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Cultures of Plague: Medical thinking at the end of the Renaissance

Samuel K. Cohn, Jr.


Cultures of Plague discloses a new chapter in the history of medicine. Neither the plague nor the ideas it stimulated were static, fixed in a timeless Galenic vacuum over five centuries, as historians and scientists commonly assume. As plague evolved in its pathology, modes of transmission, and the social characteristics of its victims, so did medical thinking about it. With over 600 plague imprints of the sixteenth century this study highlights the century's most feared and devastating epidemic that threatened Italy top to toe from 1575 to 1578, unleashing an avalanche of plague ... More

Keywords: Black Death, plague, Italy, sixteenth century, culture, plague literature, Counter Reformation, public health, pathology, epidemiology, Galen, Renaissance medicine

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780199574025
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574025.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Samuel K. Cohn, Jr., author
Professor of Medieval History, University of Glasgow