By Michel Foucault

Probably the French philosopher's masterpiece, that is serious about a unprecedented query: What does it suggest to be mad?

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From the excessive center a while to the tip of the Crusades, leprosariums had expanded their towns of the damned over the complete face of Europe. in response to Mathieu Paris, there have been as many as 19,000 of them all through Christendom. at the least, round 1226, whilst Louis VIII proven the lazar-house legislations for France, greater than 2,000 seemed at the legit registers. There have been forty three within the (3) diocese of Paris by myself: those incorporated Bourg-le-Reine, Cor-beil, Saint-Valere, and the sinister Champ-Pourri (Rotten Field); incorporated additionally used to be Charenton. the 2 biggest have been within the quick neighborhood of Paris: Saint-Germain and Saint-Lazare:1 we will pay attention their names back within the historical past of one other illness. for the reason that from the 15th century on, all have been emptied; within the subsequent century Saint- Germain turned a prison for younger criminals; and prior to the time of Saint Vincent there has been just one leper left at Saint-Lazare, "Sieur Langlois, practitioner within the civil court docket. " The lazar apartment of Nancy, which used to be one of the greatest in Europe, had simply 4 inmates throughout the regency of Marie de Medicis. in line with Catel's Memoires, there have been 29 hospitals in Toulouse on the finish of the medieval interval: seven have been leprosariums; yet at the start of the 17th century we discover simply 3 pointed out: Saint-Cyprian, Amaud- Bernard, and Saint-Michael. It used to be a excitement to have a good time the disappearance of leprosy: in 1635 the population of Reims shaped a solemn procession to thank God for having added their urban from this scourge. For a century already, royal authority had undertaken the keep an eye on and reorganization of the great fortune represented via the endowments of the lazar homes; in a decree of December 19, 1543, Francois I had a census and stock taken "to treatment the nice affliction that exists at the moment within the lazar houses"; in his flip, Henri IV in an edict of 1606 prescribed a revision in their bills and dispensed "the sums bought from this research to the sustenance of terrible noblemen and crippled infantrymen. " an analogous request for law is recorded on October 24, 1612, however the extra sales have been now for use for feeding the negative. in truth, the query of the leprosariums was once now not seeded in France earlier than the top of the 17th century; and the problem's fiscal value provoked a couple of clash. have been there now not nonetheless, within the yr 1677, forty four lazar- (4) homes within the province of Dauphin on my own? On February 20, 1672, Louis XIV assigned to the Orders of Saint-Lazare and Mont-Camel the consequences of all of the army and clinic orders; they have been entrusted with the management of the lazar homes of the dominion. a few 20 years later, the edict of 1672 used to be revoked, and by means of a chain of staggered measures from March 1693 to July 1695 the products of the lazar homes have been thenceforth assigned to different hospitals and welfare institutions. The few lepers scattered within the 1,200 nonetheless- present homes have been amassed at Saint-Mesmin close to Orleans.

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