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The pest anatomised, by George Thomson

The pest anatomised, by George Thomson


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The pest anatomised, by George Thomson

Frontispiece from Loimotomia, or The Pest Anatomised, by George Thomson, an English physician at the time of the Great Plague of 1665, the last serious European outbreak of the devastating disease. Thomsons book describes the attempt to discover the cause of the plague by post mortem examination of its victims. It was a valiant, but futile attempt. Plague, a disease caused by the bacteria Pasteurella pestis & transmitted to man by the rat flea, recurred periodically throughout Europe during the 14th to 17th centuries. The death tolls were enormous & the social, political & economic consequences devastating

Science Photo Library features Science and Medical images including photos and illustrations

Media ID 6432047

© DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

17th Century Doctor Historical Image Imagery Physician Plague Researcher Thomson


EDITORS COMMENTS
This print showcases the frontispiece from "Loimotomia, or The Pest Anatomised" by George Thomson, an English physician during the Great Plague of 1665. In this historical image, we witness Thomson's valiant yet ultimately futile attempt to uncover the cause of the devastating plague through post mortem examinations. During the 14th to 17th centuries, Europe experienced periodic outbreaks of plague caused by Pasteurella pestis bacteria transmitted by rat fleas. The death tolls were staggering, leaving behind profound social, political, and economic consequences. In this depiction, we see a doctor immersed in his research as he delves into the anatomy of a victim afflicted by this merciless disease. The imagery evokes both fascination and horror as it captures a pivotal moment in medical history. Thomson's book serves as a testament to human resilience and determination in times of crisis. It sheds light on the tireless efforts made by physicians like him to understand and combat one of mankind's deadliest foes. This historical image not only provides us with insights into 17th-century medicine but also serves as a reminder of our collective struggle against infectious diseases throughout time. As we gaze upon this anatomical representation intertwined with rich historical significance, we are reminded that knowledge gained from such endeavors has paved the way for advancements in modern medicine that continue to save lives today.

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