In about 1575-6, Mexico was struck by the worst epidemic, the region had ever known. Witnesses there at the time spoke of half or even two thirds of the population succumbing – a higher mortality rate even than the Black Death. The Spanish physicians did not recognise any of the European diseases with which theyContinue reading “Cocolitzli – the Great Plague – Mexico 1576 A.D.”
Tag Archives: Plague
Theriac – a Very Sovereign Remedy for the Plague – Galen c.166-170 A.D.
Theriac – the origin of our word treacle – is a complex medicine, some of the recipes for which sound like the witches’ incantation in Macbeth: Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble. Fillet of a fenny snake, In the caldron boil and bake….. One version requiredContinue reading “Theriac – a Very Sovereign Remedy for the Plague – Galen c.166-170 A.D.”
Litany to St Roch – Protector against Plagues
St Roch – San Roque or San Rocco – was born in Montpellier in the 14th century. Devout from childhood, on his parents’ death, he gave his inheritance to the poor and set out for Rome. This was at a time when Italy was in the grip of a plague. At Cesena, Rimini and elsewhereContinue reading “Litany to St Roch – Protector against Plagues”
Ibn al-Wardi – On the Advance of Plague – 1348
Ibn al-Wardi (1292-1348/9) was a Syrian historian and geographer. The Plague frightened and killed. It began in the land of darkness. Oh, what a visitor! It has been current for fifteen years. China was not preserved from it nor could the strongest fortress hinder it. The plague afflicted the Indians in India. It weighed uponContinue reading “Ibn al-Wardi – On the Advance of Plague – 1348”
A Chinese Magistrate’s Solution to Plagues of Locusts – 1699
Huang Liu-Hung’s work: A Complete Book Concerning Happiness and Benevolence is a fascinating handbook for local magistrates in Ch’ing China. It covers almost every sort of eventuality from how to an official should introduce himself to his new posting to cadastral surveys, choosing horses for the post service and prohibiting the maltreatment of servants.Continue reading “A Chinese Magistrate’s Solution to Plagues of Locusts – 1699”
Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi Describes Plague, Famine and Cannibalism – Egypt 1200 A.D.
Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi (1162-1231) was a physician and philosopher. He studied at one stage with Maimonides and Saladin was his patron. A prolific writer, primarily on medicine, his Account of Egypt is his best-known work in the West and the following is part of his account of the plague and famine he witnessed there inContinue reading “Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi Describes Plague, Famine and Cannibalism – Egypt 1200 A.D.”
Boccaccio Describes the Black Death Florence – 1348
I had not planned to include the Preamble to the Decameron, because it is so well known, but three friends on three different continents wanted it, so here it is: Here begins the First Day of the Decameron, in which, when the author has explained how the characters, who will appear later, met together forContinue reading “Boccaccio Describes the Black Death Florence – 1348”
Hannā Diyāb from Aleppo Witnesses Plague, the Great Frost and Famine in Paris – 1708
Hannā Diyāb was a young Christian from Aleppo. Taken on as a servant by Paul Lucas, a buyer of antiques for Louis XIV, he travelled with him to Europe and, fifty years later, sat down to write a charming and amusing account of his adventures. Translated from the Arabic manuscript by Paul Lunde, The ManContinue reading “Hannā Diyāb from Aleppo Witnesses Plague, the Great Frost and Famine in Paris – 1708”
Cambridge and the Plague
A friend kindly reminded me that his college, Trinity Hall (1350), as well as Gonville Hall (1348), Corpus Christi (1352) and Clare Hall (1359), were founded in a large part to remedy the terrible lack of clergy, nearly half of whom had died in the Black Death. Although I could not find a first personContinue reading “Cambridge and the Plague”
A Redeemed Slave Waits to Go Home – 1742 A.D.
Maria ter Meteelen was a working class Dutch woman, captured by corsairs out of one of the North African pirate strongholds and, like so many thousands of European travellers, enslaved. The Plague at Meknès Meanwhile the plague broke out on the 13th of June in the year 1742. Every day it killed 100 peopleContinue reading “A Redeemed Slave Waits to Go Home – 1742 A.D.”