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Early Medicine

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  • Woodcut of dissection

    History of Pre-Modern Medicine seminar series, Spring 2017

    09/01/2017

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

  • Image from alchemical manuscript.

    Alchemical images revisited

    16/12/2016

    Does monumental Truth lurk behind the colourful alchemical imagery of manuscripts held at the Wellcome Library? Images of this kind have fascinated scholars and artists for centuries, their rich symbolism being drawn on by Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, Dryden, Goethe, Hugo,… Continue reading

  • Image of Aristotle and hairy woman.

    ‘Aristotle”s bestselling sex manual

    09/12/2016

    Sex, childbirth and reproductive health were topics of considerable interest to people in early modern England. The Wellcome Library has a substantial collection of different editions of a hugely popular printed work addressing these issues in 17th- and 18th-century England,… Continue reading

  • The Apocalypse arrives in America!

    17/11/2016

    The Wellcome Apocalypse (MS. 49) is currently on loan to the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, and features in their latest exhibition, ‘A feast for the senses: art and experience in medieval Europe’. The Apocalypse is a beautiful, richly… Continue reading

  • Paper, medicine and everyday technologies in the early modern household

    16/11/2016

    The next seminar in the 2016–17 History of Pre-Modern Medicine seminar series takes place on Tuesday 22nd November. Speaker: Dr Elaine Leong (Max Planck Institute, Berlin) Paper, medicine and everyday technologies in the early modern household Abstract: In recent years, the early modern… Continue reading

  • Image from midwifery book.

    Images on the move in Mauriceau’s ‘The diseases of women’

    08/11/2016

    Looking through copies of ‘The diseases of women with child and in child-bed’, the English translation of the seminal work on midwifery by François Mauriceau (1637–1709) first published in French in 1668, I noticed something distinctive. While in some editions… Continue reading

  • Woodcut of man suffering from pox.

    Early medicine: new on the shelves

    07/11/2016

    This post marks the first of a series of quarterly roundups of new publications of interest to researchers of early medicine that have recently been added to the shelves of the Wellcome Library. The bulletin will highlight monographs and collections… Continue reading

  • Image of healer.

    Miraculous medicines and exotic rituals

    04/11/2016

    The next seminar in the 2016–17 History of Pre-Modern Medicine seminar series takes place on Tuesday 8th November. Speaker: Dr Tara Alberts (University of York) Miraculous medicines and exotic rituals: European healers in southeast Asian royal courts in the 17th century Abstract: In a… Continue reading

  • 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