THE CORPSE GIVES LIFE - The Magical and Medical History of Executions

  • Online Event


  • Online/Live, Activity and Classes
  • Tickets from £4.80
  • Thu, 23rd Sep 2021 @ 19:00 - 21:00
  • 19:00 - 21:00

A Live, Illustrated Zoom Talk with historian Owen Davies

The use of the human corpse in medicine and magic dates back to antiquity. The lacerated bodies of Roman gladiators were used as a source of curative blood, while chemists in early modern Europe profited from a thriving trade in a distillation of human bones as a medicinal cure-all. In this talk on corpse medicine, historian Owen Davies steps forward in history to a medical practice that used the bodies of executed criminals as a source of healing. Davies will reveals how this history of execution, medicine and magic prospers in the age of so-called Enlightenment.

Historian Owen Davies will reveal a panoply of macabre medical curiosities from the trade in human skin as talismans to the history of the healing touch of the hanged man’s hand in England and the rise of blood-drinking at beheadings in 19th century Germany and Scandinavia.

Tickets £4.80 including a 20% donation to the Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery. 

Owen Davies
Owen Davies is a British historian. He is currently Professor in History at the University of Hertfordshire. Davies's research is focused on topics such as magic, witchcraft, ghosts, and popular medicine from the ancient world to the present day.

PLEASE NOTE - This talk will take place virtually via Zoom. Ticket sales will end at 5:00 pm BST on the day of the lecture. A link to the conference will be sent to the email used at checkout at 3:00 pm BST on the day of the event. Please email in the event your link fails to arrive. 




Ticket Event time Cost
The Corpse Gives Life
Live, Online Talk
19:00 - 21:00 £4.80



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THE CORPSE GIVES LIFE - The Magical and Medical History of Executions