Contagi e memoria storica. 1656-2020: esperienze e percezioni a confronto

  • Giuseppe Foscari Università degli Studi di Salerno


This essay aims to compare the plague which struck the kingdom of Naples in the 17th century with the recent worldwide pandemic. From the meticulous narrative of the events of 1656, immediately, comes out the need to transfer to posterity what happened. Through the description of behaviors, fears, and uncertainties of that time, we can catch a surprising analogy of our time. As the essay shows, the way for the management and the resolution of that exceptional phenomenon, analyzed in some accounts drawn up by local notaries - including the escape from the place of the plague, the social distancing, the economic blockade, the search for an antidote, the sanitization of houses – it allow us to evaluate what happened today. Finally, the rise of a new and renewed sense of hope that grows into the human soul, in the middle of dramatic situations.


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