The next seminar in the 2017–18 History of Pre-Modern Medicine seminar series takes place on Tuesday 24 October.
Speaker: Dr Benedetta Lomi (University of Bristol), ‘The uses of ox bezoar in pre-modern Japan in ritual and medical practices’
This paper focuses on the therapeutic use of ox bezoars in pre-modern Japan. Bezoars, highly valued concretions found in the stomachs of ruminants, were renowned for their healing properties, and thus widely employed in the Sino-Japanese tradition to address a variety of ailments.
On this occasion, I explore specifically those instances in which ox bezoars were used to assure safe and easy parturition. Starting with a comparative look at a selection of ritual and medical injunctions involving ox bezoar, I first assess the continuity and differences between these two contexts. Then, by shifting focus to the processes of extraction, preparation and application of bezoars during birthing practices, I reflect on how both medical and ritual knowledge were employed to construct an ox bezoar-specific ritual.
Wellcome Library, 183 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE.
Doors open at 6pm, seminar will start at 6.15pm.
The seminar series is focused on pre-modern medicine, which we take to cover European and non-European history before the 20th century (antiquity, medieval and early modern history, some elements of 19th-century medicine).
Further details on the seminar series are available in a previous post.