Friday, February 28, 2014

How to Tell if Someone Is or Is Not Dead, c. 1380

He's not dead yet.
BL Harley 3140, f. 39r (14th c.)
"Moreover, if there is any doubt as to whether a person is or is not dead, apply lightly roasted onion to his nostrils, and if he be alive, he will immediately scratch his nose." 
Johannes de Mirfield, Breviarium Bartholomei (c. 1380-95)
Don't bother looking for a pulse. The onion reflex is the only reliable sign of life.

1 comment:

  1. Too bad they didn't try this in Mississippi - might have saved that poor man some trauma!


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