History Essays - Hektoen International

A historical review of Crohn’s disease

Anagha Brahmajosyula Bangalore, Karnataka, India   Portrait of Giovanni Battista Morgagni from De sedibus et causis morborum per anatomen indagates (1761). Via Wikimedia. Public domain. Crohn’s disease, a form of inflammatory bowel disease, may cause inflammation in any part of the gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the anus, with a predilection for the ileum. […]

The decisive influence of malaria on the outcome of Grant’s Vicksburg campaign of 1863

Lloyd Klein Eric Wittenberg California, San Francisco, United States   Contemporaneous photograph of the dwellings dug into the hills in Vicksburg to escape the bombardment. Public domain. The vital importance of controlling the Mississippi River was apparent to Union strategists from the beginning of the Civil War. The river served as a major supply route, […]

Body language: The history of medical terminology

Eve Elliot Dublin, Ireland   Muscles of the human body: side view (click to view). Source. Public domain. “We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.“ –James D. Nicoll   As any student of life sciences will tell […]

Clinical signs in images of King Henry VII

Stephen Martin Durham, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Funeral effigy of King Henry VII. Copyright Dean and Chapter of Westminster. Westminster Abbey has a superb effigy that was made for the funeral of King Henry VII. (Fig 1) Henry, born in 1457 and deceased in 1509, was famous for defeating Richard III in the Wars […]

Clausewitz’s death: Cholera and melancholy

Nicolas Roberto Robles Badajoz, Spain   Carl von Clausewitz. Via Wikimedia. “Sollte mich ein früher Tod in dieser Arbeit unterbrechen” (“If an early death should terminate my work”) — Carl von Clausewitz, Vom Kriege   Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz (1780–1831) was a Prussian general and military theorist who stressed the psychological and political aspects […]

Dictator on the couch: The only known psychological treatment of Adolf Hitler

Robert M. Kaplan Australia   Top: Hitler in Landsberg Prison common room with (from left) Hess, Herman Kriebel, Fobke and Dr. Friedrich Weber. Chronicle / Alamy Stock Photo. Bottom: Landsberg Prison for War Criminals, 1933. Sueddeutsche Zeitung Photo / Alamy Stock Photo. It is perhaps not widely known that Adolf Hitler, one of the most […]

The adenoid riots of 1906

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Sagittal section of nose mouth, pharynx, and larynx showing the adenoids, or pharyngeal tonsils (in green). Not to be confused with the tonsils in the back of the throat. From Grays Anatomy, 20th edition. Bartleby via Wikimedia. Public domain. On June 28, 1906, thousands of Eastern European Jewish women surrounded […]

“My dear neoplasm:” Sigmund Freud’s oral cancer

James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United states   Sigmund Freud circa 1921. Photo by Max Halberstadt. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. When the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, died in London early on the morning of September 23, 1939, he succumbed to what he wryly referred to as “my dear old cancer with which I have […]

Rapamycin: The “fountain of youth” from Easter Island?

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Moais at the Rano Raraku volcano quarry. Photo by Rivi, 2006, on Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0. “We know more about the movement of the celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot.” – Leonardo DaVinci   In November 1964, the Canadian naval vessel HMCS Cape Scott left Halifax, Nova Scotia, to […]

International adoption of Greek “orphans”

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Child refugees from Macedonia, Greece, 1948. Retouched from the original held by the State Archives of the Republic of Macedonia (DARM). Via Wikimedia. No known restrictions on publication or modification. “He’s only a pawn in their game.”1 – Bob Dylan   Between 1950 and 1962, 3,200 Greek children were adopted […]