Chapter

Sources and Perspectives: A Quantitative Reckoning

Samuel K. Cohn

in Cultures of Plague

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780199574025
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722530 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574025.003.0002
 						Sources and Perspectives: A Quantitative Reckoning

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Chapter 1 shows quantitatively the effect of the 1575–8 plague on medical writing and publishing. In two years alone, 1576 and 1577, almost half the century's published writings on plague appeared. This pattern was unique to Italy not only for these years but across the history of plague in Europe from the Black Death to at least the seventeenth century and probably beyond. In addition, the language of plague writing, whether composed by academic physicians or others, shifted abruptly from a majority in Latin (fuelled by the revival in classical medical writing over the past century—medical humanism) to an overwhelming preponderance in the vernacular.

Keywords: Black Death; Plague; plague writing; medical publishing; medical humanism

Chapter.  14907 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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