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Doctoring the Black Death provides the first full history of the medical response to the plague that devastated Europe throughout the later Middle Ages. Drawing on extensive archival research, Aberth has carefully examined the hundreds of plague treatises written during the Black Death's long scourge. He includes doctors' vivid personal anecdotes, showing how their battles to combat the disease (which often afflicted them personally), and the scale and scope of the plague led many to question ancient authorities. Dispelling many myths and misconceptions about medicine during the Middle Ages, he argues that plague doctors formulated a unique and far-reaching response. Indeed, doctors battling the Black Death began to conceive of plague as a poison, a conception that had far-reaching implications, both in terms of medical treatment and social and cultural responses to the disease in society as a whole.
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John Aberth holds a PhD in medieval history from the University of Cambridge and is the author of numerous books on disease and the Middle Ages.
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