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  • 1609 image of amazed people.

    Disfiguring disease in medical and popular perceptions

    19/10/2016

    The next seminar in the 2016–17 History of Pre-Modern Medicine seminar series takes place on Tuesday 25th October. Speaker: Professor Luke Demaitre (University of Virginia) Disfiguring disease in medical and popular perceptions: ‘aspectus’ and ‘spectaculum’ Abstract: Pre-modern records attest to various disfigurements caused… Continue reading

  • Printed plague amulet

    Deciphering a central European plague amulet

    14/10/2016

    From the ancient world to the present, people have turned to powerful words, symbols and images as magical shields against bad luck, evil spirits, debilitating illness and sudden death. In medieval and early modern Europe, textual amulets on parchment and… Continue reading

  • Image of melancholic man.

    The melancholy earl: emotion, medicine and the body in 17th-century England

    06/10/2016

    The first seminar in the 2016–17 History of Pre-Modern Medicine seminar series takes place on Tuesday 11th October. Speaker: Dr Erin Sullivan (University of Birmingham) The melancholy earl: emotion, medicine and the body in 17th-century England Abstract: What did melancholy look like… Continue reading

  • St Elizabeth of Hungary.

    Disability and religion: call for papers

    26/09/2016

    This three-day conference marks the 10th Anniversary Annual Meeting on ‘Disease, disability and medicine in medieval Europe’. It will be hosted by Swansea University at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, 2–4 December 2016. The conference aims to explore the interactions between disability… Continue reading

  • Image of medical practitioner

    History of Pre-Modern Medicine seminar series, 2016–17

    23/09/2016

    The History of Pre-Modern Medicine seminar series returns this autumn. The 2016–17 series – organised by a group of historians of medicine based at London universities and hosted by the Wellcome Library – will commence with four seminars in the… Continue reading

  • Woodcut from incunabulum.

    Incunabula and medicine: a report

    12/09/2016

    On Friday 20 May 2016, the Wellcome Library hosted a workshop (for the programme, see a previous post) that aimed to bring about new discussions on incunabula, the earliest printed books, and medicine. This was the first time that the… Continue reading

  • Wound man in 1495 printed book.

    Wound man Part 2: afterlives

    18/08/2016

    The remarkable manuscript image of the wound man did not die with the medieval medical world that created it, finding a rich afterlife in the Renaissance and beyond. With the adoption of new print technologies in the second half of… Continue reading

  • Wound man image.

    Wound man Part 1: origins

    12/08/2016

    The ‘wound man’ is an enigmatic and troubling figure from the world of medieval and early modern medical manuscripts.     Staring impassively out of the page, he bears a multitude of graphic wounds. His skin is covered in bleeding… Continue reading

  • John Dee's crystal.

    John Dee’s crystal

    19/07/2016

    John Dee (1527–1609) is a man who continues to fascinate us today. As discussed in a previous post, Dee was involved in a large and varied number of activities. He advised Queen Elizabeth I on astrological and scientific matters, published… Continue reading

  • Image of childbirth in early printed book

    Bawling babies and their baths in early modern England

    21/06/2016

    Galenic and Hippocratic medical traditions did not see all bodies as the same. Indeed, recent work by Hannah Newton has shown that early modern physicians treated and perceived children as ‘physiologically distinct’ from adults. Children, including infants, were moist, warm… Continue reading