In addition, during the Renaissance, there was a strong interest for metals, certainly influenced by alchemy; in this regard, we must mention the “De Re Metallica” (1556), written by the Saxon physician Georgius Bauer (better known as Agricola, 1494-1556), pioneer of the study of health problems amongst German miners. Considering the described scenario, the inclusion of lead, mercury, and arsenic in the pharmacopoeia of the German-Swiss physician and alchemist Paracelsus (1493-1541) might appear as a counter-current theory, but it has to be considered in compliance with his own principle, “dosis sola facit, ut venenum not fit” (“only the dose permits something not to be poisonous”). The theories of Paracelsus, while representing the basis for the future development of toxicology, were bitterly criticized and condemned by the scientific world at the time. Two centuries later, in 1656, Samuel Stockhausen, a German physician openly against the Paracelsian medical model, advised the miners of the mining town of Goslar to avoid the aspiration of dusts, attributing the etiology of miners’ asthma to the “noxious fumes” of a lead compound, the litharge. In the following decades, the “Transactions of the Royal Society of England” published numerous articles about the risks of the manufacturers of white lead and glass. Meanwhile, Bernardino Ramazzini (1633-1714) identified all the lead processing techniques, used by potters, tinsmiths, and painters, as dangerous. In his “De Morbis Artificum Diatriba” (1700), the Italian physician said about the workers in metal mines, “since […] the use of metals is practically indispensable in all kinds of production, their health deserves attention and their illnesses ought to be studied so precautions and remedies may be offered.” In particular, Ramazzini stated about the potters who worked with lead, “first of all they suffer from palsied hands, abdominal colic, fatigue, cachexia, and they lose their teeth. It is, therefore, extremely rare that one can see a potter who does not have a lead-coloured, cadaverous looking face.”
Once the harmful effects of lead were evidenced in working populations, it took little to understand its non-occupational toxicity. The use of wine preservatives derived from the ancient sapa had persisted until the seventeenth century and it was a cause of recurring collective poisoning in some European areas. During that period, sudden outbreaks of saturnine colic periodically hit the French region of Poitou (Colica Pictonum) and some areas of the English countryside (the Devonshire Colic among cider drinkers). This intensely painful and debilitating disease, which frequently ended in death, was first described by Francis Citois (1572-1652) in 1639. During an epidemic of the “Colica Pictonum” in Ulm, the largest wine-trading center in Germany, Eberhard Gockel (1636-1703), one of the doctors of the city, gave forth his observations in “De vini acidi per acetum lithargyri cum maximo bibentium damno dulcificatione” (1697) or, he held the lead level in wine responsible for the clinical manifestation. For the first time in history, the consideration of the exposure to the metal was not only limited to an occupational concern, it was extended to the general population as well.
Kicked Out of Heaven Vol. II
E-Book Kindle: $30.00
The Untold History of The White Races cir. 700 – 1700 a.d.
666 pgs + 197 pix = 1,000s of FACTS!
Kicked Out Of Heaven Vol. II: The Untold History of The White Races cir. 700-1700 a.d. is a 3 volume series that will be released one by one. This book details everything about European society and mentality. In this edition you will find these facts: Alcoholism & The Blue Devils, Insanity & Lead Poisoning, Ergot (LSD) Hallucinations, The Sweating Sickness & Leprosy, The Tobacco Enema & Leeches, The Defloration Mania, The Dancing Mania, The Black Death, The Gravediggers & Body Snatchers, Jews Poisoning the Wells, Millions of Deaths, Folklore & Superstition, Magic Mirrors & Crystal Balls, Witches Dancing in Baby Blood, Pants Made of Human Skin, Necromancy & Ghost Armies, Attacks from The Undead, Lycanthropy & Were-Wolves, Multiple Cases of Vampires, Who is Satan, Lucifer & The Devil!
Gizmodo: A Medievalist’s Guide to Magic and Alchemy in A Discovery of Witches.