The Arc Blog and Podcasts

Getting the Words Out (and Back In): What to do When a Plague Image is Not an Image of Plague

[caption id="attachment_220" align="alignleft" width="300"] Figure 1: Image as it appears on Wikipedia, originally with the caption “Plague Victims Blessed by Priest”[/caption] In October 2012, Dr. Monica Green, Professor of History at Arizona State University posted an informative commentary on the medieval medicine listserv MEDMED-L to explore the dangers that arise when decontextualised (and cropped) medieval manuscript images circulate freely on the Internet and are used for retrospective (iconographic) diagnosis. Green focused in particular on this now iconic and ubiquitous representation of the Black Death taken from James le Palmer’s Omne bonum (British Library MS Royal 6 E. VI f.301, 1360-1375)....

Continue Reading →