Surviving the Corona Virus: Medieval Italian Style

The spread of the Covid-19 virus has triggered an epidemic of advice. This advice is important, but it seems destined to make our lives more miserable and isolated. However, there is an unusual source of counsel which offers another way to deal with an epidemic. That source is the Decameron. The Italian Renaissance author Giovanni Boccaccio wrote the Decameron in … More Surviving the Corona Virus: Medieval Italian Style

Platina on Italian Renaissance Househunting

The Italian writer Bartolomeo Sacchi, better known as Platina, composed On Right Pleasure and Good Health (De honesta voluptate et valetudine) in the 1460s, apparently for his friends.   It is mostly a cookbook, offering insights into healthy eating and other best practices for taking care of oneself. Early on his work he even provides … More Platina on Italian Renaissance Househunting

Caterina Sforza – The Alchemist

“THE ALCHEMIST’S DESIRE”: RECIPES FOR HEALTH AND BEAUTY FROM CATERINA SFORZA 03/03/2015 By Meredith K. Ray  In this blog post, I’m presenting material from my forthcoming book Daughters of Alchemy: Women and Scientific Culture in Early Modern Italy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015). The material in this post is drawn from Chapter One, “Caterina Sforza’s Experiments with Alchemy,” and Chapter Three, … More Caterina Sforza – The Alchemist

Tudor Bathing – An Italian Renaissance Application

Just remember that most of what the Tudors were in the habit of doing as far as hygiene was being done in Italy a century or more before 🙂 Reposted from Tudor Hygiene Part 1- Bathing “One of the misconceptions of popular history is that concern for hygiene and sanitation is a recent – and … More Tudor Bathing – An Italian Renaissance Application

Galenus Cold Cream or Greco-Roman Ceratum Galeni

Galen of Pergamon (Aelius Galenus, Claudius Galenus, or Anglicized at Galen), a Roman physician and philosopher in 2nd century C.E., pulled from the earlier medical knowledge of Hippocrates, traveled the Mediterranean studying and practicing medicine, and wrote medical treatises that remain among the top references for classical medicine. Galen set the stage for a system … More Galenus Cold Cream or Greco-Roman Ceratum Galeni