Mirror of Literature, 9 (1827), 277–78.
Disease, Physiology, Experiment, Error, Medical Treatment
'Every body knows the strange effects which for many years were attributed to the bite of the tarantula, and the extent to which even scientific persons allowed their credulity to carry them on the subject' (277). Canvasses various of the physiological explanations formerly offered for the phenomena. Describes the overhaul of the subject by Dr Sanguietti and Francesco Serao, whose experiments and publications 'effected a complete change in the opinions of well informed persons [...] who no longer believed in the venomous qualities of the tranatula, and the malady which had been attributed to their bite'. Reports a recent case detailed in the Osservatore Medico of Naples in which the bite of a trantula resulted in serious symptoms. Describes the treatment of the patient by Dr Mazzolani. Observes: 'By this case the negative conclusions of Dr. Sanguietti are shown to be without foundation', but records that the 'extraordinary symptoms formerly described' were 'probably the offspring of a heated imagination'. (278)
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