Nonfiction literary compositions

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Postby The Madame X » Tue Sep 20, 2016 5:02 pm

Kynanthropy: canine madness in Byzantine late antiquity
Nadine Metzger
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)
Nadine Metzger, Institute for History of Medicine and Medical Ethics, Glückstr. 10, 91054 Erlangen, Germany. Email:

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Those afflicted bark like dogs, scramble on all fours and loiter around graveyards – canine madness, referred to as kynanthropy, was an illness concept in its own right in the medicine of late antiquity. At roughly the same time as the medical description produced by Aëtius of Amida, the Syrian chronicler John of Ephesus, also from Amida, reported an epidemic of dog-like madness sweeping his home town in ad 560. The symptoms are identical and both authors are from Amida – what is the connection between the two depictions? In addition to the history of the medical concept, the example of the canine madness of Amida and its cultural embedding allows us to contextualize and interpret the significance of dog-like behaviour for the people of the sixth century AD.
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