Renaissance

Convents as a Refuge in Early Modern Lisbon

Lisbon’s convents were not just religious houses, but safe havens for the noblewomen of Portugal offering refuge from abusive husbands, unhappy marriages and a city swarming with ‘dogs and devils’.

A History of Phantom Pain

For centuries, scientists and philosophers used phantom limbs to unravel the secrets of the human mind. While we know phantom pain exists, we still don’t know why.

Violent Ends

Early modern methods of execution were carefully calculated to inflict shame upon the condemned. 

Saving Face

The Renaissance face provided clues about the wealth and health of its owner. Those who had been disfigured were often mistreated, but to alter one’s appearance carried a stigma of its own. 

Dolphins of the Belfiore

Does the intelligent sea mammal, long associated with Venus, the goddess of love, offer a clue to a lost jewel of the Renaissance? 

Murder at the Vatican

An unsolved Renaissance mystery casts light on the dark world of extortion, revenge and power politics at the heart of the Catholic Church.