Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Tuesday 1 November 2022

Medieval Veterinary care

Calling the vet for sick farm animals or domestic pets is standard practice these days and part of our way of life - and as an unfortunate side effect engenders saccharine television series.

In the past it was more complex - animals were often crucial for the survival of farming families, let alone their importance for transport and carrying, for sport and for warfare. Going back to the middle ages there were those who treated animals medically, drawing upon long established ideas, but other options included folk remedies and magic, charms and astrology, as well as the intercession of the saints - an appropriate thought for All Saints Day.

The Smithsonian Magazine has article about medieval veterinary options which serves as a useful introduction to the topic and it can be read at The Veterinary Magic of the Middle Ages

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