Category: Uncategorized

  • King Richard’s Fingernails: A disease of the 3rd crusade.

    Recently I was reading The Plantagenets by Dan Jones ( As I got into the life of Richard the Lionheart, I came upon this passage: Within a week setting up camp, Richard had fallen grievously ill with a scurvylike disease known as Arnaldia or Leonardie. His teeth and fingernails began to loosen, and his hair […]

  • Ancient outbreaks… so many questions and a few answers.

    Since humans stopped wandering the earth in nomadic groups and started living in sedentary communities they have been plagued by outbreaks. In the past, these outbreaks were shrouded in mystery. No one knew why they happened and methods to deal with these outbreaks were rudimentary at best. A retrospective look at history reveals some fascinating […]

  • The Magical Healing Powers of Fasting Spittle

    “The fasting spytle of a whole and founde personne, doth quyte take awaye all scuruines, sawsfleame, or readnes of the face, Ringwormes, Tetters, and all kind of Pustules or wheales, by smearing or rubbing the infected place therewith.”   In the quote above you see advice given in the 16th century. Do you have some […]

  • Pesta: The Personification of the Black Plague in Norway

    The shadowy figure of Pesta- the plague hag- approaches a farm house. She is clad in a black hood and a red skirt and brings with her the pestilence that decimated Europe in the 14th century. She is the personification of the Black Death. The people in this farm house, though, are comparatively lucky, for […]