How One 17th-Century Italian City Fended Off the Plague

Disir

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The plague ravaged large cities and provincial towns in northern and central Italy from 1629 to 1631, killing more than 45,000 people in Venice alone and wiping out more than half the population of cities like Parma and Verona. But strikingly, some communities were spared.

In fact, the northern Italian town of Ferrara managed to prevent even a single death from the plague after the year 1576—even as neighboring communities were devastated. How did they do it? Critical in the city's success, records suggest, were border controls, sanitary laws and personal hygiene.

Starting with the catastrophic arrival of the Black Death in 1347, Italian cities gradually began to take proactive public health measures to isolate the sick, quarantine possible carriers and restrict travel from affected regions, says John Henderson, a professor of Italian Renaissance history at Birbeck, University of London, and author of Florence Under Siege: Surviving Plague in an Early Modern City.

That is an interesting read.
 

Fed Starving

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The middle ages were a disgustingly unsanitary period in history, England being one of the worst during the start of that era. The ancient Greeks and Romans knew well about sanitation and hygiene, so why didn't their knowledge carry throughout the generations?

"He tossed his filthy gross flapper into the vom and then requested a clean flapper as a replacement."
 

Tom Paine 1949

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Nice little article! The “History” website you take it from has a regular column “This Day in History.” It also has other interesting articles on historical subjects. It blessedly has no obnoxious partisan political insults in these articles, as is so usual here. I’m thinking that they, along with popular articles from the Smithsonian, might provide a basis for good threads for discussion on our “History Forum.”

Unfortunately, the TV version of “History” (same owners) has chased the money, even peddling “Ancient Aliens” programs. The written articles, fortunately, are popular but better than that.
 
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harmonica

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......how reliable is that information on a 17th century town?
 
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Disir

Disir

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......how reliable is that information on a 17th century town?

I don't own the book. The author is a prof and this doesn't appear to be a new topic for him.

John Henderson is professor of Italian renaissance history at Birkbeck, University of London, and Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge. His publications include The Renaissance Hospital and The Great Pox with Jon Arrizabalaga and Roger French.
 

harmonica

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......how reliable is that information on a 17th century town?

I don't own the book. The author is a prof and this doesn't appear to be a new topic for him.

John Henderson is professor of Italian renaissance history at Birkbeck, University of London, and Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge. His publications include The Renaissance Hospital and The Great Pox with Jon Arrizabalaga and Roger French.
..those people back then weren't stupid --they learned or died--much more quickly than we do nowadays
 

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