Locusta the Poisoner: The Show Notes

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Just for amusement’s sake, here’s a clip of that scene from Harry Potter where the kids repot a mandrake:

Interestingly enough, everything in that clip is taken from ancient lore surrounding mandrakes: The creepy root-face; the screaming; the deadly effects of said screaming. Probably best to have noise-cancelling headphones (Professor Sprout is on it).

Pliny the Elder’s Natural History came in handy here:

We have Plato’s Phaedo to thank for Socrates’ death:

Dioscurides’ De Materia Medica (Lily Y. Beck translation) was also very useful:

Also Plutarch’s Life of Antony (John Dryden translation):

The Arthashastra (R. Shamasastry translation) gave us info on the Visha Kanya:

Not to mention the Secretum Secretorum for fake news about Alexander the Great and Aristotle:

We also relied on Kaushik Roy’s book India’s Historic Battles: From Alexander the Great to Kargil:

Livy’s History of Rome also gets a shout-out:

History of Ancient India: Earliest Times to 1200 AD by Radhey Shyam Chaurasia came in handy:

Tacitus’ Annals was helpful for the death of Britannicus:

We also used The Hippocratic Oath and the Ethics of Medicine by Steven Miles and Steven H. Miles:

And, of course, none of this would be possible without Cassius Dio:

Also, here are some articles that shed light on this fascinating topic.

Poisons and Poisonings Among the Romans by David B. Kauffman

This article gives you some more info on flying ointment (VERY toxic! Do NOT make this at home!).

Esther Inglis-Arkell: The Deadliest Poisons in History (And Why People Stopped Using Them)

Tom Brooks-Pollock. Gardener ‘died after brushing past poisonous plant’ in millionaire’s garden. The Telegraph.

Angelica Calibrese. The History and Uses of the Magical Mandrake, According to Modern Witches. Atlas Obscura.

Aconite Mythology, Magic, and Folklore

Badass of the Week: Locusta the Poisoner

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