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How to Mellify a Corpse: And Other Human Stories of Ancient Science and Superstition
 
 
Author
Vicki Leon.
Publisher Walker  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 7 x 7 x 0.95 inches
ISBN 9780802717023
Pages/Publication Date 308/2010
Daedalus Item Code 31902
This item is not available.
Description
From Alexander the Great, who reportedly had himself mellified (embalmed in honey) and was in viewable condition for the next 500 years, to the Antikythera Mechanism, an astronomical calculator from the 2nd century BC as complex as any 19th-century clockwork, Vicki León explores the entwined subjects of science and superstition in the ancient world. With the same witty mix of history and humor that she employed in Working IX to V, León ranges from Athens and Rome to Mesopotamia, the Holy Land, Egypt, and Carthage in search of ancient ingenuity, invoking legendary thinkers like Pythagoras, Aristotle, and Archimedes and also delving into the understanding and beliefs of everyday people.

"Marvelous stuff. León deftly combines modern research with ancient lore to lift the lid on the classical world's weird and wonderful, from solar fountains to lethal lipstick."—NYTimes

"With her characteristic deadpan humor, verve, and wit, [the author] brings to life the practices of ordinary folks as they sought practical ways to avoid the evil eye, battle stronger enemies, and understand strange and marvelous astronomical events.... León's rollicking tour helps us see that the daily lives and worries of the ancients were not far removed from our own."—Publishers Weekly

 
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