Category: Weird Articles
Published on Tuesday, 07 January 2014 00:00
History contains more disturbing events than you would have imagined, and we all know how gruesome and f**ked up some situations have been - From kings marrying their sisters or their cousins to burning innocent women alive on poles, from the massacre of almost a million pets to the holocaust. And then there was that time when “zombies” roamed the streets of Italy during the High Renaissance. People with syphilis in that era had flesh rotting off their faces and bodies, just like a scene out of The Walking Dead.
When you imagine the High Renaissance period (1490s – 1527) that took place in Italy, you would most probably picture women in fancy frocks and elaborately-styled hair, and dignified-looking men admiring the artworks of Leonardo da Vinci's, Michelangelo's and other highly illustrious artists that emerged during that time.
Yes, indeed the Italian Renaissance was a great time and place for the arts (and maybe for Assassin’s Creed as well). However there is one thing that history books omit from informing you about, probably because it takes away that posh imagery you get when you think about the Renaissance, and that is that during that time, Italy had a major outbreak of syphilis in 1494.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection that can be easily treated and cured with antibiotics. But back then before antibiotics came into existence, the disease was a force to be reckoned with. The syphilis disease was believed to be carried over from the New World to Italy by French penises, and caused the people during the High Renaissance who contracted it to melt. Literally, melt. Like “my face is f**king melting off” kind of melt.
According to one description
, the disease “caused flesh to fall from people's faces, and led to death within a few months.” If you want to be more specific, the outbreak caused “the complete destruction of the lips, others of the nose, and others of all their genitals.”
So people were actually stumbling around helplessly with rotting skin flapping and littering genitals all over the place. It was typical to see people moaning and dragging themselves in the town square missing “hands, feet, eyes, and noses to the disease”.
More disturbing than that is the fact that the disease slowly eats at the victims for months before they die. So for months, they would live in excruciating pain as their flesh falls off their bones but they are somehow still alive all the way up to their death which happens when their bodies are completely devoid of flesh.
Maybe they will include this in Assasin's Creed 5.