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Leechcraft – the Early English Healing Tradition

An attack of færstice ‘sudden stitch’ in the form of darts launched by winged elves –from the 11th-century Utrecht Psalter (British Library, MS Harley 603, f.22r).

with Steve Pollington & Robin Baker

in The Old Court, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday, 25th February, 2012

An examination of medical practice in Anglo-Saxon England with a focus on plant-based preparations. Evidence will be drawn from archaeology and the three Old English principal manuscripts to indicate the range of materials used and the purposes to which they were put. The combination of classical medical literature and native herblore produced a remarkably diverse medical tradition.

Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 Leechcraft – the Old English Healing Tradition (SP) - An introduction to the Anglo-Saxon tradition of healing, and an overview of some of the problems.  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.45 The Medical Manuscript Tradition (SP) - An overview of the written sources of our knowledge.  
  12.45 Lunch break (bring picnic or eat in NT restaurant)  
  14:00 Anglo-Saxon Materia Medica (RB) - A discussion of some of the mineral and vegetable materials mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon manuscripts.  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 What Ails Thee? (SP) - A survey of the Anglo-Saxon understanding of disease and the role of the healer in societ  
  c.16:20 Close  

About Steve Pollington & Robin Baker

Stephen has been writing books on Anglo-Saxon England for two decades. His many published titles include works on the Old English language, military culture, healing and herblore, runes and feasting, as well as a double CD of readings in Old English. He has lectured widely on Anglo-Saxon culture and has worked on many television and radio programmes. For more on his work, see his website at www.stevepollington.com/index.html .

Robin Baker is an East India Merchant specialising in botanical drugs, spices, and animal derivatives. He is Past President of the International General Produce Association, a member of the British Standards Institution, a contributor to Trease & Evans's Pharmacognosy (London 2009), and an Anglo-Saxon numismatist.

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Grattan, J., & C.Singer, Anglo-Saxon Magic and Medicine (London 1952)
LeStrange, R., A History of Herbal Plants (London 1977)
Meaney, A.L., Anglo-Saxon Amulets and Curing Stones, British Archaeological Reports, British Series 96 (Oxford 1981)
Meaney, A.L., “Women, Witchcraft and Magic in Anglo-Saxon England”, in D.G.Scragg (ed.), Superstition and Popular Medicine in Anglo-Saxon England (Manchester 1989)
Pollington, S., Leechcraft – Early English Charms, Plant Lore, and Healing (Anglo-Saxon Books 2000)
Sinclair Rohde, E., The Old English Herbals (London 1922)
Storms, G., Anglo-Saxon Magic (The Hague 1948)
Voigts, L.E., “Anglo-Saxon Plant Remedies and the Anglo-Saxons”, Isis, 70 (1979)

Bookings

Please phone or email to check the availability of places. Study Days are 38 per person, which includes a full day of lectures, access to the NT site, parking, coffee and tea throughout the day, and access to the NT exhibition. Once you have reserved your place please send a cheque to confirm the booking. For your first booking please complete the application form to ensure that we have recorded your contact details correctly.

Wuffing Education,
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
tel : 01394 386498

Email cliff AT wuffingeducation.co.uk
(replace 'AT' by '@' in order to send email - we used 'AT' to avoid spam robots automatically sending us emails)
Website www.wuffingeducation.co.uk

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We have learnt of the fame of the Wuffing folk-lords of long ago, of how those wolf-kings held the ancestral land of East Anglia....
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Updated 13 December, 2012
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