A Nod to Who I Was

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History in the News: Sources Count

Recently a topic came across my Facebook feed:  "Archaeologists Found the Perfectly Preserved Corpse of a 350 Year Old Friend Noblewoman."  The source was Absolute History.  The story was underwhelming and left something to be desired for the academically minded.  That is to say that although the article was well written and had the name... Continue Reading →

What’s the Difference Between a Recipe and a Receipt?

While I dont typically reblog, this is an important article fir understanding the history of medicibe.


Today, the words “recipe” and “receipt” have clear, separate meanings: the former refers to a list of ingredients and directions for preparing a specific dish, while the latter is a paper record of a transaction. But the words haven’t always had those meanings. If you collect rare and antiquarian cookbooks, you’ve undoubtedly encountered both “receipt” and “recipe” in different contexts.

Shared Etymology

The Latin word “recipere,” from which both words are derived, means “to receive” or “to take.” Each is simply a different form of the word. Both forms were first used in the fourteenth century. Chaucer was the first to use “receipt” in Canterbury Tales around 1386. “Recipe” first appeared in Lanfranc’s Cirurg, published circa 1400 (“cirurg” is a variant of “surgery,” so this was a medical book).

In both instances, the words refer not to food, but to medicine. Indeed, the first receipts were prescriptions for medicinal preparations…

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The Art of Letting Go

In our modern lives it is quite normal for us to have more than one career path during our lifetime.  It's expected while you find what you want to do, and then at some point - generally after 15 or so years, to want to do something else.  You leave the threads of your old... Continue Reading →

A Quick List of Sources

I've been researching so long that I know the reputation of many websites.  Some - like Princeton University's wiki site draws from Wikipedia, which I don't trust as a rule, although there are exceptions. Others, like US History.org have good reputations for basic stuff, so can be used as a jumping off place. But, I... Continue Reading →

The Myth of Mithridate

During the first century BCE, Mithridates VI, the King of Pontus combined medical knowledge of antidotes of the time, he brought forth a preventative antidote dubbed mithridate. Nearly a century later, Celsus recorded the formula in his De Medicina, which included 36 ingredients. These ingredients were primarily flora derivatives. According to the recipe, in completed... Continue Reading →

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