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New Diseases in Europe: Syphilis, Typhus and the Sweating Sickness

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History 2812E
Shelley Mc Kellar

90min in class test Ids, (5 of them) Significance is the why. st 1 paragraph – 3 points (worth 6 marks) 2 paragraph – significance – So what? Why is it important? 4 marks Part 2 Essay question (one ) Minimum two lectures answers. (info from two lectures) “New” Diseases in Europe: Syphilis, Typhus and the Sweating Sickness * This newness is in doubt from scholars. I. The Columbian Exchange Thesis * In this period ingenious populations had a demographic catastrophe due to the biological exchange. Great depopulation. * Disease if not the may key point is a major contributing factor. * Alfred Crosby – demographer. Comes up with the columbian exchange. *Old world benefits from new plants, new animals and less disease in the exchange II. The “Great Pox:” Syphilis, 1493-94 * this according to crosby syphilis was brought from the new world to the old world. There was not a lot of mortality. * Why did they think this was new? They argue that they do not see accounts recorded until 1490s in Italy. (outbreaks during war) France is invading Italy in 1494-1495.Armies a perfect for moving disease. You have mass groups of men on the move. They are dirty, ill-disciplined, came from different places and meet up with each other exchange disease and when the war is over they go back to their different homes. * 1497 – doctor to pope alexander 6 – reports he has seen many cases of syphilis they have lost eyes, limbs. He says this is more horrible than leprosy and elephantitis (problem with lymph nodes they expand) a. The Characteristics and Importance of Syphilis * Syphilis has a profound effect on europeans. 1) It affects a large group of people. 2) It spreads throughout europe. 3 Like plague there is no cure for it. * it shares with plague – they both reshape the medical view of disease. Up until this time they focused on the diseased person. (shape medicine for the individual person) Now with plague and syphilis they focus on the disease itself. It doesn't matter if you are strong or healthy, or your class, - plague and syphilis are seen as their own entity. b. The Origins of the Disease:AControversy? What did they think the cause was? - many looked for the cause outside of the body. Like rotting garbage. Has there any unusual moving of the planets. Plague and syphilis only appear when you have been around someone who has had it. This gives rise to discussion about theories of contagion. • Columbian Theory (Age of exploration) 1)-syphilis breaks out. There is an idea that they must have brought it back from the new world. There is an argument that Columbus brought it back on his second voyage. - See the spread of the disease from naples. - Spread from the female camp followers. - so many deaths in napes from syphilis – but also many survivors 2)Germans and english refer to it as a french disease. French call it the Italian disease. They refer to it based on what group brings it into their borders. Note: called the great pox or french disease at first. 3) Isla says he saw the first case when Columbus came back – he checked out the men as they came off the boat. • Pre Columbian Theory th 1) say that maybe Isla is exaggerating, maybe we have see in before (doctors in 16 century) Doctors go back and check their teachings -The classic texts have cases that seem to be similar to syphilis. Note: precolumbian was in the minority. Most people in 16 century thought it was coulombs' fault. Modern Understanding: – Crosby is going to agree with the columbian theory. He will argue it is the only serious disease to come from the new world to the old world. Crosby has paleo-pathologists on his side. They dig up bodies and check them out. They argue that before columbus voyage their is no evidence of syphilis in the bones. – Some argue that the paleopathologists are not looking for the right symptoms of syphilis in the bones. Star shaped scar on the skull for example. Some people say that belongs to lepers. So they cannot agree on what the symptoms should be. – Most people believe in the columbian theory. There really is notALOT of evidence of syphilis prior to 1492 but there is a lot after that date. c.Understanding and Treating Syphilis *(we know now it is a bacterial disease – this is discovered in 1905. It is a spirochete (looks like a corkscrew) new family of organisms, yaws is in that family as well. Unlike other infections syphilis enters the body through sexual intercourse, babies can be born with syphilis. 3 stages of syphilis. Primary Stage – painful pimples on the genitalia, venereal chancres (these go away and you progress to stage 2) Secondary Stage – sore throat, fever, joint pains, debility, rash, ulcers on genitalia, mouth and other moist parts of the body (these go away and progress to stage 3) Tertiary Stage (very hard to cure at this stage) – non malignant tumours develop, progressive dementia. Muscular weakness. End in 16 century less deaths of syphilis. Still have cases but they are not all fatal. th • 16 century understanding of origin of syphilis 1) sexually transmitted – may be because of sinful behaviour 2) Associate it with the new world 3) Could be sent by god due to lustful behaviour but also some religious thinkers believe it is the start of theApocalypse. It is being spread through war as well so this is seen as a sign. There is not the same social disruption as the great plague. It does not have the immediacy that plague does because of its stages. There is a continued uncertainty of how it is spread (for example there are sores on the genitals but religious men had it too and it is thought they are not sexual....) In scotland they blame the prostitutes and they expel them. In other places communal bathing is sto
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