Baby Jesus and the Homunculus

Byzantine mosaic of Virgin and Child, 11th century. Photo by Prisma/UIG/Getty Images)

We’ve all marveled at the grotesque, oddly-proportioned old man babies in medieval art -- but why did artists of the period pain such creatures? In this special Christmas episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the convergence of the homunculus theory of human reproduction, the nativity and the infants of medieval and renaissance art.

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Topics in this Podcast: art, history, middle ages, sex, Christmas, christianity