The Good, the Bad, and the Ague: Defining Healthful Airs in Early Modern England

Combating malaria through travel, diet, natural remedies, and architecture in early modern England. From standing PoolesFrom boggs; from ranck and dampish Fenns,From Moorish breaths, and nasty Denns,The sun drawes up contagious fumes. Thomas Dekker, News from Graves End (1604) In 1664, Nathaniel Henshaw, a founding fellow of the Royal Society, conceived of an invention which, he thought,[…]

City Sanitation Regulations in the Coventry Mayor’s Proclamation of 1421

In 1421, the newly elected mayor of Coventry, England issued a proclamation that gives us insights into medieval urban sanitation concerns and their regulation in the later medieval period. On 25 January 1421, John Leeder, the newly elected mayor of Coventry, England, issued a mayoral proclamation outlining how the city would be run. He began[…]

Denis Diderot and Science: Enlightenment to Modernity

Diderot was not a practicing scientist, but was as close to one as he could be. A key Enlightenment figure, many of Diderot’s ideas were avant-garde and foreshadowed many concepts in modern science. Diderot was not a practising scientist, but was as close to one as he could be. His first major publication was a[…]

Antecedents to Modernity: The Enlightenment and Reactions to It

The foundation was laid for Modernity by the philosophies and theories of the Enlightenment. Antecedents to Modernity Media technologies, beginning with the printing press in the Early Modern period in Europe, have been instrumental in forging what we now call the Modern world. Yet as Maruca pointed out in her talk on “cyborg languages,” these[…]

The Roman Gladiator

Without doubt, gladiator spectacles were one of the most watched forms of popular entertainment in the Roman world. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction A Roman gladiator was an ancient professional fighter who specialised with particular weapons and armour. They fought before the public in organised games held in large purpose-built arenas throughout the Roman Empire from 105 BCE to 404[…]

Panem Et Circenses: Ancient Roman Entertainment for Appeasement

“The people are only anxious for two things: bread and circuses.” Introduction Two men ready their weapons. An excited crowd of Romans cheer loudly in anticipation. Both combatants realize full well that this day might be their last. They are gladiators, men who fight to the death for the enjoyment of others. As the two[…]