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    “The Invisible Enemy”: fighting the Plague in Early Modern Italy

    Henderson, John (2020) “The Invisible Enemy”: fighting the Plague in Early Modern Italy. Centaurus 62 (2), pp. 263-274. ISSN 0008-8994.

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    This brief survey article examines the strategies to cope with plague in early modern Italy, often hailed at the time and by historians as the country which provided the model for public health policies in other parts of Europe and even formed the basis for policies in subsequent centuries. The study is organised according to three mains themes familiar today, containment, mitigation, quarantine, which also lay at the heart of plague strategies in early modern Europe. The starting-point will be to determine which measures contemporaries believed to have been particularly efficacious through the lens of their own understanding of disease. Then, by juxtaposing recent historical and demographic studies, we will examine the application and effectiveness of public health measures in a country which was made up a series of larger and smaller states. In the process we will seek to raise wider questions about whether it was human intervention or non-human factors, in particular regional ecology, which determined the impact of plague in particular areas.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Spotlight Issue: Histories of epidemics in the time of COVID-19. This is the peer reviewed version of the article, which has been published in final form at the link above. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Plague, mortality, public health, early modern Italy
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: John Henderson
    Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2020 08:46
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:01


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