The Early Modern Commons

Anita Guerrini

Recent Posts

“Stop, here is the empire of death”

24 October 2020

Ancient Romans buried their dead outside city walls to avoid contamination.  Medieval Christians, in contrast, kept their dead close, in churchyards or even within church walls,...

The Dance of Death and the first printed skeleton

19 May 2020

The earliest printed image of a human skeleton is this cartoonish image from a German block book from the 1450s. [i] It is one of a series of skeletons in the popular genre known...

The Turducken of Maastricht

20 March 2020

When I gave a talk on fossils last year at the Boerhaave Museum in Leiden, my Dutch friends told me to be sure to include a mention of the Maastricht mosasaur, the most famous fossil...

The Head of a Roman

24 February 2020

For the past few weeks, many news outlets have reported that the skull of Pliny the Elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus, ca. 23-79 CE), the Roman naturalist and statesman who died at Pompeii,...