Author: Christof Rolker

No one expects the Spanish … Enlightenment

Whether or not you learnt your history with Monty Python, you do expect the Spanish Inquisition; even today, ‚Spain‘ is associated with ‚Inquisition‘, as every search engine knows; on the contrary, one does not normally associate...

Sex change in the (medieval) city

Hermaphrodites in the pre-modern West were normally understood as people ‚having both natures‘, that is, both male and female genitalia and/or other unusual combinations of male and female attributes (facial hair, breast, voice, etc.). At the...

A new Grünenberg copy from Brno

Konrad Grünenberg (d. 1494) is rightly famous for having had one of the greatest armorials of the Middle Ages. For a long time now, heraldists, art historians and (increasingly) historians have studied Grünenberg’s great work, but only recently the popularity of this giant collection of coat of arms has become…

Heterosexual hermaphrodites: Aneau’s Picta poesis

If Pliny provided naturalists, philosophers and ethnographic writers with a prose account of ‘hermaphrodites’, Ovid was the perennial source of the lyrical variation of the theme. Given the popularity of his Metamorphoses, one could cite new...

Aristotele, goats, and double sex (English)

Double-sexed goats may not be the most common topics in scholarly blogs, not even in this blog; but if Aristotle had blogged more on anatomy than he in fact did, things may have taken a different...
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