Solutions for snakes

I recently wrote a blogpost about fruit in Anglo-Saxon England, including the fruit in the Garden of Eden, and that got me thinking: whose idea was it to eat the fruit in the first place?  Snakes are abundant in medieval manuscripts if you know where to look – tempting Eve, biting people, generally causing a…

Comparing æppla and oranges: Anglo-Saxon fruit

It’s summer, the season of strawberries and cream.  But what about strawberries and pepper?  We eat fruit for pleasure, or for the sake of eating a healthy diet; in the Middle Ages, certain fruits were also believed to be useful for keeping the body in health, or for use in medicine.  And, in a time…

The power of plants (and an Anglo-Saxon cold remedy)

This blogpost is part of a series on Anglo-Saxon medicine, which was introduced here. The other day, I came across one of the Old English language’s many words related to battle and heroism and realised that it had been a long time since I had encountered it. On reflection, however, it occurred to me that…

Get well soon (Anglo-Saxon style)

I can remember exactly when it was that I discovered Anglo-Saxon medicine. For one of my undergraduate assessments in Old English, I had to write an edition, translation and commentary of an Old English text – in my case, a riddle. The speaker (I won’t ruin the riddle by giving its solution: you can find…

Betony, the miracle herb (or: all about Anglo-Saxon vomit)

So far, in this blog, I have mostly written about subjects of deep spiritual significance to the lives of pious Anglo-Saxons: solitary prayer, confession, the healing of the sick, and praying in the words of the great Fathers of the church. Today, I am going to write about vomit. Not, you might think, a related…