Why did Pythagoras advise against beans at bedtime? and what do dreams mean?
A very nasty condition in earlier medicine was something called lovesickness. Check yourself out: are you looking pale? Sleeping badly? Finding it difficult to concentrate? Sighing a lot? Are you off your food? These symptoms, history tells us, may point to lovesickness as your problem. When is love a disease? The first stages of being in… Continue reading What is this thing called lovesickness?
The gestation of a book is an odd thing... So there I was watching a superb drag burlesque act, The Down and Dirty Show, featuring The Gentleman King and Foxy Tann, the scheduled entertainment at the 2011 Berkshire Conference for Women Historians. And the sky opened. Sometimes moments of insight come when you least expect… Continue reading Agnodice: down and dirty?
What did menstrual bleeding mean to the people of the past? And what expectations did that raise?
One aspect of the history of menstruation that is fascinating to a modern reader is the phenomenon of ‘vicarious menstruation’, in which a woman bleeds regularly from another orifice, or even from a wound. While modern medicine still recognises conditions in which other mucous membranes bleed along with, or instead of, the womb lining, the cases… Continue reading Vicarious menstruation