Since antiquity malaria has been detrimental to the health of communities and therefore has had a major impact on society. It continues to have this impact today; the World Health Organization chose to focus on the disease as one of its eight Millennium Development Goals.
Although in antiquity the disease was not understood as it is now, ancient medical writers such as Hippocrates and Celsus wrote of the symptoms of a fever that corresponds to our modern disease malaria. Celsus also warned of the dangers of being around the stagnant waters of swamps common in Italy. Public projects sponsored by the Roman government attempted to drain some of these swampy areas to protect their citizens. It is clear from reading these medical texts that they were writing about what we now know as malaria. I explore the similarities and differences between the ancient and modern understanding of the symptoms and diagnoses as well as the solutions and effectiveness of those solutions.
Nicole Potter, ’14
Majors: Biology, Classical Studies
Sponsor: John Gruber-Miller