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VMs: Re: Spa architecture and inspirational sources
From: Luis Vélez <legal1@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Question of the day: was the inspiration for the balneological scene in
the result of direct observation, a scene from a printed book, a manuscript
or simply the imagination of the VMS author?
Has anyone in the list done any serious research on early balneological
I spent Saturday morning at the Wellcome Library of the History of
Medicine and found a large amount of material on balneology, too
much to digest at a sitting. It seems that descriptions of individual
spas and instructions for bathing were originally two different genres
of writing belonging to geography and medicine (a strict partition
between different arts and sciences was typical of purely mediaeval
thought). There are plenty of pictures of naked people in pools, some
surrounded by arcades and buildings, some not, but the pictures I
saw all contained exactly one pool; not several flowing into one another. It
is not evident why the VMS balneological section has so
many variants of much the same scene.
The Wellcome Library also contains a great many books on mediaeval and
renaissance science in general. Three hours there was hardly enough
time to browse the relevant shelves. I will go back there soon with
some specific questions to research.
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