Background: The XIII Century is known for the highest peak of devotion to Holy Mary (Marian Century). We have recently reviewed the neuropsychiatric aspects depicted at the medieval Spanish book “Cantigas de Santa Maria” (Neurology 2015;84:1991-6).
Objective: To report and compare the medical and neuropsychiatric findings in 2 famous medieval books of Marian miracles.
Material and methods: We reviewed all the miracles depicted at the XIII Century books “Cantigas de Santa Maria” (CSM, written in Galician at the court of Alfonso X) and Milagros de Nuestra Señora (MNS), written by Gonzalo de Berceo (ca. 1197–1264), the first Castilian poet known by name and compared the relevant medical, neurological and neuropsychiatric events in both books.
Results: MNS does not have illuminations and at least 9 similar narratives were also found on CSM. Among the 25 miracles reported at MNS, 36% (9/25) included medically relevant facts with 4 additional examples of resurrection and 2 stories describing evil possession. The most common medical/neuropsychiatric subjects included ob/gyn subjects (N = 2), sudden death (MI?), intellectual decline, alcohol intoxication, suicide, infanticide, infections and uncorrupted body after death (N = 1 for each). At the 427 canticles from CSM (353 miracles), 270 medically relevant facts (187 canticles) were found. Possible neuropsychiatric conditions were described in 98 canticles. Blindness and dystonia/weakness/deformities were the most common neurological phenomena. Several examples were also detailed by illuminations.
Conclusion: Medically relevant facts were described in both books. Accounts of neuropsychiatric disorders were more complete on CSM (including illuminations) whether examples on MNS were mostly psychiatric.
© 2015 Published by Elsevier Inc.