The Appearance of Syphilis in the 1490s - Research Article from Science and Its Times

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Overview

The earliest references to the disease now known as syphilis come from the 1490s, when it broke out among French troops besieging the city of Naples. Initially known as morbus gallicus (the French Disease), it soon became epidemic throughout Europe. The disease left visible and disfiguring signs of infection, which led to social stigmatization. Most damaging in its late stages, it often produced severe disabilities and even death. Believed to be a new disease imported from the Americas, syphilis helped challenge traditional ideas of disease causation and spread. While most early modern medical authorities believed syphilis was a new disease, scholars today continue to debate its origins and antiquity.

Background

In 1494, the Italian city-state of Milan appealed to King Charles VIII of France for military assistance. Seizing the opportunity, Charles VIII invaded with mercenary troops...

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This section contains 2,369 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy The Appearance of Syphilis in the 1490s Encyclopedia Article
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