Category Archives: medieval technology

Automata of the Middle Ages

This topic is one of the interesting intersections between my medieval research and my current research into Chinese technology. Some of the earliest known automated figures are clock jacks–figures that come out and do something when a clock strikes a … Continue reading

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Religious Influence on Medical Care, A Historical Perspective

A couple of recent court cases and the advent of recent changes to health insurance law have brought the issue of who controls the patient’s access to health care into the public mind, particularly in relation to religious freedom. Should … Continue reading

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Like you Need a Hole in the Head! a Defense of Trepanation

I recently wrote an article for Renaissance Magazine about the Brighter Side of Medieval Surgery, because, yes, there is one. If you’re not a subscriber, you can find the ‘zine at many bookstores, or on their website at http://www.renaissancemagazine.com/ But … Continue reading

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To Know the Future

As you know, next week will see the launch of Elisha Barber, and with it, the culmination of a dream which will hopefully lead to many more. Will it be a success? The suspense is killing me! And it makes … Continue reading

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Galen: the father of medieval medicine

I touched briefly on Galen in my article “Skinning your Own Apes,” because the title of that piece was inspired by an odd detail I noted in one of his works. But the man himself deserves greater length. The theories … Continue reading

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Handgun Control in Medieval Japan

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit a nice exhibit of Japanese arms and armor. Toward the end of the exhibit hung two very elegant matchlock guns dating to the Edo period (the 17th century). A small accompanying sign stated … Continue reading

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Review: Songs for a Machine Age

Songs for a Machine Age by Heather McDougal My rating: 4 of 5 stars This book is a delightful journey through an unusual fantasy world where machines and magic co-exist. While I didn’t find the heroine initially engaging, her talent … Continue reading

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