Lucretius’s description of the symptoms are terrifying: fever, red eyes, sweating blood and coughing up yellow spittle.
The Athenian Plague | Stephen Basdeo
“People in good health were all of a sudden attacked by violent heats in the head, and redness and inflammation in the eyes, the inward parts, such as the throat or tongue, becoming bloody and emitting an unnatural and fetid breath.”
Painting a Pandemic: Michiel Sweerts’s “Plague in Ancient City” (1652) | Stephen Basdeo
Michiel Sweerts (1618–64) was a Flemish painter who specialised in genre paintings, portraits, and allegorical paintings. He greater part of the 1640s in Rome, during which time there was an outbreak of plague in the city which inspired him to paint this scene.