Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Il Medico Della Peste (The Plague Doctor)

Been reading a lot about the Plague, Black Death, Bubonic Plague, call it what you will, and the desperate measures people went to, most fascinating of all, the Plague doctors and their sinister costumes!
There was even a popular poem about the Plague Doctor costume! circa 17th century:

As may be seen on picture here,
In Rome the doctors do appear,
When to their patients they are called,
In places by the plague appalled,
Their hats and cloaks, of fashion new,
Are made of oilcloth, dark of hue,
Their caps with glasses are designed,
Their bills with antidotes all lined,
That foulsome air may do no harm,
Nor cause the doctor man alarm,
The staff in hand must serve to show
Their noble trade where'er they go

History never ceases to amaze. The beaks of the costume were stuffed with herbs, lavender, strong smelling items, the cane/ stick was used to keep people away and point out sores on a victim. Plague killed between 75 to 200 million people.

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