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'La schifezza, madre della corruzione'. Peste e società nella Firenze della prima età moderna: 1630-1631

Henderson, John (2001) 'La schifezza, madre della corruzione'. Peste e società nella Firenze della prima età moderna: 1630-1631. Medicina & storia : rivista di storia della medicina e della sanità 2 , pp. 23-56. ISSN 1722-2206.

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Official URL: http://www.medicina-storia.it/

Abstract

This article examines the last great epidemic of plague to affect Tuscany, in 1630-31. The aim is re-assess the effectiveness of government reactions in relation to contemporary perceptions of the nature of plague and their understanding of how it was transmitted. These measures included taking surveys of the sanitary conditions within the city, since it was believed that ‘filth is the mother of corruption’, which itself was seen as leading to and causing sickness; establishing Lazzaretti or isolation hospitals; and finally establishing a quarantine of the whole city’s resident population. It is then asked how effective were these measures in relation to both contemporary understanding of plague and also from a modern demographic perspective. Central to this enquiry is an analysis of the statistics produced during the epidemic by the directors of the Lazzaretti of those who entered, recovered or died as well as the records of those buried in the plague pits or Camposanto. However, once these findings are placed within the wider demographic context, and in particular in relation to burials in one of the largest parishes of the city, S. Lorenzo, it becomes evident how unsatisfactory are the traditional mono-causal models of epidemic disease. It is suggested that high mortality in 1630-1 was due to a mixed mortality crisis which may have included not just plague but also an epidemic of typhus. (author version)

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: For article listing see http://www.polistampa.com/public/static/sl_2616.htm Article title also listed as ’La schifezza, madre di corruzione’: Peste e società a Firenze nella prima epoca moderna.
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > History, Classics and Archaeology
Depositing User: Sandra Plummer
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2008 12:50
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:16
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/679

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