Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Miasmas
(2,426 words)

1. Introduction

The term miasma derives from the Greek (míasma; “stain,” “defilement”) and was used to refer to a pollution of the air originating in vapors arising from the soil, rotting organic material, or human body odor, and believed to be a cause of disease (cf. Smell). Although wrong from the perspective of present-day science, this was an explanatory paradigm for illness, espec…

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Gudermann, Rita, “Miasmas”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 18 November 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_024058>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190801



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