Category Archives: microbiology

Early use of the term ‘malaria’

Early use of the term ‘malaria’

I was reading Robert Sallares’ Malaria and Rome this evening and I noticed some information on the earliest use of the term ‘malaria’ that I thought would be worth sharing.

As we have all learned, malaria comes from the Italian mal’ aria, meaning ‘bad air’. A few other interesting facts:

  • Marco Cornaro’s books Scitture della laguna  published in Venice in 1440 is the earliest use of the term mal aere.
  • Horace Walpole was the first to introduce the word malaria to English literature in his Letters in 1740 : “There is a horrid thing called malaria, that comes to Rome every summer, and kills one” (p. 9).
  • Guido Baccelli’s La malaria di Roma, published in 1878, is the first application of the term specifically to the disease.

Does anyone know of earlier uses of the term?

Source: Robert Sallares, Malaria and Rome: A History of malaria in ancient Italy. Oxford University Press, 2002.

 

Hoffmann’s An Environmental History of Medieval Europe

Michelle Ziegler:

My review of Richard Hoffmann’s new book can be found on Heavenfield, my medieval history blog.

Originally posted on Heavenfield:

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Richard C. Hoffmann. An Environmental History of Medieval Europe. Cambridge Medieval Textbooks. Cambridge University Press, April 2014. $25 paperback, $12.50 e-book.

History roots in time and place — establishing situations, telling stories, comparing stories, linking stories. Environmental history brings the natural world into the story as an agent and object of history. This is medieval history as if nature mattered. (p. 3)

As a biologist, it is almost unimaginable to me for the natural world not to be a factor in history – not in a deterministic way – but as an integral component. This is a reminder to me, and now to you, that I read medieval history through a different lens. This book is very consciously a textbook  intended for historians and history students. As the very first  medieval environmental history textbook, Hoffmann is very carefully laying the theoretical foundation for a new sub-discipline. For non-historians, it…

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Reading in July

July 2014 reading 1

 

As I start working on my book project, I’m going to have less time to develop blog posts, so I thought I would share what I’m reading with you each month. This will also give me an incentive to keep blogging and reading! I’ll list the books I’ve read and the papers that I thought were particularly interesting.

Books

Papers

  • Squatriti, Paolo. “Offa’s Dyke Between Nature and Culture.” Environmental History, 2004, 37–56.
  • Squatriti, Paolo. “The Floods of 589 and Climate Change at the Beginning of the Middle Ages: an Italian Microhistory.” Speculum 85, no. 4 (November 18, 2010): 799–826. doi:10.1017/S0038713410002290.
  • Slavin, P. “Warfare and Ecological Destruction in Early Fourteenth-Century British Isles.” Environmental History 19, no. 3 (June 20, 2014): 528–50. doi:10.1093/envhis/emu033.