May 14, 2021

Ep.57 - Mona O’Brien - Controlling An Angry Dog - Understanding And Managing The French Disease

Mona O’Brien explores how Europeans came to understand syphilis and some of the measures that they enacted in an attempt to control it during the period from the first pandemic outbreak (c.1495) until the 17th century.


In the 1600s Peter Sartorius, a citizen and surgeon of Strasbourg, compared syphilis to ‘an angry dog’, which viciously threatened communities. These talks investigate the past, and present, of this notorious sexually transmitted disease. From stereotypes and scaremongering to laboratories and diagnostics. Mona O’Brien explores how Europeans came to understand syphilis and some of the measures that they enacted in an attempt to control it during the period from the first pandemic outbreak (c.1495) until the 17th century.

Speaker: Dr Mona O’Brien (University of Glasgow)


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