chapter  12
19 Pages

Marginality and community at the Hospital of Saint-Esprit in late medieval Marseille

WithCaley McCarthy

This chapter provides a detailed examination of the daily expenses and income of the Hospital of Saint-Esprit in Marseille, France from 1306 to 1457. Through her analysis, these records provide a vivid picture of physical and spiritual caregiving at a municipal institution that tended to the sick poor, pilgrims, prostitutes, mariners, and abandoned infants. She asserts that these individuals fell outside of typical urban networks of support and therefore have often been considered “marginal.” However, their privation meant that many of them could be categorized as the “deserving poor.” While marginal to urban social networks, those cared for at the Hospital of Saint-Esprit were fully incorporated into social and spiritual networks that caregivers at the hospital wove to support those in their charge.