SFB 1369 Cultures of vigilance

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The Ever-present, Yet Imperceptible Threat: Poisoning at Early Modern Courts

Lecture by Molly Taylor-Poleskey (Middle Tennessee State University)

26.04.2021 16:15  – 18:00 

On the Saturday before Easter in 1687, Prince Ludwig of Brandenburg ate an orange and drank some coffee. Shortly thereafter, he complained of stomach pains and had trouble sleeping. A week later, he was dead. The death of the otherwise healthy twenty-year old prince sparked rumors of poisoning, which fueled tensions related to international diplomacy, dynastic politics, and confessional divides. Poisoning was an ever-present threat at early modern courts against which no amount of physical might or vigilance could protect. The early modern “culture of poisoning” offers a telling juxtaposition to the power that food at court normally projected. Fears of poisoning at the court of Friedrich Wilhelm, Elector of Brandenburg-Prussia, expose the interconnections between seventeenth-century political culture, quotidian habits, and the production of medical knowledge.


Monday, April 26, 2021, 4:15 pm

zoom meeting

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