The Thucydides Syndrome: The Authors Reply

Alexander D. Langmuir, Thomas D. Worthen, Jon Solomon, C. George Ray, Eskild Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review


The observations of Poole and Holladay1 in 1979, that the microbial parasite and host complex is in constant flux and therefore that historians of medicine must be duly cautious when attributing a currently named disease or syndrome to an ancient description, were fundamental to our original proposition. None-theless, we have taken the view, dismissed by them, that the plague of Athens was a disease or mixture of diseases that Thucydides described well enough to enable us to recognize it. We cannot speculate about which of our 13 hemagglutinin types of influenza, if any, was prevalent in Thucydides' day or how.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1172-1173
Number of pages2
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number18
StatePublished - Oct 30 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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