Category Archives: Medicine

Medieval Penitentials on Childbirth and Abortion

Once again, I find myself apologising for a long posting hiatus. Whoops. I promise the radio silence over the past three months hasn’t been in vain… I’ve spent the time outlining a PhD thesis, writing a tiny bit of a … Continue reading

Posted in History, Medicine | 1 Comment

Anglo-Saxon Medicine? That’s Leeches and Bloodletting, right?

Right! Well, kind of. I get that question every time I tell someone what I research, and I love it. It gives me a basis to talk from. Much preferred to the alternatives of ‘Medieval studies? That’s…a real major?!’ or … Continue reading

Posted in Anglo-Saxon/Old English, Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Public Outreach Archaeology Done (Almost) Right: Santa María la Real

I got to visit Basque country earlier this summer, where I came across Santa María la Real, a church in Zarautz where a graveyard spanning from the Classical to late medieval periods was discovered. After excavations were concluded the site … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, History, Medicine | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Good Health & Anglo-Saxons…And A Little Lead Poisoning

So it turns out that Anglo-Saxons were actually quite healthy, comparatively. There was more infectious disease than in the Roman period, but anaemia, dental, and joint disease all decreased, and were lower than in the medieval period that followed. Stature … Continue reading

Posted in Anglo-Saxon/Old English, Archaeology, Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pet Peeve

The hardest, and weirdest, part about studying medieval medicine is looking up the modern uses of plants, and not being sure where they’re getting their information. I remember one historian – M. L. Cameron, I think – complaining about tracing … Continue reading

Posted in Anglo-Saxon/Old English, Bah Humbug, Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Physician Faceoff: Medieval England vs. Canada

Here’s what Edward Kealey has to say about the availability of doctors in 12th century England:  more valid [in comparison to dividing total population by total number of physicians] ratio of physicians to people can be obtained by measuring selected … Continue reading

Posted in Anglo-Norman, Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Medicine and Speech Acts, England and Africa

Two days ago the New York Times featured an Op-Ed arguing that the solution to African infant malnutrition and mortality is a greater emphasis on breast-feeding. The article’s questionable logic aside, it mentioned in passing that: One mother near the … Continue reading

Posted in Anglo-Saxon/Old English, Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment