Medicine

History of medicine; healing; herbalism

Incipient Spa Guild

Lady Ariel Baily and Yali MacNeil welcome all interested to join The Incipient Spa Guild of the Society for Creative Anachronism.

Benedictine nuns victims of Black Death

The remains of several Benedictine nuns from the Sainte-Croix Abbey near Poitiers, France have shown evidence that the sisters died of the plague, probably while caring for other victims of the disease. Their deaths have been dated to the early 17th century.

Henry VIII's armor shows king was "larger than life"

New research by the Royal Armouries in Leeds looks at the progression of Henry VIII's girth through the study of his armor. The various suits of armor have been reunited into one place for the study for the first time since the Tudor era.

Myth-busting the Middle Ages

Among its numerous topics of discussion, List Universe includes "Top 10 Myths About The Middle Ages," an illustrated, annotated selection of myths modern people often believe about the Middle Ages.

New work on early medieval sexuality

German Studies professor Albrecht Classen of the University of Arizona has published a new book consisting of "articles written by scholars and historians in disciplines that include sociology, literature, art, music, history, religion and spirituality" on the subject of sexuality in the early Middle Ages.

Roman lamp depicts gynecological exam

Spanish archaeologists have discovered a rare 1st century ceramic lamp depicting a gynecological exam. The lamp was found near the city of Leon in northern Spain.

Scottish medical history display debuts in Edinburgh

A new exhibit at the library of the Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh features 400 years or more of medical artifacts and books, some being publicly exhibited for the first time.

Druid grave discovered near Colchester, England

The grave of a 1st century Druid, possibly the first such discovery in England, has been found in Stanway, near Colchester in eastern England. The body in the grave was one of a number of important people buried near the time of the Roman invasion.

Afflication of the "Ugly Duchess" indentified

The painting entitled "Old Woman," but better known as the "Ugly Duchess," is one of the most popular in London's National Gallery. It depicts the face of a grotesquely-featured woman, and was painted by Flemish artist Quinten Massys in 1513. Now, experts believe that they have identified the illness suffered by this woman as a rare form of Paget's disease, which deforms the bones. (photo)

Incredible private library features historical objects

The technology magazine "Wired" takes a rare look at the private library of Jay Walker, an entrepreneur whose eclectic historical interests have led him to create a library devoted to things that have "changed the way people think." The stunningly designed room contains books and artifacts from ancient to modern times, combining museum and library.

Roman surgical instruments - Ouch!

The Claude Moore Health Service Library of the University of Virginia has a website with photos of reproductions of surgical instruments excavated from the House of the Surgeon at Pompeii. The reproductions were acquired by the University in 1947.

York skeleton shows signs of tuberculosis

The remains of a 4th century Roman discovered recently at York University may be "one of the earliest British victims of tuberculosis." Experts believe that cases of TB were rare in the north of England, and the discovery may help researchers learn more about the disease's spread across the country.

"Dancing Plague" still puzzles scholars

On a street in Strasbourg, France in the summer of 1518, a woman began a fervent 6-day dance that led to a month-long dancing frenzy by more than 400 people. Modern scholars are still undecided about what caused the "Dancing Plague."

SCA family needs help

SCA member and bard Joe Bethancourt of the Kingdom of Atenveldt reports that four-year-old Avery Lubrecht, the daughter of an SCA fighter, is now fighting for her life. The little girl has Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome (PRES), a life-threatening disease that requires extensive medical treatment. You can help.

Scribing hazardous to health of medieval monks

New research on the bones of monks interred in six Danish cemeteries shows that the brothers may have been exposed to toxic mercury while copying Biblical texts. Mercury was used in the preparation of red ink.

Justinian Plague victims found in Italy

1500 years ago, the Justinian Plague swept through the world killing as many as 100 million people. Recently the remains of hundreds of people, believed to have been victims of the plague, were discovered in Castro dei Volsci, Italy.

Mercury found in bones of Danish monks

Researchers from several Danish universities have released a study of mercury levels found in the bones of monks interred in two medieval Danish cemeteries. The high levels of mercury have been attributed to the use of the metal as a medicine to treat such diseases as syphilis and leprosy or, in the case of the monks, from red ink used in the monasteries.

Did smallpox kill Gloucester Romans?

Experts working on the recently-discovered mass Roman grave in Gloucester, England will be using DNA tests to determine what killed over 90 individuals. A first look at the remains points to a 2nd century smallpox outbreak that swept across Britain.

[DRA] Medieval Pharmaceuticals Workshop

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It is with great pleasure that I would hereby like to announce that Knights Crossing will be hosting a workshop on medieval pharmaceuticals and herbs on the weekend of May 30-June 1. Simona Valentini di Piero will be teaching how to make basic salves, essential oils and creams from primary source recipes; enjoy a walk through the fields and forest in which we will learn to identify various useful plants in their natural habitat. Learn about the equipment used and the primary sources that we have on this subject. There will be a small fee for materials and for food for the weekend, but dinner will be Potluck. Location:
Barony of Knights Crossing (Weinheim, Germany)

Foxley Manor: A 14th Century Journal

Online journal of 14th century interests and their re-creation.

Gynaecological study of Mary, Queen of Scots finds her an “adulteress and liar”

A new study by modern gynaecologists paints a sordid picture of the life of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, who, according to the study, was "a 'moral loose cannon', whose striking beauty and sex appeal gave Elizabeth other reasons to imprison and execute her."

Medieval "Chemists" found in Scotland

Archaeologists have discovered a 700-year-old chemists, an herb garden, which supplied the Soutra Hospital near Edinburgh, Scotland.

Black Plague selective killer

A new study of nearly 500 skeletons in a London plague cemetery proves that many of the victims had weaker immune systems when they died than normal, leading experts to believe that most who succumbed were old, sick or poor.

Columbus may have spread "social disease"

A new study claims that explorer Christopher Columbus may have been responsible for bringing syphilis to Europe. The controversial theory has been debated for years, but the new study of molecular genetics may show whether the theory is true.

"Black Death" poses a new threat

The plague, which once devastated the population of Europe, is on the rise again, according to experts. Around 100-200 cases are reported annually, but the disease is cropping up in new locations.

Want to get fit? Try the Authenticity Diet!

Need to take off a few pounds or kilograms from the holiday feasting? Eat like your persona! A Shropshire physician claims that Europeans in the Middle Ages were in some ways much healthier than modern people.

Guinness is good for you!

New research states that a pint of Guinness a day "may work as well as an aspirin to prevent heart clots that raise the risk of heart attacks," according to an article in the BBC.

"Domus del Chirurgo" sheds light on Roman medicine

For the past 17 years, archaeologists have worked at the site of the Domus del Chirurgo, the House of the Surgeon, the home of a 2nd century Roman doctor in Rimini, Italy. Among the discoveries: "the largest find of surgical instruments anywhere."

Dr. Robert Cade, inventor of Gatorade, dies in Florida

The next time you pause for a drink on the battlefield, raise your plastic jug in honor of Dr. Robert Cade, the inventor of Gatorade, who died recently of kidney failure in Jacksonville, Florida. He was 80 years old.

Infant mortality research abstract online

The News for Medievalists blog reports that a research paper dealing with the topic of infant mortality has been published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology