Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Loimologia: The Great Plague- A Historical Perspective

The Great Plague makes for some interesting reading. If you are so inclined and have an interest in the a free digital download of Loimologia, or, an Historical Account of the Plague in London in 1665, With Precautionary Directions against the like Contagion, a treatise by Dr. Nathaniel Hodges is available as a free PDF download here (326 pages) via Harvard University. The book was originally published in 1672.

This is no boring tome, rather it is a striking account with detailed observations, clinical assessments and theories on the plague, its origins, treatments and consequences.

Clinical cases are reported along with the theory of disease and contagion (miasmas). Of note are the written accounts of looting and plundering of homes left abandoned by deceased plague victims and departed family members. I was intrigued by the diatribe on  'charlatans' and other 'quacks'  for the probable increased harm caused by their unconventional remedies.  

Here is an another intriguing read , albeit much less lengthy, published by the BBC on the sleepy English village of Eyam which played an important role during the plague years of the 17th century. 

Fascinating. Read on.

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