Clare Griffin

Postdoctoral Fellow (Sep 2015-Aug 2017)

Previously a Visiting Scholar at the Institute.

I am a historian of science and medicine in early modern Russia, currently working on a project on the early modern global medical drugs' trade and the Russian state. For this project I am examining Russian trade documents, medical books, prescriptions and witchcraft trials involving herbs, to trace the history of medical drugs in Russia from 1550 to 1750. Russia is the center of this project, but as many drugs and medical books were imported, I also use trade records and medical texts from England, the Netherlands and Germany. The drugs I have come across are even more geographically expansive: by the seventeenth century, drugs arrived in Moscow from around the Russian empire, from East Asia, and even from the Americas.

I received my PhD from the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London, with a dissertation on medical knowledge at the seventeenth-century Russian palace. Prior to joining MPIWG, I was a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge.

I am also an editor of H-EarlySlavic, an academic discussion list focused on Eastern European history before 1725.


No current projects were found for this scholar.

Dangerous Drugs: Global Medicines in Early Modern Russia


Selected Publications

Griffin, Clare (2018). “Russia and the Medical Drug Trade in the Seventeenth Century.” Social History of Medicine 31 (1): 2–23.

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Griffin, Clare (2017). “Bureaucracy and Knowledge Creation: The Apothecary Chancery.” In Information and Empire: Mechanisms of Communication in Russia, 1600-1850, ed. S. Franklin and K. Bowers, 255–285. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers . https://doi…

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Griffin, Clare (2016). “‘Skazaniia o dare Shakha Abbasa’ and ‘Semen Ivanovich Shakhovskoi.’” In Christian-Muslim relations : a bibliographical history. Vol. 8: Northern and Eastern Europe (1600-1700)  , ed. D. Thomas and J. Chesworth , 8:838–845…

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Griffin, Clare (2015). “In search of an audience : popular pharmacies and the limits of literate medicine in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Russia.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 89 (4): 705–732.…

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Griffin, C. (2010). Horn of the Unicorn: Medicine and Occult Objects at the Russian Court in the Seventeenth Century = Рог единорога: медицина и тайные средства при Московском дворе. Vorträge des Deutschen Historischen Instituts Moskau, 1-12.

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