History of medicine; healing; herbalism

Scholars test medieval recipes

Graduate students at Durham University in England were in for a real medieval treat when they participated in a cookery workshop using recipes from a recently discovered 12th century Durham Priory manuscript, considered to predate the earliest known examples by 150 years. The Latin manuscript was created in the 12th century at Durham Cathedral’s priory.

Plague burial discovered in London construction project

In the 14th century, Charterhouse Square in London was no-man's land, making it an excellent place to bury victims of the Black Plague. Now the site is the focus of archaeological investigations after being unearthed during construction of the city's Crossrail project. (video)

Scoliosis and its medieval cure

The discovery of the remains of King Richard III of England has led to the discussion of the king's scoliosis, "a lateral or side-to-side curvature of the spine," easily seen in the skeleton, and the techniques that would have been available to "cure" it.

Richard on the couch

Now that Richard III's body has been identified, experts are probing his mind. In a paper presented March 2, 2013 at the University of Leicester, Professor Mark Lansdale and forensic psychologist Dr Julian Boon offered an analysis of Richard III's character.

"State-of-the-art" medieval medicine showcased in mummified head

For centuries, medical historians have believed that advancements in medicine were stalled between the days of Galen and the Renaissance. Now radiocarbon dating of a mummified, dissected head to the 13th century, shows that medieval doctors may have been more sophisticated than previsouly believed. (photo)

Roman skeleton contains calcified ovarian tumor

Scientists from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in Spain are studying the remains of a 5th century Roman woman found buried in a Roman cemetery in the archaeological site of La Fogonussa. The woman, aged 30 to 40 years, had suffered from an ovarian tumor.

London rail excavations unearth plague graves

Digging for a new rail line in london, England has revelaed a mass grave with 13 skeletons in it. Dates based on pottery indicate that the graves date to the mid 1300s.

Gangrene claimed Giovanni de’ Medici

It was not a blow in combat that felled legendary Renaissance warrior Giovanni de’ Medici, but gangrene resulting from being hit by a cannon ball, in a battle in Lombardy on Nov. 25, 1526, according to a new study conducted after the exhumation of de’ Medici's body.

Tamerlane the Disabled

Tartar warlord Tamerlane may have been the greatest conqueror of all, outshining Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great, but few recognize the fact that the great warrior was severely disabled in his youth. The BBC features Tamerlane in an article for Disability History Month.

Remains of celebrated de' Medici condottieri exhumed

Gino Fornaciari, professor of forensic anthropology and director of the pathology Museum at the University of Pisa, leads a team of scientists who recently exhumed the body of Giovanni de' Medici, considered one of the greatest warriors of the age. The team plans to study the body to better understand Renaissance surgery.

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.