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Article
May 1935

MUSHROOM POISONING (MYCETISMUS): REPORT OF FOUR CASES

Author Affiliations

PHILADELPHIA

From the Pennsylvania Hospital.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1935;55(5):773-791. doi:10.1001/archinte.1935.00160230066005
Abstract

From the earliest time mushrooms have been eaten by the people of many countries. The ancient Babylonians and early Romans employed them as a food and delicacy. For centuries they have been sold in the public markets of the larger cities of Europe and Asia. The earliest recorded instance of mushroom poisoning is that which occurred in the family of the Greek poet Euripides (fifth century, B.C.). Euripides' wife, two sons and a daughter died from this cause. The Latin historian Pliny related that deaths from mushroom poisoning were not uncommon in ancient Rome, and mentioned the names of several prominent men, including a pope and two emperors, who lost their lives in that way. This period has been termed the "golden age of poisonings," and one wonders whether all these deaths were entirely accidental.1

Paulet2 was the first to study seriously the subject of mushroom poisoning. He

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