Anna Margaretha Wiedemann – A healing woman and her patients in early modern Frankfurt

part of: Food, Plants, Remedies and Healing Practices: Women’s Ideas in the History of Medicine
May 29, 2024, 4:30pm - 6:30pm

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University of Exeter
Paderborn University

Topic areas



In 1670, a conflict between Frankfurt surgeons and the healer Anna Margaretha Wiedemann broke out. The surviving sources offer deep insights into the practice of women healers in the early modern period, who treated their patients, competing with male doctors and barbers. In addition to statements by Wiedemann and the surgeons, there are numerous testimonies from patients, which shed light on the coping strategies used by the community to deal with diseases. They also show the expectations and duties that were set and fulfilled by patients, their social environment and the healers.

The lecture will address the following questions:

How did the relationship between healers, patients and their social environment take form? What knowledge and forms of medical treatment were used by the practitioners? How were disease and health defined and differentiated by the protagonists?

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