This book explores the identity of the 'French disease' (alias the 'French pox' or 'Morbus Gallicus') in the German Imperial city of Augsburg between 1495 and 1630. Rejecting the imposition of modern conceptions of disease upon the past, it reveals how early modern medical theory facilitated enormous flexibility in defining disease, and how disease identification was a local matter, and one of constant negotiation and renegotiation.
Drawing on a wealth of primary source material this work combines concern with the conceptualisation of the disease with its practical application, and argues for the inseparability of both. It focuses on how theoretical understanding of the pox shaped the various therapeutic reactions, and vice versa. It exemplifies this in the specific socio-cultural context of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Augsburg, through an investigation of the city's municipal and private pox hospitals.
Combining medical, religious, economic, municipal and institutional history this book offers a fascinating insight into how early modern society came to terms with disease both in a practical and theoretical sense. This revised English translation of Dr Stein's original German book adds new layers of understanding to a fascinating but complex subject.
(Taken from Ashgate Publishing)