personification of God; locus of utter chaos as well as the center of a harmonious whole. Folz's role in medieval medicine has been ignored in scholarship, even though his position as a surgeon is integral to his oeuvre, and there is a wealth of scholarship on the plague that ravaged Europe between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries. Societal mores of the body during Folz's time have already been established as contradictory: Caroline Bynum, for example, discusses the early Christian taboo of bodily partition in view of the cult of relics, which often included separated limbs, fingers and organs of the saints.