The chronological and geographical focus of this volume is medieval northern Europe, from the 6th to the 15th centuries. The contributors examine the sometimes arbitrary social factors which resulted in people being deliberately, accidentally or temporarily categorised as disabled within their society, in ways that are peculiar to the medieval period. Health and disease are not static and unchanging; they are subject to cultural construction, manAulation and definition. Medieval ideas of healthy and unhealthy, as these papers show, were not necessarily - or even usually - comparable to modern approaches. Each of the papers represented in this volume assesses social constructs of health and ill-health in different guises within the medieval period.