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James B. Campbell K. M. Charlton (Author)
Pages: 452 pp
Edition: US (January 1, 1988)
Rabies, and its association with the bites of animals, has been known from time immemorial. A passage in the text of the Mesopotamian Laws of Eshnunna, circa 2000 B.C., is frequently cited as being the earliest known reference to the disease: “If a dog is vicious .... and (its owner) does not keep it in, it bites a man and causes (his) death....”. Ancient texts such as these are open to different interpretations, however, and it is apparent that death following savaging by dogs can be due to other causes. A less ambiguous description of the disease may be found in the writings of Aristotle (4th century B.C.): “Rabies drives the animal mad, and any animal whatever, excepting man, will take the disease if bitten by a mad dog so afflicted: the disease is fatal to the dog itself and to any animal it may bite, man excepted” (2). In view of Aristotle’s credibility, the specific exclusion of man from the list of susceptible species is puzzling. The suggestion has been made that the disease had only recently established itself and was as yet incompletely known.
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Last edited by Motoko; 3rd May 2014 at 12:48 AM.
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