Wednesday, April 11, 2012


The Plague Doctor

Plague was a huge problem in the 14th Century through the Renaissance Period in Europe. Individual towns would hire Plague Doctors to treat their victims. Actually spread thru infected rats and fleas, it was thought to be spread from birds. Hence the bird-shaped mask thought to lure the disease from the sick and onto himself. His wardrobe was designed to protect him from the plague. A long hooded robe, boots and gloves, and a long wooden stick to help examine patients without touching and to push back those that got to close!

The Bird-Shaped Mask

The beak of the mask was stuffed with scented herbs and strong smelling spices to filter the smell and hopefully keep the infected air at bay.

Staying in perfect character, when approaching the Doctor he would keep everyone at sticks length and never mutter a word. Only leaving a small folded paper explaining his role as the Plague Doctor!

Midieval Faces


  1. wow! learned some new historical facts, here!

  2. It must have been a horrible time to live through. The doctors were really quite brave. The depiction of the treatment makes me thankful for what we have learned through the ages about communicable diseases.

  3. Great tidbit of history Parker. I can't help but think; were people really that gullible back then?

    I know science has come a long way but to think a guy in a robe and bird mask was going to heal you just by being there still seems really out there.

  4. He looks like one of the Spy vs. Spy characters in the old "Mad" Comic books I used to read when I was a kid! LOL

    Seriously though this is an interesting bit of history, I had no idea there were plague doctors like this. Interesting!

  5. Neat info. Cool outfit. I wish doctors still dressed this way. What did the piece of paper say? =)

  6. Sandy,
    The paper explained his character and the role the Plague Doctor played in medieval times. As for the costume, I thought it was pretty cool also!


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