Cocolitzli – the Great Plague – Mexico 1576 A.D.

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.”

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.”

John of Burgundy: Advice for Avoiding the Black Death – 1365

Not surprisingly, a vast number of treatises on the plague, in many tongues, were written in response to the Black Death. One of the earliest was by John of Burgundy, of whom almost nothing is known. It was translated into various languages and widely diffused. The following short section offers advice and, because of theContinue reading “John of Burgundy: Advice for Avoiding the Black Death – 1365”