Plague in Egypt of 1834—1835
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Plague in Egypt of 1834—1835
Publication type
Andrey Gladyshev 
Affiliation: Chernyshevsky Saratov State University
Address: Russian Federation, Saratov

Egypt was ordinary considered by Europeans as a source of epidemic threat, as a “cradle of plague”. The plague of 1834—1835 was the deadliest epidemic of the nineteenth century for the Egyptians. Many Western European doctors took part in the fight against this epidemic, and its resonance was such that England, France, Russia organized special investigations in its wake. Official reports, diaries and memoirs of Europeans who were in Egypt during the epidemic make it possible to reconstruct the path and pace of its spread. Studies on the history of the epidemic in Egypt of 1834—1835 and of its consequences have medical, demographic, economic, political and even mental aspects. The unfolding medical debate shows how European medical ideas spread in Egypt and in other countries of the Middle East, and ultimately affected on the international cooperation in health regulations. The fight over quarantine regulations reflects the growing interest in free trade and in the growth of shipping in the Mediterranean, Red Sea and Indian Ocean. The study of the demographic consequences of the epidemic and in particular of the mortality rate of the black population, allowed to take a fresh look at the issues of slavery, the Trans-Saharan slave trade, abolitionism, and influenced regional diplomacy. The plague that spread in Alexandria and Cairo had the saddest effect on the fate of the Saint-Simonianism movement. The study of its perception, both by the local population and by Europeans, allow to compare the mental attitudes of various ethnic and confessional groups.

historical epidemiology, quarantine, Mediterranean, history of Egypt, plague, Muhammad Ali, slavery, Saint-Simonism
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