Tag: medieval manuscripts

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  • Woodcut of St Birgitta.

    Reading and health in the medieval convent


    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


    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


    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

  • Medieval herbal showing plants.

    A medieval medical bestseller: the ‘Circa instans’


    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

  • Image of Queen Isabella of England.

    Queen Isabella’s regimen of health


    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

  • The Apocalypse arrives in America!


    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

  • Woodcut from incunabulum.

    Incunabula and medicine: a report


    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


    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


    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

  • Astrological image from incunabulum.

    Incunabula and medicine: a workshop


    On Friday 20 May 2016 the Wellcome Library will host a one-day workshop on incunabula and medicine. This event will reflect broadly on the relationship between the earliest printed books and medicine. Topics will include: medical illustration in incunabula; the… Continue reading