Venomous creatures and their poisons loom large in the medieval medical European imagination.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
To the ancient Greeks, glaukos occasionally described diseased eyes, but more typically described healthy irides, which were glaucous (light blue, gray, or green).
Hearing voices without external stimuli: in the popular imagination, auditory hallucination is most often understood as a symptom of severe mental disorders.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 […]
‘Do You Not Know I am a Healer?’ Royal Authority and Miracles of Healing in High Medieval Lives of Kings
Today I’d like to place in comparative perspective the reputations for miraculous healing achieved by two high medieval royal saints: Edward the Confessor of England and Óláfr Haraldsson of Norway.
A group of German researchers is bringing to light the medicinal wisdom of the Middle Ages.
There is a 1 in 10,000,000 chance that Hildegard von Bingen was just making up her list of medical cures based on herbs and plants.
Let’s take five minutes to look at what may be the most famous hospital of the Middle Ages: The Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem
When it came to healthy living, medieval people were careful on what they ate. It was commonly believed that foods could offer good (and not-so-good) consequences to the body, but it was hard to remember what ailments a certain food could cure. In steps Henry of Huntingdon to offer us a poetic guide to the healthy and medicinal qualities of what you can find in a garden.
For medieval people, success meant succession. Heredity was at the centre of law and order, from the king down through the ranks of society. As a result, the moment children reached marriageable age – and sometimes even before that – everyone’s focus was on their fertility.
Byzantine physicians recognized uterine cancer as a distinct disease and tried to suggest a therapeutic approach. The work of Oribasius, Aetius of Amida, Paul of Aegina, Cleopatra Metrodora and Theophanes Nonnus reflects the Hippocratic-Galenic scientific ideas as well as their own concept on this malignancy. According to their writings uterine cancer was considered an incurable disease and its treatment was based mainly on palliative herbal drugs.
Chastity belts have been the subject of schoolroom and music hall humour for as long as most of us can remember. But did they really exist and for the purpose suggested?