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The Norman Conquest of the materia medica? Expanding pharmaceutical horizons in 11th-century England

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The 11th century was a time of great change in England. It is well known that the country was conquered twice, in 1016 and 1066, but less well known is that there were considerable changes in medicine, at least as far as the surviving manuscripts tell us. Latin replaced English, to a great extent, as the language of the extant texts, and there were changes in their structure, attribution, and vocabulary of medical writing. This paper will explore aspects of those changes that relate to materia medica, examining a manuscript, BL Sloane 1621, that was used and annotated at Bury St Edmunds in the late 11th century, in the context of earlier medical writings in both Latin and English.

This talk is part of the Cabinet of Natural History series.

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