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We find it stated in the Annals, that it was in the censorship1 of L. Paulus and Q. Marcius that carbuncle2 was first introduced into Italy, a malady which till then had confined itself solely to the province of Gallia Narbonensis. In the year in which I am writing these lines, two persons of consular rank have died of this disease, Julius Rufus3 and Q. Lecanius Bassus;4 the former in consequence of an incision unskilfully made by his medical attendants, the latter through a wound upon the thumb of the left hand by pricking a carbuncle with a needle, a wound so small originally as to be hardly perceptible.

This disease makes its appearance in the more hidden5 parts of the human body, and mostly beneath the tongue. It originally has the form of a hard, red, pimple, with a blackish head mostly, though sometimes of a livid colour. It produces tension of the flesh, but unattended with swelling, pain, or any itching sensation; indeed, the only symptom that accompanies it is a confirmed drowsiness, which overpowers the patient, and carries him off in the course of three days. Sometimes, however, it is accompanied with shuddering, and small pustules about the sore; and occasionally, though but rarely, with fever. When these symptoms extend to the fauces and œsophagus, death ensues with the greatest rapidity.

1 A.U.C. 590.

2 "Carbunculus." A malignant pustule, accompanied with swelling and ending with gangrene, is still known by this name, but it does not manifest any particular preference for the mouth and tongue. Fée says that carbuncle was recently (1833) endemic in Provence, the ancient Gallia Narbonensis, for which reason it had received the name of "Charbon Provencal."

3 Consul, A.U.C. 819.

4 Consul, A.U.C. 816.

5 Judging from this symptom, Dalechamps says that it looks more like chancre than carbuncle.

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