Cult of Cybele Castration Clamp

“The goddess Cybele was a great mother goddess adopted by Rome from Asia Minor. Her worship, like Isis, was popular amongst women. The worship of Cybele had emotional appeal, offering salvation and priests of the goddess castrated themselves in her service. A bronze castration clamp found in the Thames at London Bridge, is believed to have been used in the cult of Cybele. The clamp is decorated with busts of Cybele and her lover Attis while busts of other Roman deities represent the days of the week.” – Description.

The year 1948 is put on this image. However, it is not clear of which date it pertains too – Creation of Clamp, Discovery of Clamp, or Photograph.

Cult of Cybele Castration Clamp

Image source. No known copyright restrictions.

Five Handed Siamese Twins

Unknown year and author. However, something known – this image is from ‘Philosophical Transactions’, at the Royal Society of London. I found it in the Wellcome Library under the keyword ‘abnormalities’.

Five Handed Siamese Twins

Credit: Image source. The Wellcome Collection by the Wellcome Library, London. Copyrighted under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

Human Production (1810) By Nicolas Regnault

A part of a ‘monstrous human being’ – rude! It looks like growths of some sort, attached to the back of a persons head. Hopefully it isn’t the front, poor thing.

Human Production (1810) By Nicolas Regnault

Credit: Image source. The Wellcome Collection by the Wellcome Library, London. Copyrighted under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

Cyclops Child (18th Century) by Nicholas Edouard Lerouge

With the caption “Monstres”, which is French for ‘Monster’. This poor child is suffering by Cyclopia. Cyclopia is a birth defect, in which the embryo fails to divide the orbits of the eye into two cavities.

Cyclops Child (18th Century) by Nicholas Edouard Lerouge

Image source. Credit: The Wellcome Collection by the Wellcome Library, London. Copyrighted under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0. Information source Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

Circumcision Knife (18th Century)

Circumcision knife, dated some time between 1775-1785. Did they use anesthesia?! Opinions about circumcision range from ‘necessary medical procedure’ & ‘religious ritual’, to ‘genital mutilation’.

Circumcision Knife (18th Century)

Image source. Credit: The Wellcome Collection by the Wellcome Library, London. Copyrighted under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

Traveling Salesman (16th Century) By Giulio Romano

This man is draped with live snakes, a gimmick for selling his wares. No doubt he has some kind of snake oil cure in his inventory. Pun intended. The audience is buying.

Traveling Salesman (16th Century) By Giulio Romano

Credit: The Wellcome Collection by the Wellcome Library, London. Copyrighted under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

Doctor Schnabel (1656) – Image and Background

The image is by Paul Fürst. It was a copper engraving of a plague doctor, accompanied by a satirical poem.

Doctor Schnabel (1656) - Image and Background

Poem- Translated by The Leery

For you, Do you believe as a fable
Doctor Schnabel written from
The past contagion.
He authorizes fine reward of this
The corpses he seeks to fisting
Same as Joe on the crap
Ah Believe, do not go there
Then Rome, ruled by the Plague.

Who would not be very scared
The thief slashes or stretches
Where floods, as if he was dumb
And interprets as his plan
How many a credit without doubts
That makes him a black devil
Pouch(purse) is called fine Hott
And arum the fetched soul.

Interpretation

‘Doctor Schnabel’ means ‘Doctor Beck. ‘Schnabel’ means bill or pecker, which is what the doctor’s mask looks like. Also, ‘Schnabel’ was used in a derogatory manner. Now we might say something like ‘Shut your mouth!’, in the past it would be ‘Halt den Schnabel!’.

The corpses he seeks to fist, refers to his interest in probing the dead infected. The next line refers to this as bullshit. Instead of the doctor wanting to find clues to cures, he fondles the corpses for pleasure. ‘Joe on the crap’, is like saying now “Full of crap”. Joe is a general name for males.

‘Where floods’ refers to the swelling lymph nodes on plague victims. The doctor cuts the bumps open and stretches the skin of the patient. The purpose of doing this is to relieve the patient of the pressure and remove puss.

The pouch, or purse, is referring to the bags of strong scented organic contents, that the Plague Doctors would carry around. The belief was the disease was carried through the stink and smell.

The current and only definition I could find on ‘Hott’ is an extractor hood. This is an electrical Kitchen device fitted over cooking areas. The hood sucks off vapors from cooking. During the plague times, there were no such things as electrical extractor hoods.

I have two guesses as to what the text on the image means by ‘Hott’. Firstly, it could be simply a way of stating the pouches took in the bad air, and exhausted it as good air.

Secondly, the ‘Hott’ could had meant the doctors hood. It would also be good at preventing vapors. Although it would do this be preventing the vapors from entering vs exhausting. Also, ‘Extractor hood’ literally has hood in it.

Arum is gold. So maybe the last line was saying the doctor turns the sick wretched souls into money.

Continue reading Doctor Schnabel (1656) – Image and Background

Breathing a Vein (1804) by James Gillray

An ill man came to a doctor for relief. Unfortunately, the doctors of that time were not sufficient. The doctor suggested and then performed blood letting on the patient. It is safe to say that ‘Breathing a Vein’ only made things worst.

Breathing a Vein (1804) by James Gillray

Image source. Credit: The Wellcome Collection by the Wellcome Library, London. Copyrighted under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

Skeleton Watercolor (19th Century) By Unknown

This anatomical image is by an unknown Persian artist. It is more comical then informative! In my opinion, it looks much older than the 19th Century, but it is labeled so by the source.

Skeleton Watercolor (19th Century) By Unknown

Image source. Credit: The Wellcome Collection by the Wellcome Library, London. Copyrighted under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0