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  • Shakespearean ‘simples’

    11/05/2016

    Dr Richard Aspin searched our 17th century recipe books to find out more about the herbal medicine found in Shakespeare’s plays. This is the last of our series of Shakespeare related blog posts. Locally harvested wild herbs were the foundation… Continue reading

  • Tree in medieval manuscript.

    Spotlight: a medieval tree of knowledge

    20/04/2016

    Like modern-day students, medieval people used diagrams and images to reinforce learning and memorisation. In long and complex philosophical manuscripts, occasionally an image was used to break the monotony of reading. The tree diagram considered here was part of a… Continue reading

  • Painting of John Dee.

    ‘Doctor’ Dee: John Dee and medical practice

    08/04/2016

    John Dee (1527–1609) was a true Renaissance polymath. He pursued many different branches of learning, including medicine. The current Royal College of Physicians (RCP) exhibition, ‘Scholar, courtier, magician: the lost library of John Dee’, explores Dee’s life and legacy through… Continue reading

  • Plastic surgery 1597 image.

    Beauty and the hospital: call for papers

    23/03/2016

    Paper proposals are invited for the eleventh conference of the International Network for the History of Hospitals, which will take place in Malta, 6–8 April 2017, hosted by the Mediterranean Institute at the University of Malta, and the University of… Continue reading

  • Fragment from 1562 almanac.

    The origins of the English almanac

    11/03/2016

    Almanacs have a long association with medicine. Potted health advice lent itself to inclusion in the sort of cheap booklets for a mass market that proliferated under the name ‘Almanack’ from the 16th century onwards. But what exactly is an… Continue reading

  • Hand in margin of manuscript.

    Hands, holes and hashtags: Wellcome MS. 550

    27/02/2016

    The first manuscript that I ever encountered face-to-face was Wellcome MS. 550. This volume, mainly in medieval Latin, dates from the early 15th century, and is a compendium of different medical and surgical writings. As my research involves the plague,… Continue reading

  • How Babylonian is the Hippocratic corpus?

    26/02/2016

    The last seminar in the 2015–16 History of Pre-Modern Medicine Seminar Series takes place on Tuesday 1 March. Speaker: Professor Mark Geller (Freie Universität, Berlin) How Babylonian is the Hippocratic corpus? Abstract: The topic of similarities and possible commonalities between Hippocratic and Babylonian… Continue reading

  • Workers operating distilling equipment.

    Materia medica at the grand-ducal court in 16th century Tuscany

    10/02/2016

    The next seminar in the 2015–16 History of Pre-Modern Medicine Seminar Series takes place on Tuesday 16 February. Speaker: Dr Cristina Bellorini (Independent scholar, Milan) Materia medica at the grand-ducal court in 16th century Tuscany Abstract: In Tuscany in the second half… Continue reading

  • Bishop in 16th century manuscript

    Bishops and medicine in medieval England

    01/02/2016

    Many bishops in medieval England possessed medical knowledge, but that did not mean that such knowledge was always viewed as a desirable quality in a bishop. In 1114, King Henry I of England decided that Faritius, abbot of Abingdon, should… Continue reading

  • Friar in apothecary

    The medicine of the friars in late medieval England

    28/01/2016

    The next seminar in the 2015–16 History of Pre-Modern Medicine Seminar Series takes place on Tuesday 2 February. Speaker: Peter Jones (University of Cambridge) The medicine of the friars in late medieval England Abstract: Compared to occupational groups like physicians, surgeons, barbers, apothecaries and… Continue reading