Tag Archives: Middle Ages

Bloody beginnings of hematology

Sherin Jose Chockattu Bengaluru, India Bloodletting in 1860 – one of only three known photographs of the procedure. This photo is from the Burns Archive collection. Source His pole, with pewter basins hung, Black, rotten teeth in order strung, Rang’d cups that in the window stood, Lin’d with red rags, to look like blood, Did […]

Medicinal leeches in art and literature

Martin Duke Mystic, Connecticut, United States   Figure 1. Woman applying a leech to her forearm. A large jar containing leeches is next to her. Belgium woodcut by Guillaume van den Bossche, 1639: National Library of Medicine Unique ID: 2315020R. For more than two thousand years, the extraordinary blood-sucking abilities of the medicinal leech (Hirudo […]

Maria Lorenza Longo and the birth of the “Incurabili” Hospital in Naples

Marco Luchetti Milano, Italy   Maria Lorenza Longo. Source In the Middle Ages hospitals were charitable institutions that took care of those that could not afford a doctor at home, such as the poor, elderly, orphans, and single mothers. In Naples there was an urgent need for a large facility with many doctors where “incurable” […]

Collections complete: experiential centres of learning

Lynsey Grosfield Rude, Denmark   The period between roughly 1520 and 1590 was a time of growing efforts to understand the world of science through hands-on exercises in collecting and cataloging natural objects, observation, dissection, and experimentation in the fields of anatomy, botany, and museum science. This was also the time of the High Renaissance […]

Carl von Rokitansky (1804-1881)

For a brief period between 1860 and 1910, Vienna became the cultural capital of Europe, just as Constantinople had been in the Middle Ages and Florence during the Renaissance. It had become an attractive metropolis of two million people, capital of an empire that in the wake of two serious military defeats had abandoned its […]

Lavinia Fontana – Ambras syndrome

Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man . . . Genesis 27:11 The Ambras syndrome is a rare genetic disorder characterized by an excessive growth of hair over the whole body—especially the face, ears, arms, shoulders, back, and legs—and sometimes accompanied by an overgrowth of the gums. Caused by a defect in one of […]