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Plagues Leprosy.docx

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Plagues and People: Leprosy LEPROSY- Chapter 14 History: o Leprosy is a disease that is mentioned many times throughout the bible o Probably arose in the Far East in 1400BC o Hindu and Chinese writing show from 600BC that they may have been affected by leprosy o It has been claimed that leprosy was brought from India to Greece in the 4 century BC. This occurred when Alexander the great’s army came from India to Greece in 320 BC o It is also thought that it spread from Far East to the west along the trade routes o Hippocrates did not describe leprosy because he did not see it o Emperor Constantine suffered from leprosy and pagan priests believed that bathing in the blood of sacrificed children would cure him, but it didn’t o In Rome it was brought with the return of Pompeii’s troops from Asia Minor in 62BC o Saraath: Hebrew word used to describe many skin conditions meaning defiled, accursed or scaly o Later translated into Greek saraath became lepros, then lepra by St. Jerome then finally in English as leprosy o Leprosy was considered a d isease of the soul o Earlier thought to be a hereditary illness because people in the same family got it, or caused by a curse or by punishment from God they thought lepers were sinners o Lepers were stigmatized, considered crafty, irascible suspicious and having a burning desire for lustful sex. So disease was sometimes known as satyriasis: an insatiable sexual appetite o They were not considered nice people th o In 16 century there was confusion between leprosy and syphilis o Lepers stigmatized: E.g. special clothing, arrival notification, separat
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