Month: November 2021

‘It Was Drawn from the Life’: Medieval Alchemy and the Proto-Homunculus

Curtis Runstedler, Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow at University of Stuttgart     Medieval alchemy has long conjured images of smoky laboratories, strange substances, dodgy practitioners, and misguided pursuits. While the alchemists of old remained mostly unsuccessful in their experiments, their pursuits often led to other chymical discoveries or helped establish the foundations of modern chemistry. The goal of medieval…

Hero of Alexandria and the machinery of the modern theatre

By Philip Steadman, Emeritus Professor of Urban and Built Form Studies at University College London.   The modern theatre was invented in Italy in the late sixteenth century. Before then, the revived tragedies of classical Greece, the plays of Terence and Plautus, and modern comedies, had been performed in converted halls, or in buildings that recreated ancient amphitheatres. The most…

Music in Paris, 1200: Ambitious, Exciting, Lost…

By Chloë Allison, Creative Director of the Cambridge-based performance collective Marginalia   Summary In this post, Chloë explores the vibrant, unique, and little-known polyphonic practices developed in the cultural and intellectual hub of twelfth-century Paris. As part of the Multimedia Craft of Wonder, she is organising a concert, freely open to the public, called ‘In the Shadow of Notre Dame’,…