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Digital Subscriptions > History Revealed > January 2019 > Top 10: Weird Remedies

Top 10: Weird Remedies

Unpalatable, outlandish and often fatal, these are medical cures of yesteryear you’d hope never to be prescribed

GLADIATOR BLOOD

It wasn’t all about blood – gladiator liver was also touted as an epilepsy cure
SCIENCE & SOCIETY PICTURE LIBRARY X1, WELLCOME IMAGES X1

Gladiator combat was one of the most popular forms of entertainment for the Ancient Romans, but there was another reason crowds would flock to watch these gruesome games. The blood of a freshly-slain gladiator was believed to cure epilepsy. The condition was discussed in many ancient texts with some believing the afficted were possessed by evil spirits or cursed by the gods. Spectators would also partake in the vampiric tradition in order to gain the strength of the fallen warrior.

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About History Revealed

Today, Che Guevara is best known as one of the 20th century's iconic images. But the events of the Cuban Revolution, in which he was a key figure 60 years ago, would have wide-reaching consequences - including almost bringing about a third world war. What made it such a global affair, with superpowers going eyeball to eyeball? Plus: Cousins Elizabeth I of England and Mary, Queen of Scots have an almighty falling out (leading to one losing her head), outlandish medical cures, Roman Emperor Constantine, the great Thames Frost Fairs of the Victorian era, and more.