What happened when you fell ill in the Middle Ages, and how did people stay healthy? This talk explores the health issues that faced medieval people, from plague to chronic diseases like leprosy. It considers how medical treatments, therapies and hospitals assisted the sick, and how religion was crucial to ideas about illness.

Dr Elma Brenner is Wellcome Collection’s medieval specialist. Her publications, including Leprosy and Charity in Medieval Rouen (2015), explore social and religious responses to illness in the Middle Ages. She is currently investigating the intersections between faith, trust and health in medieval Europe.