St. Anthony’s Fire
Bread was usually safe to eat in the Middle Ages, but a disease did exist, called Ergotism, which was caused by consuming rye bread that had been infected by the Claviceps purpurea fungus, also known as ergot.
The Annales Xantenses reports that in the year 857

A great plague of swollen blisters consumed the people by a loathsome rot, so that their limbs were loosened and fell off before death.

image: Matthias Grünewald, XVIc

St. Anthony’s Fire

Bread was usually safe to eat in the Middle Ages, but a disease did exist, called Ergotism, which was caused by consuming rye bread that had been infected by the Claviceps purpurea fungus, also known as ergot.

The Annales Xantenses reports that in the year 857

A great plague of swollen blisters consumed the people by a loathsome rot, so that their limbs were loosened and fell off before death.

image: Matthias Grünewald, XVIc