Animals and humans lived in close proximity in the medieval period. Both the reality of animal bites and the fear of the event loomed large in the medieval imagination. This talk will examine this subject from the writings of medical authors and practitioners, in order to understand what animals were especially feared and what actions could be taken to either prevent an attack or the best remedial measures afterwards, from eating walnuts when going through a snake-infested area to applying ointments on cat bites.
This experience will be divided into two parts: First, there will be a short overview by Dr. Nick Newton of the fear of illness and impending surgery on individuals in the 17th & 18th Century, followed by an introductory talk from Dr. Tim Smith, focusing on the aetiology and management of bladder stones in the pre-anaesthetic era. These brief introductions will set the scene for a concert by the Royal Baroque Ensemble, under the direction of Katarzyna Kowalik, of music composed by Marin, Lully, Froberger, Couperin and Zelenka reflecting the patient's anxieties concerning illness, surgery without anaesthesia and the close encounters with imminent or untimely death.