I recently began Karen Jolly’s Popular Religion in Late Anglo-Saxon England: Elf Charms in Context and found myself starting to make some changes to a previous post, Elfshot, medicine, and changing belief systems.Read more "Quick addendum to Elfshot-and-beliefs post"
Are the riddles in the Exeter Book designed to have more than one answer, and, if so, why? To educate or to entertain? Either way, here’s my solution to Riddle 53.Read more "Frige hwæt ic hatte"
Anglo-Saxon medicine is a mix of empirical treatment and sophisticated psychological techniques. The trick with placebo and nocebo—for both the medieval practitioner and the modern—is in understanding what the stricken patient believes. These beliefs change over time.Read more "Elfshot, medicine, and changing belief systems"
Hild is heading north to talk (unofficially, of course) with Coledauc of the Gododdin. I had to draw maps to work out where she might go, and how, and why.Read more "Gododdin"
When did the Picts stop using the carnyx in war? And why? Perhaps it was because they were weighty and cumbersome. Perhaps it was because of cultural change—religion.Read more "Carnyx"
Breguswith knew all about the miracle eye salve that fights MRSA…Read more "Breguswith’s eye salve kills MRSA"
“The regional genetic differentiation and differing patterns of shared ancestry…carry clear signals of historical demographic events.” Nature’s recent article on the genetic makeup of the British population is full of eyebrow-raising stuff.Read more "Genetic structure of the British population"