Joan of Arc
(1412-1431)
   Joan of Arc, whose real name was Jehanne, is also known as Jehanne d'Arc, Jeanne d'Arc, Jeanne la Pucelle (i.e. 'the virgin'), and the Maid ofOrleans. She is revered as a Catholic Saint and the heroine of France, who led the French army to a series of important victories over the English during the 100 Years' War. Joan of Arc claimed divine guidance, in the form of voices and "visions. Her successes were spectacular but short-lived. In the end she was captured by the English, and burned at the stake at the age of 19. Most of what is known about the nature of her voices and visions is based on the transcript of the English condemnation trial. It has been suggested that Joan experienced " verbal auditory hallucinations from the age of 13 onwards. These consisted of voices which she initially attributed to God and later to an angel and various saints as well. The voices were accompanied by a bright light which shone from the direction of their apparent source or by visions of the saints surrounded by angels. The trial transcript also includes Joan's testimony that she had embraced the saints and even smelled them. The French alienist Alexandre Jacques François Brierre de Boismont (1797-1881) maintains that "Hallucinations of all the senses are evident in this case." Others have questioned the accuracy of the trial transcripts as regards the references to Joan's hallucinations. However, there is general consensus that she did experience "auditory and " visual hallucinations. Post hoc biomedical speculations on the origin of Joan's hallucinations have yielded a differential diagnosis which includes " aural phenomena occurring in the context ofa paroxysmal neurological disorder such as epilepsy or migraine, "schizophrenia, and " tuberculosis. However, none of these hypothetical illnesses would seem to be compatible with her rigorous lifestyle, her cognitive functioning, and her military and strategic achievements.
   References
   Brierre de Boismont, A. (1859). On hallucinations. A history and explanation of apparitions, visions, dreams, ecstasy, magnetism, and somnambulism. Translated by Hulme, R.T. London: Henry Renshaw
   Ireland, W.W. (1883). On the character and hallucinations of Joan of Arc. Journal of Mental Science, 29, 18-26.
   Smith, D.B. (2007). Muses, madmen, andprophets. Hearing voices and the borders of sanity. London: Penguin Books.

Dictionary of Hallucinations. . 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Joan of Arc — [ärk] (Fr. name Jeanne d Arc) 1412 31; Fr. heroine: defeated the English at Orléans (1429): burned at the stake for witchcraft: called the Maid of Orléans: also Saint Joan of Arc …   English World dictionary

  • Joan of Arc — also St Joan (1412 31) the ↑patron saint of France. As a young girl, she believed that she heard holy voices telling her to fight the English and force their army to leave France. Dressed as a man, she led a French army which defeated the English …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Joan of Arc — Allgemeine …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Joan of Arc — For other uses, see Joan of Arc (disambiguation). Jeanne d Arc redirects here. For other uses, see Jeanne d Arc (disambiguation) …   Wikipedia

  • Joan of Arc — (Jehanne d’Arc) (ca. 1412–1431)    Joan of Arc, also called the Maid of Orléans, was a peasant girl who became a national heroine and the patron saint of France. At a crucial period of the Hundred Years’War, she led the French resistance to… …   Encyclopedia of medieval literature

  • Joan of Arc — (1412 1431)    national heroine, saint    Called the Maid of orleans, who united the nation at the most crucial hour and turned the hundred years war in France s favor, Joan of Arc (Jeanne d Arc) was born to a peasant family in Domrémy, Lorraine …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Joan of Arc — (1412–31)    Rebel and Saint.    Joan was born in humble circumstances in Domrémy, France. From an early age she heard the voices of Saints michael, catherine and margaret, urging her to go to the rescue of France. At that stage, much of the… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Joan of Arc — noun French heroine and military leader inspired by religious visions to organize French resistance to the English and to have Charles VII crowned king; she was later tried for heresy and burned at the stake (1412 1431) • Syn: ↑Jeanne d Arc,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Joan of Arc — (d. 1431)    Peasant girl who, in 1429, arrived at the court of the French king Charles VII (1422 1461), claiming to have been divinely commissioned by the voices of saints to maintain the king s cause against his rival, King Henry V of England.… …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Joan of Arc — I. /ˌdʒoʊn əv ˈak/ (say .john uhv ahk) noun Saint ( Maid of Orléans ), 1412–31, French heroine who aroused the spirit of nationalism in France against the English and was burnt by them as a witch after she was found guilty of heresy by the French …   Australian English dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”