St. Jerome’s University, in partnership with the University of Waterloo, launched the Medieval Studies Lecture Series in 2006. Since that time, the Lecture Series has brought together medievalists from across North America to meet with SJU and uWaterloo students and colleagues to examine a variety of interdisciplinary topics pertaining to the Middle Ages. There are normally two lectures in the Fall term, and two more in the Winter. Each lecture is preceded by a public reception. Taken together, receptions and lectures typically last between ninety minutes to two hours. The Lecture Series is open to the public and we invite anyone interested in the Middle Ages to attend, regardless of background, stage of education, or discipline.
The Medieval Studies Lecture Series presents "Waterworks in Medieval Montpellier" on October 18th, at 4:30 p.m. Located near the occidental Mediterranean coastline, the medieval town of Montpellier was surrounded by several bodies of water. Between the urban settlement and the sandbank, lay navigable marshes with bottleneck accesses to the sea. Montpellier was also crossed by two rivers and enclosed by a wall and a ditch. Inside the town, an underground water system provided clean water to the inhabitants and a sewer system drained waste waters. As in most medieval urban spaces, water in Montpellier was the source of multiple sanitary and environmental concerns. The city council had to cope with numerous problems related to water, including: insurance of proper supply of fresh water, wells and fountains. It had to deal with river maintenance, the upkeep of sewers, and management of wastewater and water pollution. Using Montpellier’s rich medieval archives, this talk will examine the various means, policies, and regulations developed by the city council to cope with health risks caused by water-related issues.
Geneviève Dumas is Associate Professor at the Université de Sherbrooke. Her recent monograph, Santé et société à Montpellier à la fin du Moyen Âge (Brill, 2014), explores the subject of urban health in the medieval Mediterranean. Her current project, funded by SSHRC, examines the concept of urban identities in medieval Montpellier.
Time: 4:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. (Reception before lecture.)
Location: St. Jerome's University, SJ2-2007
Presented by St. Jerome's University Medieval Studies and the University of Waterloo.