Medicine

History of medicine; healing; herbalism

What made Rome great?

Evan Andrews of the History Channel online discusses the innovations that made Rome great in his article 10 Innovations That Built Ancient Rome.

Tycho Brahe not poisoned

For over 400 years, rumours have surrounded the death of Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, including one which suggested that Brahe was murdered using mercury by his assistant Johannes Kepler. Now, after two years, evidence from the scientist's exhumed body disproves the theory.

Psychological profiling by the Vikings

Dr Tarrin Wills, from the Centre for Scandinavian Studies, believes that Vikings used their understanding of human psychology to "profile" possible trouble-makers. He recently presented his research at the British Science Festival.

Anthropologist analyzes effects of the Black Death

USC professor Sharon DeWitte is steeped in death, specifically the Black Death that ravaged Europe during the 14th century. DeWitte is studying how conditions in Europe before and after the plague and the effects of the disease on the lifespan of survivors changed life in medieval Europe.

Rare evidence of medieval trepanation found in Spain

Trepanation, the practice of drilling holes into the skulls of living beings for medical or religious purposes, was rarely performed in the Middle Ages, but the discovery of two skulls in Spain, dating to the 13th or 14th centuries, has made experts scramble for an answer.

[ART] 1348

The SCA is often referred to as the Middle Ages as we wish it could have been... without religious persecution and the plague.  It's time we brought back the plague!!  Join us for an event to celebrate all of the earth shattering craziness of the premiere knowne world tour of the Black Death.

Evidence of medieval spectacles found in book

On the blog Cultural Compass, an employee of the Harry Ransom Center chronicles the discovery of rare evidence of medieval eyeglasses, not in an illustration, but in the end pages of a book.

Indiana Jones of the graveyards

34-year-old Philippe Charlier works with the dead - long dead - and likes it that way. Nicknamed the "Indiana Jones of the Graveyards," Charlier is France's most famous forensic anthropologist, and his patients are the country's historic personages the likes of Henri IV and Charles III.

16th century Korean boy helps scientists decipher hepatitis B genetic code

Israeli and Korean scientists have teamed up to study the remains of a Korean child, dating to the 16th century Joseon Dynasty, which show evidence of the hepatitis B virus. The results led to the map of the entire ancient hepatitis B viral genome.

British couple share passion for history

Tony and Claire Thorpe of Dorset, England should never have met. He's a "heathen warrior in chain mail armour," and she's a World War II French nurse.

Research reveals Middle Ages' dirtiest books

New research by experts at St Andrews University in Scotland reveals the reading habits of medieval people by determining accumulations of dirt on each page.

Medieval Science Manuscripts Now Digitized

The British Library began the final phase of an 18-month project, and has uploaded numerous scientific works to its Digitised Manuscripts site, with more additions in the coming weeks.

A brief history of prosthetics

This facinating photo gallery traces the history of artificial limbs from ancient Egypt though the Rennaisance and into modern times.

Rethinking the hydration paradigm

With War Season upon us, many thoughts turn to how to survive - and enjoy - the next large camping event. Friar Galen of Ockham, OP, a physician in the modern world, offers some information on hydration and how it really works.

Secret weapon of athletes: Pickle juice!

Every athlete - be they football hero or SCA knight - knows the value of pickles and pickle juice as a "secret weapon" to balance electrolytes during intense exercise, especially in hot weather. Now a new study from Brigham Young University validates the folk remedy.

Medieval corpses help construct plague genetic code

An international team of researchers has reconstructed the genetic code of the Black Death using DNA extracted from the teeth of medieval corpses buried in a graveyard in London's East Smithfield. Their research has been published in the science journal Nature.

Roman medical kit offers insight into Greek influence

Over two thousand years ago, a Roman ship sank off the coast of Italy, near the island of Elba. Among the items on the ship was an ancient medical kit containing a mortar and pestle set, medicine spatulas, and pills and tablets that are surprisingly similar to our modern ones.

Marginalia: An "Invisible College" for Natural Philosophers of the Known World

Friar Galen of Ockham announces the formation of Marginalia: An "Invisible College" for Natural Philosophers of the Knowne World of the Society for Creative Anachronism.

Papers sought for medieval conference; topic: erotica in the Middle Ages

The Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Arizona State Univerity has issued a call for papers for its 18th Annual ACMRS Conference. The topic is: Erotica and the Erotic in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Deadline for papers will be October 16, 2011.  

18th Annual ACMRS Conference

The annual undergraduate conference of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies will convene February 16-19, 2012 in Tempe Arizona. The topic of this year's conference is: Erotica and the Erotic in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Black Death bacteria thought to be extinct

 The type of bacteria which caused the European "Black Death" plague in the mid-1300s has been identified as Yersina pestis, according to a news report on CNN.com.  That particular strain of bacteria no longer seems to exist, although a different form still affects people in a number of countries.

Author believes rats didn't cause 14th century plague

A lack of "great heaps of dead rats in all the waterfront sites" has led The Black Death in London author Barney Sloane to conclude that the rodents were not the cause of plague in 14th century England. "The evidence just isn't there to support it," he said.

Wellcome Library brings Arabic medical manuscripts to the internet

Medical historians and students of illuminated manuscripts will want to take a look at the Wellcome Library's Arabic manuscript collection, which includes some of its most important texts of Arabic medicine.

Columbus' actions "greatest event in the history of life since the death of the dinosaurs"

How did Christopher Columbus really change history? Not by the "discovery" of the New world, but by ecological convulsion, the exchange of plants, animals and diseases between the two continents. Such is the premise of Charles C. Mann's new book 1493.

Ruling with an iron hand - literally

In the early 16th century, Gottfried “Götz” von Berlichingen, a knight  - and rogue - of the Holy Roman Empire, found his hand ripped off by a cannonball during the Siege of Landshut. This did not stop the staunch German, however, who had an iron prosthetic crafted to replace the appendage. PG-13 for language.

Viking tooth filing may have intimidated enemies

Long before grills and gold caps, Vikings used tooth decoration as a way to intimidate their enemies. Evidence can be seen in the intricate horizontal patterns filed into the teeth of Viking warriors found buried in Dorset.

Chocolate milk might be better than water for athletes

Bring on the Pennsic chocolate milk! New studies by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have shown that a chocolate milkshake after a hard workout might be more beneficial than water or an isotonic sports drink.

Banging heads in Asterix comics

European academics are concerned about the amount of violent brain traumas in the popular Asterix comics series, most dealt out by Asterix and Obelix themselves.

A Pennsic how-to for electric medical devices

Master Phillip the Pilgrim has written an article explaining how to keep your CPAP machine or other electrical neccessities running at Pennsic.

The literary origin of ‘Syphilis’

For centuries, people have dreaded the diagnosis of the STD Syphilis, but where did the name originate? Acording the the website Science Friday, Syphilus was the name of the hero of a epic poem written by Hieronymus Fracastorius in 1530.