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Sexually transmitted diseases in antiquity

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

People had to deal with sexually transmitted diseases in antiquity. One of them was, for example, herpes, for which the Romans invented two, not very popular methods of treatment. The first major plague epidemic appeared during the reign of emperor Tiberius, at the beginning of the first century CE.

As mentioned, herpes started with blisters appearing and disappearing on the lips. Roman authorities, to prevent the spread of herpes, forbade public kissing, especially during public holidays. In turn, Celsus, a Roman scholar from the 1st century CE, proposed cautious wounds with hot iron. Both methods were not accepted for obvious reasons. Another sexually transmitted disease was gonorrhea, which occurred in both Romans and Greeks as well as Arabs. The Romans opposed it with the extract of the bubonium plant, which had an antifungal effect. The place affected by the disease was poured with this extract.

Sources
  • Charles C. Norris, Gonorrhea in women: its pathology, symptomatology, diagnosis, and treatment

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