“ But the Success (of cutting the Mad-worm) not corresponded with the Result hoped for ”
Edict (by Frederick William, King of Prussia, Margrave of Brandenburg) Regarding the Becoming Rabid of the Dogs. Published Berlin February 20, 1797. (Berlin,) Georg Decker, (1797). Folio (13⅝ × 9⅝ in [34.5 × 24.5 cm]). Title, 3 unpag. ll. on 2 double leaves. With the printed royal signature along with the “L(oco) S(igilli)” mark and counter-signatures by von Blumenthal, Heinitz, Werder, Arnim, Struensee, and Schrötter. Uncut.
Large Eagle watermark. – With title vignette and large richly designed opening vignette with eagle (2¾ × 5¼ in [7 × 13.5 cm]). – Apart from single tiny pinhead-sized brown spots on the title impeccable.
Both hunting-historically and medically extraordinarily interesting :
“ We thus resolved to cancel above-mentioned edict (of 20 February 1767 – cf. illustration & accompanying text of one such from 1766 for Brunswick-Luneburg in Schlieker 3/10 – ) concerning the cutting of the mad-worm of the dogs, as is effected by this, (as not causal), and take other precautions against by which man and live stock are protected against the bite of rabid dogs and the sad after-effects resulting from such a bite from Our subjects are averted. ”
Accordingly then also i. a. already in Dresden in 1796, emphasizing quarantine and hygiene.
“ The most confused ideas existed about the character of the agent causing rabies … Even the cord of connective tissue present under the tongue with carnivores, which was described as ‘mad worm’, was said to be responsible for the development of the disease with these animals. In many regions therefore dog owners were required by statutory orders to have the ‘mad worm’ of their dog removed …
“ Already Gracius Faliscus, a contemporary of Ovid’s († 18 AD), told the tale of the worm under the tongue as cause of the madness which then was spread by Plinius (23-79 AD) in his natural histories – quoted from Froehner [in Abhandlungen aus der Geschichte der Veterinärmedizin, issue 4, Leipsic] 1925, page 78 – … ”
(Günther Schlieker, Die Verehrung des hl. Hubertus [as patron saint against rabies, too], 2016, pp. 11/I & 13 per 3/10).
Here then describing in six sections the three grades of hydrophobia and regulating actions, punishments, and damages, also specialties for medical experiments by physicians, and the treatment of attacked persons:
“ The curing of the rabid dogs … is prohibited; except that a physician should like to experiment with this to broaden his knowledge … The moment a person is bitten by a rabid, or even just appearing suspicious, dog … anyone who is first informed about this shall notify the district physician or surgeon who are already furnished with sufficient instructions in regard of the means of curing … likewise shall happen in view of the animals being the assets of man. ”
Offer no. 12,238 / EUR 322. / export price EUR 306. (c. US$ 370.) + shipping
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(Mr. L. A. F., March 11 and 1 resp., 2001)