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Twigg's Alternative Theory

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Chapter Summary

Twigg is the central scholar in the brief modern history of alternative theories of the microbiological identity of historical plague epidemics. Twigg's theory is that the plague epidemics of the past were caused by anthrax. His alternative theory is a known disease with known properties that lends itself to scientific discussion. A curious feature of Twigg's monograph is his predilection for obsolete works based on miasmatic and astrological theories of epidemic disease. Airborne contagion connected with specific meteorological conditions accords completely with classical Greek miasmatic theory of the causation of epidemic disease and miasmatic epidemiology's central tenets on the dissemination of epidemic disease. Twigg enthusiastically writes repeatedly about the numerous epizootics among domestic animals reported in the chronicles and other sources from the Early Middle Ages into the Late Middle Ages.

Keywords: alternative theory; Anthrax theory; bubonic plague; miasmatic theory; Twigg



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