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The Great Pox: Syphilis and Its Antecedents in Early Modern Europe Hardcover – 2 Jan 1997

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (2 Jan. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300069340
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300069341
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 16.1 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,135,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

John Henderson is Reader in Latin Literature at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of King's College. His recent books include: Pliny's Statue: The Letters, Self-Portraiture & Classical Art (2002), Telling Tales on Caesar: Roman Stories from Phaedrus (2001), Writing down Rome: Comedy, Satire, and Other Offences (1999), and Fighting for Rome: Poets and Caesars, History and Civil War (1998). Aesop's Human Zoo: Roman Stories About Our Bodies, and HORTVS: The Roman Gardening Book, are both forthcoming (2004).

Roger French is Lecturer in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Clare Hall. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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Format: Hardcover
There are many books on the history of medicine, but none that explore the background and framework when our ancestors were faced with a disease, which quickly became an epidemic and went on to become a pandemic. Furthermore, this was the age of the Borgias and Inquisition! Physicians were under pressure to deliver a cure, effective treatment, and preventative measures or see their reputations, and possibly the lives of themselves and their families destroyed. The authors have paid great attention to setting the scene and bringing their characters to reality. Most importantly, they have not indulged in any thinly veiled criticisms of the Roman Catholic faith. They emphasise that without the dedication and financial support of the 15th Century Papacy,syphilis (or, to give it the early modern name, Morbus Gallicus) would have led to greater misery. Contrasting the events described here with the present day global response to the HIV victims, you can see certain parallels, so maybe human nature has not moved on much in 500 years?
This book has been written by established medical historians who have researched and presented their subject well, and this book will appeal to anyone who has a serious interest in the subject.
It will appeal particularly to readers of Medieval, Religious and Scientific history as much as it will medical history. Although it is quite expensive, for the serious reader it will be a worthwhile and valuable resource, which is why I have given it five stars.
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