This week we introduce you to the amazing Domina Lucretia Natta and share spooky stories with Signora Justina di Silvestri in honor of our favorite holiday season.
We do something a little different in this episode after we get acquainted with 1st c BCE Roman courtesan Domina Lucretia Natta in our courtesan interview. Signora Justina di Silvestri is on hand to share some creepy stories in honor of the holiday season. We explore the medieval relationship with death and mortality as manifested through the Memento Mori trope. Their perspective was very unlike our own and might give you an interesting take on your own impending demise. Then we dig into the lore on one of my favorite murderesses of yore: Giula Tofana, an apothecary who is rumored to have murdered over 600 people. We wrap up with a story of a corrupt and murderous cult shared with us by Lucretia Natta from the histories of Livy. This story has everything: Sex, death, poisoning, broken taboos, treason, familicide, and most importantly of all for us here, a happy ending for the courtesan. And her boyfriend.
Visit my dear friend Lucretia Natta’s website detailing her research into life in 1st century BCE Rome. Don’t forget, she’s looking for a patron! Drop her an email if you’re interested!
If you’re in the Middle Kingdom and this podcast has your interest piqued please connect with the Middle Kingdom Courtesan Guild via their facebook group.
Follow the Courtesans of Meridies on facebook too keep up with all of their amazing activities. If you live in the Kingdom of Meridies and you’d like to join the company of courtesans in that fair kingdom, you are invited to join their facebook group.
If you’re a performer interested in entertaining in court, the Meridian Court Entertainers facebook group is an excellent place to head to find out more information.
The Ca’ D’Oro Salon is a group based around supporting the Salon we create every year at Gulf Wars. There is no way to describe the Salon other than amazing. We informally call ourselves “Late Period Life” as we are focused on creating living history in the modern middle ages as Early Period Life is. We offer a place for cultures and time periods that don’t fit in down with our siblings in EPL. So contrary to the name the “Renaissance” Salon is an inviting place for our band of Romans, Crusaders, Tudors, Venetians, Florentines, Late Period Japanese, Jews, Muslims, and many others to share their arts and simple “be” amid all the flurry of war. If that sounds like exactly your cup of tea, please join us in our facebook group!
Maestra Giada Alberti di Firenze is the founder of the Ca’ D’Oro Salon and a huge inspiration for all of us. The Knowne World Courtesans are just starting our presence at Gulf Wars and it absolutely would not be possible without her support. Her website is an amazing treasure trove of her research into renaissance Italy, historical cosmetics, and so much more.
If you’d like to get a look at the beautiful transi and cadaver tombs that Justina talked about in the salon there is an interesting article from Atlas Obscura with lots of pictures.
I’m pretty sure that ‘death and the maiden’ is an allegory where death is portrayed as an animate being capable of seducing even the young. But you should check my work.
Make sure to take a look at some examples of this allegory portrayed in medieval and renaissance art and read more about it as an artistic motif calling us to confront our own mortality.
While the story of Giula Tofana and her Aqua Tofana is largely unsubstnatiated, you can read the stories told about her on her wikipedia page. Or delve into the possibilty that Tofana constributed to the death of Mozart.
Stay safe and don’t get murdered during your celebrations this Halloween, lovelies! ♥
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And, of course, you can always call us at 440-4WHORES.
Our next episode is coming out on 11/14, but we’d love to talk to you before then in our Facebook group. Of course, we’re always looking to offer more to our patrons on Patreon. Perks start at just $1 for patron-only content and input on future episodes.
Sound Engineering: Evan Meier
- Intro Music: The King of Denmark’s Galliard, written by John Dowland and published in 1604 in Lachrimæ, or Seaven Teares. Performed by I Solipsisti. Provided by MusOpen. Sounds provided by ZapSplat and AmbientMixer.
- Memento Mori, Medieval YOLO: “Ghostly Procession-Alternate”, “Virtutis Vocis” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. “Raven_Caw.wav” by KiddoFish86 via freesound.org.
- Ms. Tofana’s Magical Elixir: “Moonlight Hall”, “Spider’s Web” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. Sound effects provided by ZapSplat.
- Killer Cult & the Sex Worker’s Happy Ending: “Heavy Interlude”, “Big Mojo” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. Sound effects provided by ZapSplat.
Edited with Audacity.