No. 11 (2012)

Die Pest und medizinische Literatur des späten Mittelalters

David Tomíček
Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem

Published 2013-01-21


  • plague,
  • contagion,
  • poison,
  • medical literature,
  • late Middle Ages

How to Cite

Tomíček, D. (2013). Die Pest und medizinische Literatur des späten Mittelalters. Theatrum Historiae, (11), 35–46. Retrieved from


This paper deals with the question of contagiousness an communicability of plague in the treatises of late medieval physicians and leads to conclusions that beside the generally accepted miasmatic theory (i.e. plague si communicated by aer) two other conceptions were important. First, plague acts like contagious diseases, especially those with clearly visible skin symptoms, is communicable from human to human and dangerous is a mere contact with diseased person or with something witch was in contact with the such person. Second, plague is very similar to poison and is able to spread like this matter.


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