On Anecdote and Antidotes: Poison Trials in Sixteenth-Century Europe

  title={On Anecdote and Antidotes: Poison Trials in Sixteenth-Century Europe},
  author={Alisha Rankin},
  journal={Bulletin of the History of Medicine},
  pages={274 - 302}
  • Alisha Rankin
  • Published 25 July 2017
  • Medicine
  • Bulletin of the History of Medicine
summary:This article describes the use of poison trials, in which an animal or a condemned criminal was poisoned, to test antidotes in sixteenth-century Europe. In contrast to most drug testing in medieval and early modern Europe, which was gathered in the normal course of therapeutic experience, the poison trial was a contrived, deliberate event. I argue that poison trials had an important function in both medical testing and medical writing in the period between 1524–1580. While poison trials… 
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