Archiv der Kategorie: Allgemein

Malaria and malaria-like disease in the early Middle Ages

Malaria impairs human reproduction, augments excess mortality, and lowers productivity. It can exercise a debilitating effect so profound that it denes regions. The disease is an essential element in histories of places and periods in which it was endemic. Although many European regions are thought to have had a long association with malaria, evidence for the disease, the parasites that cause it, and the mosquitoes that transmit it, is thin before 1900. Malarias early medieval history is opaque. This paper clears up contours of malarias occurrence in Frankish Europe. It surveys sources  relevant to its study and establishes guidelines for retrospectively diagnosing the disease. It argues that malaria was plentiful north of the Alps before 1000 and that it inuenced demographic trends where it was endemic.“

Timothy P. Newfield (2017), Malaria and malaria-like disease in the early Middle Ages, Early Medieval Europe, Volume 25, 3, 251–300.



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The Great Plague of Marseille

„Professor Cindy Ermus, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Lethbridge, explaining the Plague of Marseille in terms of the (relatively) new field of Disaster History.“

The AskHistorians Podcast

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A History of Philosophy without Any Gaps

An interview with Monica Green reveals parallels between medicine and philosophy in the middle ages.

Podcast available on:


Monica H. Green is Professor at the Arizone State University and historian of medicine and health.

Her publications and Bio:



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Model-based analysis of an outbreak of bubonic plague in Cairo in 1801

 Abstract: „Bubonic plague has caused three deadly pandemics in human history: from the mid-sixth to mid-eighth century, from the mid-fourteenth to the mid-eighteenth century and from the end of the nineteenth until the mid-twentieth century. Between the second and the third pandemics, plague was causing sporadic outbreaks in only a few countries in the Middle East, including Egypt. Little is known about this historical phase of plague, even though it represents the temporal, geographical and phylogenetic transition between the second and third pandemics. Here we analysed in detail an outbreak of plague that took place in Cairo in 1801, and for which epidemiological data are uniquely available thanks to the presence of medical officers accompanying the Napoleonic expedition into Egypt at that time. We propose a new stochastic model describing how bubonic plague outbreaks unfold in both rat and human populations, and perform Bayesian inference under this model using a particle Markov chain Monte Carlo. Rat carcasses were estimated to be infectious for approximately 4 days after death, which is in good agreement with local observations on the survival of infectious rat fleas. The estimated transmission rate between rats implies a basic reproduction number R0 of approximately 3, causing the collapse of the rat population in approximately 100 days. Simultaneously, the force of infection exerted by each infected rat carcass onto the human population increases progressively by more than an order of magnitude. We also considered human-to-human transmission via pneumonic plague or human specific vectors, but found this route to account for only a small fraction of cases and to be significantly below the threshold required to sustain an outbreak.“
Xavier Didelot, Lilith K. Whittles, Ian Hall
Journal of the Royal Society InterfaceJune 2017, Volume 14, issue 131

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„Face of ‚ordinary poor‘ man“

„New facial reconstruction of a man buried in a medieval hospital graveyard discovered underneath a Cambridge college sheds light on how ordinary poor people lived in medieval England. …“

The facial reconstruction of Context 958. Credit: Chris Rynn, University of Dundee

University of Cambridge, Division of Archaeology – Project Website: After the Plague: Health and History in Medieval Cambridge

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Omne Bonum

Omne Bonum is a huge encyclopedia (1360-1375), whose compiler (and scribe), James le Palmer, sought to compile all the knowledge of his time, arranged alphabetically for the use of ‘simple individuals who wish to seek out the precious pearls of learning’. There are 1350 entries arranged under the 23 letters of the medieval Latin alphabet, with each letter comprising a book. Over 750 of these entries are accompanied by historiated initials.“ Source

The whole manuscript: British Library

Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts (British Library): Omne Bonum

Ebrietas (Drunkenness), from Omne Bonum, England, S. E. (London); c. 1360-c. 1375, Royal MS 6 E VII/1, f. 1r

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[Ank.] History of Medicine & Medical Humanities Research Portal

The History of Medicine and Medical Humanities Research Web Portal is designed to gather resources in medical humanities for students, scholars, physicians, and the general public for learning, exploration, and research. […]

The portal will house a series of thematic modules in six areas, created by students, artists, historians, and colleagues.  Visit us again to see the work as it evolves: 

  • History of the Health Professions
  • Hospitals, Institutions, and Medical Education
  • The Public’s Health
  • Blood, Leeches, and Quacks
  • Arts, Literature, and Ethics

The History of Medicine and Medical Humanities Research Portal was created in 2016 by the Jason A. Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine Ellen Amster, History Ph.D. candidate researchers Lauren Goldstein, Katarina Todic, and Nathan Coschi, and Bachelor of Health Sciences student Jinny Lee, with technical assistance from Todd Murray and the Computer Services Unit in the Faculty of Health Sciences.“ (Quelle)

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Magic, Witches & Devils in the Early Modern World

University of Manchester Library
„Ghosts, witches, sorcerers and demons: our fascination with the supernatural stretches back centuries. Experience how supernatural forces shaped the lives of everyone from kings and queens to clergymen and maidservants.Magic, Witches & Devils in the Early Modern World reveals how magic, diabolical witchcraft, and ghostly encounters inspired fear and curiosity on an unprecedented scale between the 15th and 18th centuries. The exhibition illuminates the roots of our obsession with supernatural power and explores a world where the Devil was understood as a real and present danger in daily life.“

Exhibition booklet and further information

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[Konf.] Hospitäler, Heime und Krankenhäuser als Orte des Alterns und der medizinischen Pflege (vom Spätmittelalter bis zur Gegenwart)

„As the title of the conference in Bad Radkersburg (Southern Styria) suggests, the chairmanship aims to create a very open thematic field, in order to do justice to current intensive research in the areas of hospital, clinic and nursing history. Current developments seem particularly interested in taking transformations around and after the turn of the century into account. While the strict regulations of hospitals and clinics made them, above all, places of custody until the middle of the 19th century – at present, the trend goes in the opposite direction – , the question arises when and how changes occurred and how they can be located theoretically. Nursing the elderly – at least in hospitals – was initially not a central aspect of everyday life in the (late) Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period, the inmates usually died comforted by religious consolation, medical care was often absent. However, could it be that this is merely a topos? When and how did a rethinking of these practices come about? How were medical care and welfare financed in hospitals? In addition, the transformation process of the ideal-typical hospital to the modern-day senior residence which connects the aspects of aging and care in a dignified manner, at least in theory, is also of interest. … read more

Call for Papers

Organized by: Association of the Social History of Medicine, Austrian Institute of Historical Research, Institute of Sociology University of Graz, Department of History University of Salzburg

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Johann Friedrich Blumenbach

Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752-1840), German physician, naturalist, physiologist, and anthropologist. His work included Handbuch der vergleichenden Anatomie („Handbook of comparative anatomy“) and Decas craniorum.

Conference: „Johann Friedrich Blumenbach and the Culture of Science in Europe around 1800“ (23 -24  April 2015), Videos available online

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