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.
Call for Papers
Medieval Landscapes of Disease
50th International Congress of Medieval Studies
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI — May 14-17, 2015
In recognition that diseases are manifestations of their environment, this session seeks papers that place medieval diseases within their environmental context. Just as a seed must be placed in good soil to grow, infectious disease requires a permissive environment to develop into an epidemic (or epizootic) and an ideal environment to bloom into a pandemic or panzootic. I am open to all manner of studies and disciplines that address these issues.
Examples of acceptable topics:
- Historic impacts of epidemics and/or epizootics
- Endemic disease in medieval environments
- Environmental causes of disease such as malnutrition or industrial pollution related disease
- Health effects of human-animal interactions
- Archaeological assessments of human health and disease
- Landscape alterations intended to improve human or animal health
- Ecology of the built environment