Category Archives: History of magic

The saint’s orchids

At the end of July every year we head to Anglesey (north Wales) for a week’s holiday with P’s family. This year I was on a mission: I wanted to spot some wild orchids. I knew there were there. P’s … Continue reading

Posted in History of magic, History of medicine, Travelling, Wales | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

A little Egyptian magic for Christmas

It is the end of term and it is fair to say that our entire household is looking forward to a rest. We have all suffered from one form of lurgy or another over the last couple of weeks… perhaps … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient History, Cosmetics, History of magic, History of medicine, Homemade remedies | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The wind of change

My last post, on bean poisoning, received some very good responses on Twitter. In particular @HistorianJen pointed out to me that, in the early modern period, beans were used as aphrodisiacs because of their similarity with the sexual organs. This … Continue reading

Posted in History of gynaecology, History of magic, History of medicine, Knitting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The hair of the dog

 I have a new textual crush. I have become totally enamoured with the Geoponika (literally, Agricultural Stuff), a Byzantine tenth-century compilation of agronomical advice. It is full of fun recipes and precepts. While other ancient agronomical authors might edit out what … Continue reading

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Eat your heart out

At the risk of being too predictable, this week, for Valentine’s day, I bring you some ancient aphrodisiac recipes. I am not really one for celebrating the Saint of Love, and reading some of the recipes I have come across … Continue reading

Posted in Cosmetics, History of gynaecology, History of magic, History of medicine, History of veterinary medicine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments