HIST 234 - Lecture 12 - Syphilis: From the "Great Pox" to the Modern Version
Lecture 12 - Syphilis: From the "Great Pox" to the Modern Version
There is a longstanding debate over the origins of syphilis, in which arguments over how the disease arrived in Europe have historically been linked to racist and xenophobic ideologies as well as to scientific and historical research. Whatever its provenance, the major syphilis epidemic of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries spread in the train of war, alongside Charles VIII of France's armies. Syphilis was distinguished both by its catholicity, targeting kings as well as paupers, and its mode of transmission. The disease's evident contagiousness served both as grist for a religious interpretation, emphasizing asceticism and divine punishment, and as a major challenge to the humoral theory of disease.
Brandt, No Magic Bullet
Film: The Story of Louis Pasteur