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The sex-selective impact of the Black Death and recurring plagues in the Southern Netherlands, 1349-1450

We present a newly compiled database of mortality information taken from mortmain records in Hainaut, Belgium, in the period 1349-1450, which not only is an important new source of information on medieval mortality, but also allows for sex-disaggregation.

Medieval Medicine for Modern Infections

Recent scholarship may show that there is more methodology to the medicines of medieval practitioners and further inquiry may show that their medicines were more than just placebos or palliative aids but actual antibiotics being used long before the advent of modern infection control.

Heads, shoulders, knees and toes: Injury and death in Anglo-Scottish combat, c.1296-c.1403

For all that has been written about this period, little, however, has been produced regarding the realities of war, the impact that it had on the individual soldier, or the wounds suffered by those who engaged in these conflicts.

What You Look At, You Make: Menstruation and Fertility in Italian Renaissance Art

This project seeks to better comprehend Renaissance Italian attitudes towards menstruation and its roles in art through fertility imagery.

Women’s Medicine and Female Embodiment in the Morte Darthur, a Middle English Trotula Treatise, and The Mists of Avalon

In this essay, I will read the Morte Darthur alongside the Middle English Trotula treatise, a fifteenth-century gynecological handbook, and Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon, a twentieth-century fantasy adaptation of the Arthurian legend.

Pain in Medieval and Modern Contexts

The interplay between Christian religious belief and medicine in the High Middle Ages was complicated.

A Medieval Cure for Baldness

Medieval men also worried about losing their hair. They could turn to Hildegard of Bingen to provide them with a cure for baldness.

Bites and stings: A medieval perspective

Venomous creatures and their poisons loom large in the medieval medical European imagination.

Book Review: A Medieval Woman’s Companion by Susan Signe Morrison

Susan Signe Morrison’s book, “A Medieval Woman’s Companion” brings the contributions of medieval women, famous and obscure, to the forefront in this fantastic introductory text.

The Emotional Lives of Epidemics: Hate and Compassion from the Plague of Athens to AIDS

From an interdisciplinary array of scholars, a consensus has emerged: invariably, epidemics in past times provoked class hatred, blamed the ‘other’, and victimized the victims of epidemic diseases.

Complaining about doctors in the 12th century

Doctors were around in the Middle Ages too, and according to one twelfth-century writer, many of them were failing their patients.

Both “illness and temptation of the enemy”: melancholy, the medieval patient and the writings of King Duarte of Portugal (r. 1433–38)

Recent historians have rehabilitated King Duarte of Portugal, previously maligned and neglected, as an astute ruler and philosopher. There is still a tendency, however, to view Duarte as a depressive or a hypochondriac, due to his own description of his melancholy in his advice book, the Loyal Counselor.

‘Better off dead than disfigured’? The challenges of facial injury in the premodern past

This paper argues that facial disfigurement has been neglected in the historiography of medieval Europe, and suggests some reasons for this oversight before examining the evidence from legal and narrative texts.

The Middle Ages Contributions to Cardiovascular Medicine

The objective of this paper is to describe the knowledge drawn up from the Middle Ages about the cardiovascular system, its understanding and therapeutic approach to cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons.

Magic and Medicine in a Man’s World: The Medieval Woman as both Healer and Witch

This paper intends to show that a combination of competition and strong medieval gender roles contributed to the tilting of the public perception of women healers from well-respected necessities to witches and charlatans, ultimately leading to the professionalization of medicine.

The early history of glaucoma: the glaucous eye (800 BC to 1050 AD)

To the ancient Greeks, glaukos occasionally described diseased eyes, but more typically described healthy irides, which were glaucous (light blue, gray, or green).

Hearing medieval voices

Hearing voices without external stimuli: in the popular imagination, auditory hallucination is most often understood as a symptom of severe mental disorders.

The Diagnosis and Treatment of Wounds in the Old English Medical Collections: Anglo-Saxon Surgery?

Early medieval England was a dangerous environment with a high risk of physical harm, which could result from warfare, day-to-day lawlessness, or accidents in the home or the workplace.

The Mandrake Plant and Six Anglo-Saxon Cures

Plants were a vital source of potential cures in the Middle Ages, and the mandrake was considered to be one of the most powerful of these. However, you needed a hungry dog to help you catch one!

BOOK REVIEW: A Year in the Life of Medieval England by Toni Mount

Author Toni Mount is back again, but this time with an in-depth look at daily life in Medieval England. Her book, A Year in the Life of Medieval England, explores war, medicine, marriage, disputes, work, and cooking. A fascinating almanac of bits and bobs about Medieval England from the most most mundane, to the most important events in its history.

Heavenly Healing or Failure of Faith? Partial Cures in Later Medieval Canonization Processes

When thinking of miracles as source material for the conceptions and everyday life of the laity, miracles with remaining symptoms provide an interesting sub-type of a healing miracle.

Medieval Advice for Students Away From Home

By Danièle Cybulskie Over the last few weeks, countless parents have kissed their sons and daughters and sent them off to study away from home, loading them up with advice and admonitions to take good care of themselves. Hundreds of years ago, medieval parents were loading up their own children with love and advice, too. […]

Medical Practice, Urban Politics and Patronage: The London ‘Commonalty’ of Physicians and Surgeons of the 1420s

Medical practice in fifteenth-century England is often seen as suffering from the low status and unregulated practice of which Thomas Linacre later complained.

Did Henry VIII Suffer from Head Trauma?

By Danièle Cybulskie It’s a question that pretty much anyone looking at the arc of his life ends up asking: what happened to Henry VIII? From a hugely-admired prince, to a widely-feared king, the transformation in Henry’s behaviour and outlook would seem like the stuff of fiction, but for the fact that history bears out […]

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