Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Now that's a great historical paper subject

How the Byzantines dealt with Werewolves
A new article explores how Byzantine doctors treated people those suffering from lycanthropy, a mental disorder where a patient believes he or she is, or has transformed into, a wolf and behaves like one. This disease is the basis for the legendary werewolves.

In "Lycanthropy in Byzantine times (AD 330–1453)," four scholars from the University of Athens examine the writings of six Byzantine physicians to see what they believed lycanthropy was and how it should be treated.
Apparently they were quite enlightened compared to those in the later mediaeval and early modern periods, where those suffering from lycanthropy were seen as cursed or heretics, and therefore put to death.

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