JEAN-LOUP CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JEAN-LOUP CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration after a chapter page of a French manuscript of Boccaccio's Decameron, showing the use of leeches in the treatment of disease. The patient is the Roman emperor Galerius seen with numerous leeches on his body. The text indicates that the emperor has a disease causing putrefaction and an abominable stench, a situation reflected by the three physicians next to the bed.
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