Þur sarriþu þursa trutin: Monster-Fighting and Medicine in Early Medieval Scandinavia


This paper seeks evidence among our extensive Scandinavian mythological texts for an area which they seldom discuss explicitly: the conceptualisation and handling of illness and healing.

Petrus Hispanus (circa 1215-1277) and ‘The Treasury of the Poor’

Pope John XXI (Petrus Hispanus)

The identity of Petrus Hispanus is a matter of some controversy. Part of the problem is centred on the fact that ‘Hispanus’ covers the general region of the Iberian Peninsula, referred to in medieval times as ‘las Españas’ (the Spains), incorporating both present day Spain and Portgual.

Dental and oral diseases in Medieval Persia, lessons from Hedayat Akhawayni

Medieval Islamic dentistry

Persian physicians had a great role in assimilation and expansion of medical sciences during the medieval period and Islamic golden age.

‘I know not what it is’: Illustrating Plants in Medieval Manuscripts


If a medical literary expert such as Simon of Genoa could not always identify the plants mentioned in the literature, where would that leave physicians who probably had little time to devote to inquiries as deeply and tenaciously as Simon?

Surgery in the 14th century

medieval surgery

Henri de Mondeville (c. 1260 – 1316) was the surgeon to two kings of France – Philip IV and Louis X. In 1312 he wrote Cyrurgia (Surgery), one of the first works of its kind from the Middle Ages.

Animal bites in the Middle Ages

Animal bites in the Middle Ages

Medieval authors suggested varied treatments for bites. The initial act usually was to distinguish between the bites of venomous beasts (snakes, scorpions and rabid dogs were included here) and non-venomous animals (hares, cats and non-rabid dogs, for example)

When gold was medicine

gold as medicine

If you came to a medieval physician with a problem such a trembling heart or melancholy, he may give you gold as part of your cure.

Medical Prognosis in the Middle Ages: William the Englishman’s De urina non visa and its fortune

Medical Prognosis in the Middle Ages

He aimed to give to his colleagues and fellows the means to judge the state of the patient based not on the urine flask, but on the configuration of the sky at the time of consultation.

A New Look at the Role of Urinalysis in the History of Diagnostic Medicine

medieval physician

Before this century, urine was the predominant body fluid used by the physician for diagnosis and prognosis.

Bleeding flowers and waning moons: a history of menstruation in France, c. 1495-1761

Jacques Stella (1596–1657)

This thesis explores early modem perceptions of menstrual bleeding, demonstrating that attempts to understand menstrual bleeding extended beyond the early modem medical world

Prevention Strategies and Changes in Sexual Mores in Response to the Outbreak of Syphilis in Europe in the Early Modern Age

Maria Salviati portrait by Pontormo, c. 1543.

Prevention Strategies and Changes in Sexual Mores in Response to the Outbreak of Syphilis in Europe in the Early Modern Age By Eugenia Tognotti Journal of Ancient Diseases and Preventive Remedies, Vol.2:2 (2014) Abstract: In the same way as AIDS in the 20th century, syphilis was the sexual scourge of the 16th century. Both of these […]

Containing Contagion: Perception and Prevention of Plague in the Late Middle Ages

Burial of plague victims - The Black Death

When the Black Death, one of the world’s deadliest epidemics, struck the European continent, the people afflicted with plague looked to those already respected in the medical field.

Were medieval monks obese?

Were medieval monks obese

The modern image of the medieval monk, as often depicted in Robin Hood’s Friar Tuck, is of the overweight man who indulges in food. How accurate is this stereotype?

Medicine and surgery in the Livre des Assises de la Cour des Bourgeois de Jérusalem

The Assizes of Jerusalem

The Livre des Assises, written in the thirteenth century in Acre, not only provides insights into the practice of medicine and surgery in the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, but also suggests that the licensing and regulation of doctors reflected contemporary Islamic practice.

Sleepwalking and Murder in the Middle Ages

The Sleepwalker by Édouard Rosset-Granger (1853–1934)

It happens that many people get up at night while asleep, take weapons or sticks, or ride a horse.What is the cause of this? What is the remedy?

The Illnesses of King Richard and King Philippe on the Third Crusade


For weeks both Richard and Philippe were close to the brink of death, before they finally recovered.

Ten Medieval Inventions that Changed the World

Medieval Inventions that Changed the World

Ten Inventions from the Middle Ages that have had lasting importance, even to the present-day.

Obesity and Diet in Byzantium

Byzantine Food

I will list some of the causes and consequences of obesity in the Byzantine Empire. However, the aim of this report is to provide evidence to demonstrate that Byzantine physicians had treatments for obesity that are similar to modern day.

From Sin to Science: Astrological Explanations for the Black Death, 1347-1350

15th century image of Death - Majorana, Cristoforo (fl. ca. 1480-1494). Image from New York Public Library

Few survivors of the plague’s horrors could have remained indifferent to debates over its ultimate cause. The frequent evocation of astrology in these debates helped to increase the circulation of astrological ideas in the later fourteenth century, and contributed to the wider vogue they enjoyed during the early modern period

Rabies in medieval Persian literature – the Canon of Avicenna (980–1037 AD)

A woodcut from the Middle Ages showing a rabid dog.

Avicenna described rabies in humans and animals and explained its clinical manifestations, route of transmission, and treatment methods. In this article, our goal is to discuss Avicenna’s 11th-century points of view on rabies and compare them with modern medical knowledge.

Some Pharmaceutical Recipes for the Treatment of the Bubonic Pest Contained into the Kitab Al-Tahsil of Ibn Khatima (d.1369)

Illustration of the Black Death from the Toggenburg Bible (1411)

This paper is a study of fragments of the work entitled in Arabic Tahsil gharad al-qasid fi-tafsil al-marad al-wafid, which was written in the 14th century by the well known Spanish physician Ibn Khatima

Physical Education in the Early Middle Ages


The foundation of our modern gymnastics, including medical gymnastics, was established during the period from the Middle Ages to the 18th century, although the ideas upon which it was based had been in general use since Antiquity.

Melancholia in medieval Persian literature: The view of Hidayat of Al-Akhawayni

Melancholia by Albrecht Dürer

This paper aims to review Al-Akhawayni’s 10th century knowledge on melancholia which can represent the early concept of this disorder in the Near East.

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