Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: December ::
Re: Henry VIII
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2358  Thursday, 21 December 2000

[1]     From:   Hugh Grady <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 18 Dec 2000 10:33:37 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 11.2347 Re: Henry VIII

[2]     From:   Marcus Dahl <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 18 Dec 2000 18:55:26 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2347 Re: Henry VIII


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hugh Grady <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 18 Dec 2000 10:33:37 -0500
Subject: 11.2347 Re: Henry VIII
Comment:        RE: SHK 11.2347 Re: Henry VIII

Notable information on the history of syphilis is provided in the
October 2000 issue of "Natural History" magazine. Noted biologist and
science educator Stephen Jay Gould devotes his monthly column to the
early history of the disease in Europe, revealing the literary origins
of its pastoral name. Syphilis was the name of the fictional shepherd in
a 1300-line Latin poem on the origins and cures of the disease written
and published by the Italian Renaissance physician Girolamo Fracastoro
in 1530, "Syphilis sive morbos Gallicus" (Syphylis or the French
Disease). This belief in the French provenance of the disease, still
popular in Shakespeare's time, was in turn a riposte to the earlier
theory that Columbus had transported it from the New World--a belief one
still finds given in notes and histories in our own times. According to
Gould, this theory is not tenable, as Fracastoro himself had
established.

For those whose Latin is too rusty for the appreciation of Fracastoro's
reportedly quite Virgilian style, the good news is that an English
translation (1686) is extant, in the choice heroic couplets of none
other than Nahum Tate, of "King Lear" adaptation fame. Gould cites an
earlier article by R. A. Anselment, "Fracastoro's "Syphilis": Nahum Tate
and the Realms of Apollo," "Bulletin of the John Rylands University
Library of Manchester," 73 (1991). Enjoy.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marcus Dahl <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 18 Dec 2000 18:55:26 EST
Subject: 11.2347 Re: Henry VIII
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2347 Re: Henry VIII

Is the apocryphal tale of Henry's body literally exploding in its coffin
relevant to its presumed Syphilitic decomposition?

Yours in murk,
Marcus.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.