Because she is worth it

By Laurence Totelin Recently, I started experimenting with Greek, Roman and Byzantine recipes for pharmacological and cosmetic concoctions. My most adventurous attempt so far was recreating the ‘soap used by the Patrician Pelagia’, a recipe preserved in the writings of Aetius of Amida (sixth century CE): Soap the Patrician [i.e. noble] Pelagia used to make her … Continue reading Because she is worth it

Wot’s fer dinna luv? Yer favrit, stuffed dormouse!

By Thony Christie The British Museum has a new exhibition on Pompeii and Cambridge classicist and current media star Mary Beard has been doing the rounds of the English press writing entertaining glosses on it. In her piece for The Sun (yes really that Sun!) she mentioned amongst other things that the Romans ate dormice. … Continue reading Wot’s fer dinna luv? Yer favrit, stuffed dormouse!

Sticky eyes or weeping wounds: trying to interpret the Pozzino tablets

Thousands of pharmacological and cosmetic recipes have come down to us from the Greek and Roman world. On the other hand, archaeological discoveries of ancient remedies are few and far between, and findings that can be analysed chemically and botanically are even rarer. Recently, ancient medicine made the news with the publication by a team … Continue reading Sticky eyes or weeping wounds: trying to interpret the Pozzino tablets

Ice (Fires Foe): Some lessons in love and burning

By Phoebe Dickerson What should you do if you burn yourself? Ideally, you’d stand bent over a sink of cool or tepid water for half an hour. Instead, if you’re anything like me, you’re more likely to run around clutching some frozen peas to the afflicted area. Or maybe you’d try smearing on some antiseptic … Continue reading Ice (Fires Foe): Some lessons in love and burning