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To the Editor:—
I hesitate to add to the interminable discussion of the antiquity of syphilis in Europe, but since reading the interesting paper of Dr. Capper I am tempted to bring to your attention a case highly suggestive of a syphilitic infection that was described by the victim, a resident of Paris, in 1461.It is true that the victim was a poet, and a notorious blackguard, jail bird, and even, during a period of financial embarrassment, major-domo of a low-grade bawdy house. And yet these irregularities that might, perhaps, discredit a serious syphilographer, seem to me to be the best of qualifications for a syphilitic autobiographer.The literary patient in question is our old friend, Maitre Francois Villon, born in 1431, who disappeared in 1461. His more than kindly fictional biographer, Justin McCarthy, has represented him to us in "If I Were King" as a moral, even genteel,
Campbell FM. ANTIQUITY OF SYPHILIS IN EUROPE. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1926;13(1):119–120. doi:10.1001/archderm.1926.02370130122013
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