Of Mice and Moisture: Rats, Witches, Miasma, and Early Modern Theories of Contagion

  title={Of Mice and Moisture: Rats, Witches, Miasma, and Early Modern Theories of Contagion},
  author={Lucinda Cole},
  journal={Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies},
  pages={65 - 84}
  • Lucinda Cole
  • Published 19 June 2011
  • Biology
  • Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies
A common assumption in scholarship on the plague is that early moderns failed to appreciate any etiological relationship between rats and disease. This assumption is complicated when plague is regarded as an instance of biblical "pestilence," an unstable term that can and does include famine, corrupted air, murrains, crop failures, and swarming animals. Within this theologically driven context, rats function in two ways: culturally, as mirrors of lustful, soulless, gluttonous, forever… 

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