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14

Columbus sailed the ocean blue in fourteen hundred and ninety two; a full 55 years before Henry died in 1547. Henry was not known for his chaste ways, so it is quite conceivable that he would have been an early contractor of a new venereal disease. The most recent excavations at Pompeii have revealed remains two twin teen-aged sisters, apparently in a ...


10

Famously, the Ancient Egyptians knew a lot about sexuality, gynecology and genitourinary infections. Nevertheless, according to this article, there are no unambiguous description of STD's in the medical papyri of Ancient Egypt (though many reported symptoms suggest gonorrhea and some suggest pelvic infections). The same source notes that the Old Testament ...


7

The currently accepted theory for this is that he didn't. Although there is some debate as to what his exact problem was, it doesn't appear to have been Syphilis. The theory that Henry suffered from syphilis has been dismissed by most historians. A more recent theory suggests that Henry's medical symptoms are characteristic of untreated Type II ...


7

The earliest recorded example of bacteriological warfare seems to be the Hittite plague (1715 BC): A long-lasting epidemic that plagued the Eastern Mediterranean in the 14th century BC was traced back to a focus in Canaan along the Arwad-Euphrates trading route. The symptoms, mode of infection, and geographical area, identified the agent as Francisella ...


6

This happening is known as The Great Hanoi Rat Massacre. It took place in 1902 in Hanoi, which was a French colony at that time. At the beginning action was a success, but as the bounty was granted for every rat's tail, soon the town was occupied by rats with cut out tails, that were left alive for breeding, and there were more and more rat farms in the ...


5

The one pandemic disease we know of that has a good chance for having an origin in the Americas is syphilis. When it first hit Europe in 1494 it spread rapidly and the mortality rate was very high (as is typical with new diseases that hit an immunologically naieve population). As Jared Diamond describes it, "[W]hen syphilis was first definitely ...


4

I heard a few interviews with an author of a book that went into this subject on the NPR circuit a few years back. Sadly, I didn't pick it up, and don't remember the book's name now. I do vaguely remember hearing that when it was going around, so many people were sick (not to mention dying), that in a lot of places society hit a kind of tipping point and ...


3

According to wikipedia, the current title for the earliest documented use would be the Hittites with the bacterial disease Tularemia in the mid second millenium BC. According to the texts, infected people were sent into enemy territory to help spread the plague there.


3

You can find the answer to that question in Jared Diamond's book Guns, Germs and Steel. He states that people get infected by their pets and that all great epidemics (variola, tuberculosis, malaria, plague, influenza ...) evolved from animals. Microbes needs a mass of people to spread around so big societies, living in cities and connected with good trading ...


3

It looks like the current champion for first recorded plague or pandemic was an outbreak that hit the Middle East in the time of Pharo Akhenaten (roughly 1600 BCE). There is a lot of argument over what exact disease it was, with bubonic plague, influenza, and polio all being argued for. Ankh Nfr has a long discourse on the evidence for this plague and what ...


3

I don't think there is a separate "historical epidemiology" field. Sources Major epidemics are chronicled just like wars - written record is the main source of information. Death records - both papers (when preserved) and cemetery headstones - may provide additional statistical evidence. For prehistorical deceases, the main sources of information are the ...


2

This attempt at an explanation completely ignores the very high probability that the 1919 influenza strain was related to the 1889-90 Russian flu, as evidenced by its extremely unusual mortality pattern. Without an explanation of this relatedness (to the earlier pandemic), I find it impossible to take this explanation seriously. Update - correction: The ...


1

The question seems to assume a few things: first, a certain time frame, and second, causation. I don't think these assumptions are quite accurate. First, early Renaissance started before the Black Plague. For example, Dante Alighieri wrote decades before the plague. There were some advances in architecture even before that, circa 12th century. Given that ...


1

Although it doesn't comprehensively answer your question, the December 2013 issue of the BBC history magazine contains an article in which John Hatcher explores the impact of the Black Death on the Suffolk village of Walsham le Willows The article touches on some of the ways that epidemics are studied.


1

When I was out west a number of years ago, a friend asserted that the disappearance of the "Anasazi" civilization of native Americans could have occurred for any number of reasons, including disease. Unfortunately, I don't think modern scholarship on the subject agrees with his assertion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anasazi Widespread disease generally ...



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