Miasma I: Plague and Mutated Air in Renaissance Italy

Beware the foul air that causes plague! Put on your plague doctor masks and travel back with us to 17th-century Italy where people believed disease was caused by mutated air called miasma.

And be sure to review us so you can get your picture drawn in the historical time period and culture of your choosing!

Become our patron on Patreon at www.patreon.com/deadideaspod

Co-hosts: Nick and Anna

Time/place: Tuscany, Italy, 1630 CE

Dead idea: Miasma theory of disease


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Main Sources

Calvi, G. (1989). Histories of a Plague Year: The Social and the Imaginary in Baroque Florence. University of California Press.

Cipolla, C. (1981). Fighting the Plague in Seventeenth-century Italy. University of Wisconsin Press.

Cipolla, C. (1992). Miasmas and Disease: Public Health and the Environment in the Pre-Industrial Age.  Yale University Press.

Cohn, S. K. (2009). Cultures of Plague: Medical Thinking at the End of the Renaissance. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



Maps, pics, references, and more at http://www.deadideas.net. Music and graphic design by Rachel Westhoff.


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