Болезнь как пространство коммуникации человека и Бога в восприятии древнерусского книжника XI−XIII вв.
Based on the Old Russian literary sources from the 11–13th centuries, this pa- per examines how illness was perceived in the Middle Ages. This research concentrates on a certain perception type (“illness as communication”) and describes its distinctive features. This type of illness integrates several versions of the medieval etiology of ill- ness, including “illness as a punishment” and “illness as a trial”. The author suggests that an Old Russian scribe considered “illness as communication” as a message from God. The circumstances of the illness allowed the sick person to recognize the situa- tion of “communication” and decipher the message. Certain details, such as visions or the absence of “agents” who inflict illness, can help to recognise this type of illness. The research distinguishes several subtypes of “illness as communication”, which are termed “the sign from above”, “punishment”, “inborn illness”, and “deathbed ill- ness”. The last one could be perceived as an ascetic practice available to both clergy and laity. Scribes condemned any attempt to feign an “illness as communication”; this was viewed as an act of sacrilege. The message of “illness as communication” was more often positive and was perceived as a sign of God’s favour to the sick person. Biblical quotations used in descriptions of the illness show that “illness as communication” was closely related to the virtue of patience. The conclusions of this research make it pos- sible to make more precise the current conception that Old Russian scribes prohibited any attempts to apply methods of classical (Hippocratic) medicine. The author believes that scribes condemned Hippocratic methods exclusively in the situations of the “ill- ness as communication”; in other cases they had no objection to the classical approach to medical treatment.