Tag: Black Death

Teaching the New Paradigm in Black Death Studies

[caption id="attachment_1310" align="alignright" width="198"] Figure 1: Cover image, The Medieval Globe, vol. 1: Pandemic Disease in the Medieval World: Rethinking the Black Death.[/caption] In November 2014, I and seventeen colleagues published a collection of essays in the inaugural issue of The Medieval Globe [fig. 1]. We sought to address a simple question: how could we—how should we—reconceive the Black Death in light of the new understanding of plague’s history that has emerged out of research in genetics over the past decade and a half? Since 1998, research in microbiology, and particularly molecular genetics, had seen three great achievements: in 2001,...

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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)....

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