Syphilis in composers and musicians—Mozart, Beethoven, Paganini, Schubert, Schumann, Smetana

@article{Franzen2008SyphilisIC,
  title={Syphilis in composers and musicians—Mozart, Beethoven, Paganini, Schubert, Schumann, Smetana},
  author={Cola Franzen},
  journal={European Journal of Clinical Microbiology \& Infectious Diseases},
  year={2008},
  volume={27},
  pages={1151-1157}
}
  • C. Franzen
  • Published 1 July 2008
  • Art, Medicine
  • European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
In the pre-antibiotics era, syphilis was an extremely common disease. The first well-recorded European outbreak of what is now known as syphilis occurred in 1494, when it appeared among French troops besieging Naples. Thereafter, the disease spread all over Europe and, in the 18th and 19th centuries, many artists became victims of syphilis, among them poets, painters, philosophers, and musicians and composers. This review presents biographies of several musicians and composers that probably… 

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Much of the greatest music which ever lifted the human spirit flowed from his pen and the most magnificent of this music Beethoven never heard.

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The traditional explanation for Beethoven’s deafness has been otosclerosis, and his multisystem disease in later life has generally been ascribed to syphilis, alcoholism, or both, but a differential diagnosis involving irritable bowel syndrome, postdysenteric reactive arthritis associated with inflammatory bowel disease, cryptogenic cirrhosis, chronic autoimmune hepatitis, and sarcoidosis is proposed.

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TLDR
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The natural history of Beethoven's deafness, together with a judicious examination of pertinent necropsy findings, provides adequate evidence for a chronic, progressive perceptive deafness. Marked
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