Jun 27, 2008

Biblical Text-Writing May Have Poisoned Monks

See this interesting
article suggesting that
Medieval monks may have actually been poisoned in the process of creating biblical manuscripts the monks. According to the article,
Medieval bones from six different Danish cemeteries reveal that monks who wrote Biblical texts and other religious materials may have been exposed to toxic mercury, which was used to formulate just one of their ink colors: red.


Anonymous said...

Guess these researchers either never read or borrowed without citing, the idea as developed by Umberto Eco in "The Name of the Rose". An excellent book that, though it doesn't name mercury as the poison, certainly deals with toxic transcription by monks. They really should check it out.

Charles Savelle said...

Thanks for the information. This is not really my area of expertise.