Bizarre Plots to Bezoars Stones: Poisons and Antidotes in Medici Florence

Claire Litt // On February 8th, 1548 a ciphered letter addressed to Duke Cosimo I reported that “The Farnesi every day try new practices to kill Don Ferrando [Gonzaga] with poison” (Medici Archive Project Doc ID# 5407). By the mid-16th century in Italy, the brazen daylight attacks that characterized assassinations of political leaders in previous…

Blood, Stone, Snake, Woman: A Brief History of Association

Claire Litt // Medusa was once renowned for her loveliness, and roused jealous hopes in the hearts of many suitors. Of all the beauties she possessed, none was more striking than her lovely hair. […] But, so they say, the lord of the sea robbed her of her virginity in the temple of Minerva. Jove’s…