Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: mercury

  • The ships’ surgeons’ toxic toolkit

    Richard de GrijsSydney, Australia During the “Age of Sail,” months-long voyages gave rise to unique health concerns.1,2 Moreover, ships’ surgeons frequently encountered diseases brought upon uninhibited sailors through their own “adventurous” behavior. Following their arrival at far-flung ports, sailors often returned from shore visits with more than they bargained for, including sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis.…

  • It always comes down to medicine

    Matthew Turner Washington, United States   Blackbeard the Pirate. Published as “Capt. Teach alias Black-Beard” in A General History of the Lives and Adventures of the Most Famous Highwaymen, Murderers, Street-Robbers, &c. to which is added, a genuine account of the voyages and plunders of the most notorious pyrates. Interspersed with several diverting tales, and…

  • Mozart and Salieri: from Pushkin to Shaffer

    James L. Franklin1 Chicago, Illinois, United States La Calunnia La calunnia è un venticello, Un’auretta assai gentile Che insensibile, sottile, Leggermente, dolcemente, Incomincia a sussurar Piano, piano, terra, terra Sottovoce, sibilando, Va scorrendo, va ronzando S’introduce destramente E le teste ed I Cervelli . . .   Calumny is a little breeze A gentile zephyr…

  • The men who defeated syphilis

    German zoologist Fritz Schaudinn. Source Fritz Schaudinns, Verlag Leopold Voss, Hamburg und Leipzig 1911. Via Wikimedia. Beginnings The origins of syphilis have been subject to much debate. The disease has been claimed to be thousands of years old and originally to have evolved from yaws. Generally mistaken for leprosy and not recognized as a separate entity,…

  • Hölderlin’s madness

    Nicolas Robles Badajoz, Spain   The only representation on which Hölderlin looks people directly in the face – a pastel picture by Franz Karl Hiemerthat that the poet gave to his sister Rieke in 1792. According to his mother and sister, it does not resemble him. German Literature Archive, Marbach, Germany. Accessed via Wikimedia. Original:…

  • Yellow Fever: Harmful habit or new frontier in identity dysphoria?

    Oyinade OsisanyaIjebu Ode, Ogun, Nigeria In 1976, when Fela Kuti, the late Afrobeat legend, released Yellow Fever, the hit masterpiece in which he passionately decried in his powerful, ringing voice, You dey bleach o, you dey bleach, African mother . . . stupid thing, yeye thing, ugly thing. . . you dey bleach o, you…