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  • Images of gifure with four arms from early modern book.

    Ambroise Paré’s medical ‘monsters’

    26/07/2017

    In the collected works of Ambroise Paré (c. 1510–90), first published in French in 1575, a ‘Book of monsters and prodigies’ appears alongside other subjects including the setting of bones, the identification of parasites, and the treatment of wounds. Paré,… Continue reading

  • Woodcut of St Birgitta.

    Reading and health in the medieval convent

    08/06/2017

    Medieval medicine, based on the writings associated with Hippocrates and Galen, held that health depended on keeping the body’s humours (blood, choler, phlegm and melancholy) in equilibrium. The regulation of the ‘non-naturals’, influences on the body such as the consumption… Continue reading

  • Greek manuscripts at the Wellcome Library: a symposium and concert

    02/05/2017

    On Thursday 25 May 2017 the Wellcome Library will host a one-day symposium on its Greek manuscripts, aiming to explore hitherto unknown or very little studied medical texts. Topics will include the diagnosis and therapy of diseases, and the ownership… Continue reading

  • Censorship on medieval manuscript page.

    Censorship of medieval English recipes

    21/04/2017

    A late medieval manuscript in the Wellcome Library contains intriguing marks of censorship. MS. 406 is a collection of Middle English texts and recipes produced in the 15th and early 16th centuries. The recipes are from the ‘Practica phisicalia’ composed… Continue reading

  • Woodcut of black hellebore plant.

    Rediscovering the gut-mind connection

    09/03/2017

    The gut-mind relationship is currently undergoing a renaissance. In the past decade, biomedical science has been drawing increasingly compelling links between mental health and the gastrointestinal tract. Conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome are being linked to mental illness, and… Continue reading

  • Anatomical image, 1573.

    The Vesalius Census: the reception history of the ‘Fabrica’ from 1543 to 2016

    22/02/2017

    The next seminar in the 2016–17 History of Pre-Modern Medicine seminar series takes place on Tuesday 28 February. Speaker: Dr Dániel Margócsy (University of Cambridge) From its very beginnings, Andreas Vesalius’ ‘De humani corporis fabrica’ of 1543, this most fabulous of anatomy atlases,… Continue reading

  • Medieval herbal showing plants.

    A medieval medical bestseller: the ‘Circa instans’

    20/02/2017

    Pharmacy was one of the pillars of medical therapy during antiquity and the Middle Ages. Medicaments were derived from the natural world (plants, minerals and animals), and resulted from the combination of different substances, each with specific properties and therapeutic… Continue reading

  • Early modern Ottoman spaces and sites of medical healing and learning

    26/01/2017

    The next seminar in the 2016–17 History of Pre-Modern Medicine seminar series takes place on Tuesday 31 January. Speaker: Professor Miri Shefer-Mossensohn (Tel-Aviv University) Early modern Ottoman spaces and sites of medical healing and learning Abstract: This lecture analyses the sites and… Continue reading

  • Image of Queen Isabella of England.

    Queen Isabella’s regimen of health

    21/01/2017

    In the later Middle Ages there was a considerable appetite for regimens of health, texts that provided advice about how to remain healthy and combat illness. Medical advice today depends for its efficacy on several factors, from evidence-based proof to… Continue reading

  • Chinese image of plants and buddha.

    New digital and critical tools for the history of medicine and religion

    13/01/2017

    The next seminar in the 2016–17 History of Pre-Modern Medicine seminar series takes place on Tuesday 17 January. Speaker: Dr Michael Stanley-Baker (Max Planck Institute, Berlin) New digital and critical tools for the history of medicine and religion Abstract: Historians of medicine in… Continue reading