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Knowledge of our past is our inheritance. What we do with that knowledge will shape our destinies...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Medieval Tidbit #5--Plague Doctors

Did you know...

That during the Middle Ages, in times of plague, there were individuals called Plague Doctors. These were often second-rate doctors that couldn't otherwise establish a successful practice, or just very young physicians trying to establish themselves.

They treated everyone who had plague and their salaries were paid by the town, so they treated old and young, rich and poor the same.

The often wore "Plague Suits" which were an early form of bio-hazard shield. The suits covered the entire body, included red eye-pieces which were believed to protect the plague doctors from evil, and beak-like masks, which held various strong-smelling spices which were believed to counteract the "miasmas" or bad, plague-infested vapors.

As you might imagine, despite these suits, the chances of a Plague Doctor surviving a epidemic were slim at best.

Whenever I hear interesting facts like this, my first thought is always, how can I use this in a story?

With this one, I could go several ways. The image of a Plague Doctor darkening a medieval doorway was one of terror for the people. For if the Plague Doctor was nearby, then so was the plague, and wherever these doctors were found, hundreds died.

So, I can see this being a villainous character. Perhaps he's secretly evil and strikes fear into the hearts of all around him.

Then again, I can see this type of person being a tragic figure too. Perhaps he's a kindly old man who can't seem to save anyone. Despite his profession, he lives a long life while those around him fall to the black plague one by one.

What do YOU think? Which scenario would you prefer, or did you think of a different one?

Don't forget to check out my GIVEAWAY if you haven't yet! :D Happy Wednesday!

Random Movie Quote (RMQ)

Don't know what this is? See tab at top of page.


Last week's RMQ was: "Hey, I'm not from around here, but I'm looking for my sister. She's gone missing."

This was said by Jared Padelecki in the 2009 version of Friday the 13th. Thought it was fitting for Halloween, but no one guessed it. Hopefully because everyone was out having fun! :D

Today's RMQ:

"You're not very pretty. And you're not very bright. I'm so glad we had this talk."

LOL. This is a funny one. One point for movie, one for actor, one for character. Hint: the girls/women are probably more likely to know this one. Just sayin.' :D Good luck!


  1. Oooh, a plague doctor would be SUCH a villainous character! Fascinating.

  2. I agree with you - very villainous character.

  3. That is really cool! It reminds me of a video game my husband plays Assassin's Creed..they featured Plague Doctors as characters to interact with!

    1. That's cool! I'll have to check that out. Thanks for the link! :D