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Saint Vitus Plague : The people who danced untill they died.

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In the late middle ages, Europe witnessed a devastating number of diseases, the Black Death being the most infamous one that wiped out a third of the population (25 million people). But none of them were as uncanny as the Saint Vitus plague, also known as the dancing plague. It began in July 1518, when a woman called Frau Troffea started dancing in the streets of Strasbourg restlessly. People began to worry about the seemingly insane woman as « By the third day, blood was oozing out of her shoes ». 6 days into the exhausting routine, Frau was taken to Saint Vitus shrine located east of Strasbourg. Saint Vitus was believed to perform miraculous cures and heal those afflicted with epilepsy but also inflecting it on those who angered him. Shortly after, Frau was sent to the shrine for penance, more than 30 people started compulsively dancing and it was obvious to the bystanders that the dancers were in pure agony as they screamed for help from God and Saints. Even more alarming, by the end of August, the sickness reached plague status as about 400 dancers were loose in the streets of Strasbourg begging for mercy. As it kept going, as many as 15 people per day died from heart attacks and strokes. different local records describe the scene:
« In their madness, people kept up their dancing until they fell unconscious and many died. »
Chronicle of the dancing plague in the Strasbourg archives

The physicians declared the dancing a result of « overheated blood » and weren’t able to give any medical prescription. The city council then decided to intervene. They came up with the idea of curing the dancers with more dancing. A stage was set up in the market, drummers and pipers were hired to provide accompaniment. People were paid to keep the dancers on their feet « by lifting their exhausted bodies as they whirled around ». As the numbers of the inflicted grew, the council, realizing they made a mistake, started making irrational decisions out of panic and distress. First, the inflicted were quarantined in their houses as they were believed to be victims of divine wrath. Music was banned in the entire city as well as gambling. As the dancing hysteria kept going in most of the Strasbourg houses, it was obvious that locking the inflicted inside was inefficient. As a result, the council started taking even more questionable decisions.

A giant 110-pound wax statue of Saint Vitus was made and sent as a gift to the shrine to « appease his anger ». The dancers were also obliged to wear red shoes soaked in holy water and were transported in wagons, like Frau Troffea, to the shrine outside Strasbourg to pray for their absolution. The dancing plague stopped suddenly, just like how it started, in September 1518. Historians still argue about its causes. The main theory is « Mass Hysteria ». Prior to this outbreak, the region, still recovering from the aftermath of the bubonic plague, went through 4 famines between 1492 and 1511. As a result, food prices peaked and more people struggled to survive. In 1517, labeled as « The Bad Year », a fifth famine took the lives of more people resulting in the overcrowding of orphanages. On top of that, Leprosy and Smallpox were on the rise as well as other diseases. It is quite possible that these grim circumstances would induce this hysteria.

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Zodiac Signs | عقرب ولا تقرب

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قالو عليه مغرور و مسمام
بيرو غارق ما يعطيكش سرو حتى كان تعاشرو أعوام
غلطوكم هاللي قالو لكم هالكلام

قاللوكم عقرب و لا تقرب
قاللوكم فمو ساكت و هو في الدنيا يخرب
قاللوكم كان تعاشرو من دمك يشرب .

كذبو عليكم و زادو ربي يهلك حسادو
ياللي ما تعرف الحقيقة ايجا نحكيلك أخبارو

كان العقرب حبك عمرو ما يكويك بنارو
سعدك ياللي تخليه يحبك و بحضورك تشغلو أفكارو
امشي معاه بالنية يعليك و يعطيک مالعز كارو
« العين بالعين و السن بالسن  » هاذاكا هو شعارو

بحنيتو يطيبلك جروحك
يا ويلك كان تنوي الغدرة يعاديك و يقبضلك روحك

في أمرو تعجبو و احتارو
و على حقيقتو لفو و دارو
و لاموه اللي منو غارو

يا عقرب راك سيد العشاق و عدوك من نارك ذاق
صاحبك اللي بقيمتك فاق و عدوك رحمتك اشتاق

خرافتنا اليوم كانت على سلطان أبراج الماء
تسمع اسمو قلبك يرعش و تقول سبحانو اللي خلقنا طبايع كيفما شاء

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