"A New Lenten-Like Penance and Purgatory of Expiation for the Usage of Patients Affected with the French or Venereal Disease" is the unusual title of this work written in 1527 by Bethencourt,1 who was a most ardent admirer of Galen. He practiced at Rouen. This work is of interest not only historically but also because of the description of the symptomatology, etiology, prognosis and treatment of syphilis. In his preface, Fournier stated that it was the first book on this subject to be published in France.
De Bethencourt believed that syphilis was of comparatively recent origin, that its cradle was in Italy whence it was carried to France by the army of Charles VIII, after the siege of Naples in 1493-1495. For a time the French termed it "mal de Naples" but later adopted other appellations, such as "grosse verole, d'elephantiasis, lichen, impetigo, mentagra, pudendagra and morbus magnatus." Bethencourt
BEESON BB. THE TREATMENT OF SYPHILIS ACCORDING TO JACQUES DE BETHENCOURT, 1527: EXTRACTS FROM THE FRENCH TRANSLATION BY ALFRED FOURNIER, 1871. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1926;14(4):427–433. doi:10.1001/archderm.1926.02370220058004
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