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The Catacombs of Paris: Resistance and Reclamation

The Catacombs of Paris: Resistance and Reclamation

1st March 2019
Category: France

As discussed last week, the immense Paris Catacombs were created as a way to consolidate the many dead that had taken up the city’s Cimetière des Saints-Innocents somewhere where they would not start to intrude into the basements of the residents of France’s capital. After their initial purpose was fulfilled, they played host to a […]

The Catacombs of Paris: Introduction and Construction

22nd February 2019
Category: France

To conclude the Body and Blood series, it is important to take a look at one of the most major and well-known instances of Europeans using the remains of the deceased as a resource with which to improve their lives and create something important to them: the Paris Catacombs. This is a subject that is […]

The Middle Ages’ Morbid Burial Rites

15th February 2019
Category: Poland

As one can expect, the Middle Ages were a tumultuous time for Europe. Death was everywhere, whether it came from war, crop failure, or the plague. As stated in previous articles, this lead to Europeans having a relationship with death that transformed the bodies of the dead into useful commodities such as relics, medicine, and […]

The Gruesome Inspiration of Sawney Bean

8th February 2019
Category: Scotland

Sawney Bean and his gory legacy sit with that of Countess Báthory when it comes to infamy and influence. It is a testament to the fear that the world outside of civilization held even during the Renaissance, when cities were rapidly beginning to build enough infrastructure between them to shelter traders and other members of […]

Countess Báthory and Blood-Drinkers: Part 2

12th December 2018
Category: Hungary

As discussed in last week’s article, Countess Báthory of Hungary became infamous for supposedly killing hundreds of her servants and townsfolk.  One of the most infamous stories connected to her was that she bathed in the blood of those innocents in order to keep herself alive. Her killing spree, if it actually happened, definitely sets her […]

Countess Báthory and Blood-Drinkers: Part 1

5th December 2018
Category: Hungary

The name “Countess Báthory of Hungary” stirs up a vast array of cruel images in the minds of anyone who is familiar with the historic figure, but none so prominent as the image of a regal woman rising out of a pool full of blood like something out of a blockbuster horror movie. For those […]

The Cadaver Synod: Aftermath

24th October 2018
Category: Italy

This article serves as the second half of a two part article about the Cadaver Synod, a moment in European history where a pope in the Catholic Church placed the dead body of his predecessor on trial. To see the first half of this story, visit this link.  As discussed, Pope Stephen VI’s decision to […]

The Cadaver Synod: Dead Pope’s Trial

18th October 2018
Category: Italy

It is common to look to the past to see where our present day troubles come from. After all, many of the decisions our predecessors make start to turn sour when they are gone. Often, we built on and fix those failures to make our own names in life. When a pope in the Middle […]

The Relic Trade and the Bones of Prague

28th September 2018
Category: Czechia

There is the skull of a holy man in the Old Town Bridge Tower in Prague. If you visit, you’ll be told that this relic belongs to St. Vitus of the Catholic Church, an early Christian martyred by the Roman emperor Diocletian. His arm is also interred in Prague in a crypt under St. Vitus’ […]

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