Author: laurencetotelin

Interview with the author: Elaine Leong

Our very own Elaine Leong’s new book Recipes and Everyday Knowledge Medicine, Science, and the Household in Early Modern England has just come out with the University of Chicago Press. We are super excited to offer you this interview with the author. TRP: Congratulations Elaine on your new book! We have read…

Cleopatra’s Eye: The Significance of Kohl in Ancient Egypt

By Hazel Lunn Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra in 1963 production of Cleopatra, portraying malachite and galena kohls used in Egyptian makeup. Courtesy of http://flavorwire.com/535384/the-fashions-of-cleopatra-in-cinema Kohl has been a popular cosmetic in civilisations across the world since prehistoric times, but its association with ancient Egypt is most well-known. We are all familiar…

Thanksgiving with Galen and Apicius

By Sean Coughlin For Thanksgiving, I thought I’d come up with a new English translation of a seasonal recipe from the Roman cook-book of Apicius. It comes from the third book of De re coquinaria. The Latin is cucurbitas cum gallina. In Joseph Vehling’s English translation: “Pumpkin and Chicken”. If…

Recreating Ancient Beauty

By Eboni John, published as part of the Undergraduate Series The society of ancient Rome was just as obsessed with cosmetics and beauty as we are today. Indulging in the use of items such as white lead foundation, ash-based eye-shadow and poppy petalled blush, it is clear that the Romans’…

In Search of Efen

By  Allison Shichen Du, published as part of the Undergraduate Series This summer, I started a journey to explore Manchu (Manzu) food both in books and in real life. After reviewing A Comprehensive Manchu-English Dictionary written by Jerry Normanin May, I thought that flour-made foods are very important in the…

Ancient Cures for Asthma: Do They Really Work?

By Joanna Cunningham, as part of the Undergraduate Series Find out more about ancient ideas on asthma, and whether the remedies that ancient physicians used actually work! Asthma and Its Ancient Background Asthma is an affliction of the lungs which numerous ancient physicians discussed in their writings. It was first mentioned…

Tales from the archives: the torture of therapeutics in Rome: Galen on pigeon dung

Recently, I have noticed fewer pigeons at Cardiff station. This probably mean that there has been a cull, which even though I’m no fan of pigeons, made me feel rather melancholy. So, in honour of the humble pigeon, here is, fresh from our archives, a fab post by Caroline Petit…

Conference report: “The Words of Medicine”

By Isabella Bonati From Wednesday 19th to Saturday 22nd September the international Conference “The Words of Medicine: Technical Terminology in Material and Textual Evidence from the Graeco-Roman World” was held at the North-West University of Potchefstroom (South Africa). Sixteen scholars from around the world exchanged knowledge, research and experience, and…

Fevers and the Dog Star in Antiquity

By Laurence Totelin Summer this year in the UK has been particularly hot; we have experienced a heat wave for the first time in almost a decade. The hot days between roughly the tenth of July and the fifteenth of August are known as the Dog Days, so called because…

Eating Crow

By Michael Walkden In 1936, the residents of Tulsa, Oklahoma were seized with a craving for crow. Butchers sent children into the fields, offering $1.50 for every dozen crows they brought back for the chopping block. Nurses and dietitians suggested that crow-meat could become a staple food in hospitals. And…

Tales from the archives: Love and the Longevity of Charms

In September 2018, The Recipes Project will be six years old. There’s been a lot of blogging on this platform, and we are so grateful to all our wonderful contributors. But with so much material on the site, it’s easy for earlier pieces to be forgotten. So, the editors have decided…

Recipes for honey-drinks in the first published English beekeeping manual

By Matthew Phillpott The Roman emperor Augustus is said to have asked the Roman orator, poet, and politician, Publius Vedius Pollio, how to live a long life. Pollio answered that ‘applying the Muse water within, and anointing oil without the body’ would help to keep him free of sickness. Whether…

Returning the wandering womb with “fetid and rank smells”

By Dr. Amy Kenny When prescribing curatives for a wandering womb, early modern medical practitioners regularly propose pungent materials to return the womb to its rightful place in the abdomen.  Medical manuals from the period are rife with tales of the womb becoming dislodged and wandering throughout the body.  Monthly…

“Lunch Shaming” and Lessons from History

By Nadja Durbach Early last year the news media reported on a surge in what has been called “lunch shaming”: practices that deliberately and publicly humiliate children whose parents have not settled their school lunch accounts. When this story broke I was in the midst of writing about school meals…

Books of Secrets

By Mandy Aftel From Fragrant:The Secret Life of Scent by Mandy Aftel In the early sixteenth century, a new kind of book appeared in Europe: Books of Secrets were popular compendiums that professed to divulge to the reader the secrets of nature, culled from ancient sources of knowledge and wisdom.…

Tales from the archives: Spring: when thoughts of fancy turn to itchy, watery eyes

In 2017, The Recipes Project celebrated its fifth birthday. We now have nearly 650 posts in our archives and over 160 pages for readers to sift through. That’s a lot of material! (And thank you so much to our contributors for sharing such a wealth of knowledge on recipes.) But with so…