Syphilis, Europe, Columbus discussed on Stuff To Blow Your Mind


My name is Robert Judy Douglas. This is part two of our little series here on syphilis the first episode, syphilis. The great imitator dealt with the the organism that causes syphilis, which is known as trip Nima Powell them. I actually just subspecies of Trump in human palate them I'm, this is all caused by this tiny tightly coiled spiral key this little bacterium that ends up causing all this trouble for those infected. So if you have not listened to that, I go back, have a listen. We will walk you through all the stages of syphilis infection from that. That from the tiny annoyances of the primary infection on up to the disastrously deforming and ultimately lethal stages of tertiary syphilis as well as the treatment of it. All right. This is been mentioned in the other episode, but it bears mentioning again, the first recorded epidemic of narrow civilised. Occurred in Europe in fourteen ninety five by the close with fifteenth century. It was pretty rampant. In fact, in Naples, Italy, there was such a huge outbreak that the pope, the said, hey, we need some help here. Soldiers were brought in twenty five thousand of them. And what do you think happened? Well, prostitutes and they got more civilised than than of course it just got worse and worse. So what we're talking about is is a disease that ravished for centuries throughout Europe. And today we're going to try to get at the the origins of it and they were going to try to tease out some of the morality that has been paired with it as well as sort of xenophobia that surrounds it as well. As I mentioned before, it's it's it's kind of difficult to overstate the importance of syphilis in western culture for those four and a half plus centuries that it. That it was a problem. And as we discussed in the last episode, syphilis is not a radically did. It is still around the day. It's still something to to be concerned about, and it's still something we have to to treat both with with with penicillin and with education. But during the fourteenth century to the early twentieth century, it was really permeating the fabric of culture. It was rampant. Yes. When we break down the percentages of it, it's going to vary depending on where in Europe you're looking, but you're generally looking at eight ten to fifteen percent of the population has syphilis, you know, with some degree margin air there and then upwards of twenty percent in military. Because again, you have younger men who are initially traveling around and they are the ones that are spreading it from place to place visiting prostitutes, it's cetera. Yeah. And because of its association with Columbus who sailed under the Spanish plague. It was. The called the Spanish disease for a while, and then the French called it the Neopolitan or Italian disease because they caught it from residents of Naples or so. They say when Abel's of course, was one of the major outbreak areas. The Russians called it, a polish disease, the polish called it a Russian disease in the Turks called it a Christian disease while the English called it the French pox. What do you see here? A lot of finger pointing, yes, it's always the other that you blame the disease on. You have to draw that firm line in your worldview between we, the clean and they the diseased and hope that that line doesn't come to invalid you as well. The the Columbus thing is so fascinating and it's a, it's a point that is continually studied in argued about. But again, we see that I big outbreak in fourteen ninety five and as we all know in fourteen hundred ninety two Columbus sailed the ocean. Yeah. So it sounds it sounds almost too good to be true slash too horrible to treat it almost sounds too easy, but but we keep coming back to it time and time. Again, here we have Columbus sailing to this drastically new land and their contact. Be at sexual or merely skin on skin is occurring between members of his his crew and the native population, and then they return to Europe and then in their wake, we see the emergence of this, this this powerful illness. Yeah, and you see a lot of wrong headed ideas about this. This idea of xenophobia, right? This fear of strangers, this idea that there are savages that have spread this disease to Europeans via Columbus. Yeah, you laid with a member of another nation..

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