Other authors, such as Homer and Gellius , stress the occurrence of faintness, apathy, and abulia during seasickness. Further, the association of anxiety and seasickness was recognized quite early. Plato was the first to emphasize this:. In addition, Gellius mentions paleness of the face as a symptom arising together with anxiety. Lucian in Hermotimus adds headache:. In other classical texts, such as Satyricon by Petronius , symptoms of seasickness were considered relatively harmless, whereas Plutarchos in Politika parangelmata regarded them as a most distressing condition, in which one loses all self-control.
Plautus stressed that seasickness may persist after sea travel, when leaving the ship and walking on stable land. Thus, afflicted individuals were described as suffering from agitation and pressure on the breast, headaches, and the urge to vomit. The Greek classical authors observed that professional sailors reacted differently to the sea than did novices to sea travel. For example, Ariston Chiou notes in a passage of Stoicorum veterum fragmenta :. Whereas a helmsman does not become seasick on a large ship or on a small boat, the inexperienced become seasick on both.
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This description of unsusceptibility to seasickness, i. General illness was also regarded as a factor that augments susceptibility. Cicero , who suffered from seasickness as several passages in his Epistulae suggest, mentioned in the Epistulae ad familiares that it is not advisable to start a sea voyage when sick:.
Festinare te nolo, ne nauseae molestiam suscipias aeger et periculose hieme naviges. I would not have you to hurry yourself, lest you should have to suffer the agonies of sea-sickness in your feeble state, and lest a winter voyage should prove dangerous. Lucian agreed in Toxaris that the ill will become seasick before anyone who is healthy and strong. Ancient Chinese texts noted that children were particularly affected by cart travel and ship travel: they develop disorders of the heart, have headaches, and have to vomit.
Susceptibility in children is described in Zhou hou bei ji fang:.
It makes no difference whether boy or girl, if they travel with the cart or the ship and this leads to pressure and chaotic feelings in the heart, if they have headaches and vomit, then this is called motion sickness. It is due to the actual nature of the individual and is not related to any past or other disease still present. We did not find any hint in the classical Greek and Roman texts that infants were particularly susceptible to seasickness.
Caesar is one of several ancient Roman authors who emphasized that the prevailing mental state plays a role in developing seasickness. Although she was always seasick when traveling by water with her husband, her inner feelings will protect her during this sea crossing with her lover. Psychological factors made the crossing possible at all. Quae moechum sequitur, stomach valet. Illa maritum convomit, haec inter nautas et prandet et errat per puppem et duros gaudet tractare rudentis. When she is following her lover, her stomach is robust; but as wife, she pukes all over her husband.
For Cicero, this meant that he was now considered an enemy of the state and had to flee the country. Traveling by ship as it was the fastest means of travel, Cicero suffered repeated bouts of seasickness until weary of life, he felt his will power broken. However, soon the opposing winds forced him back; he could no longer bear the movements of the ship in the blindly whirling flood.
Suddenly a great weariness to flee and even to live seized him. Having extensively examined the various aspects of seasickness in Aitiai physikai , he was of the opinion that the psyche played a decisive role:.
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Thus the calm in their surroundings does them no good: their psychological tossing and being upset cause an accompanying disturbance in the body and infect it with their disorder. Even quite bizarre behavior is said to result from seasickness. He is said to vomit some passages from The Odyssey. In Medieval England, William Shakespeare — evokes the psychological effects of seasickness.
Three years before the defeat of the Spanish Armada, Shakespeare settled in London. A writer famous for his awareness of the interests of his rulers and compatriots, he makes an unusual reference to seasickness in a rather surprising context in one of his most famous plays, Romeo and Juliet, finished in As Shakespeare is believed not to have traveled outside England, it is highly doubtful that he had first-hand experience of seasickness.
Perhaps, he overheard descriptions of it in the pubs where the sailors of the main sea-faring country after Spain gathered or recycled them from another literary source. In the last act, last scene of the play before swallowing poison, Romeo takes leave of Juliet, who he mistakenly believes is dead, by saying.
Its pilot the poison crashes it onto the rocks, destroying it and extinguishing his anguish at the loss of Juliet. Some ancient authors reflected on how to prevent seasickness, most often emphasizing the importance of becoming accustomed to sea travels. The Greek author Dieuches who is cited by Oreibasios Oreibasiou iatrikai synagogai emphasized this as early as in the fourth century BC. Later, Ariston in the second century BC and Aetios in the 6th century AD in his Logon iatrikon biblioi also stressed the role of what one would today call habituation.
Juvenal , however, disagreed. He believed that the psyche was the most important factor in the development of seasickness and thus did not think that habituation was possible—either one got seasick or did not.
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Other prophylactic advice given by classical authors were to fixate the shore Athenaios and avoid looking at the rough, open sea. Further, it was recommended to smell pleasantly fragrant plants like thyme, mint, or quince Dieuches —cited by Oreibasios in Oreibasiou synopsis pros Eustathion ton huion.
A passage from a herbal book from the fifth century AD, which is based on Greek sources Herbarius , Pseudo-Apuleius Platonicus , recommends grinding up wormwood and mint, mixing it with olive oil and wine vinegar, and then frequently rubbing the mixture into the nostrils. Nausea non-poterit quemquam vexare marina, Antea commixtam vino qui sumpserit illam [absinthium].
Seasickness will not be able to torment him who drinks vermuth mixed with wine before setting off. Lucian offered some advice in his Hermotimus , for example, to carefully observe the weather conditions and choose a reliable helmsman who is able to reduce upsetting ship motion by skillful steering maneuvers. In this way the sailors who fast one day before the voyage do not get seasick at all or only slightly so.
The above-mentioned preventive measures such as pleasant fragrances or wormwood are also used as therapy for acute seasickness; Plinius , for example, described in his Historiae naturales certain aromatic plants and herbs that can be taken to control nausea.
Among these were mallow, fennel, wild cumin, rose petals boiled in wine, mint, or wormwood. Many of these plants can be found in other ancient sources like the Macer floridus see above. Athenaios reports on divine help from the goddess Aphrodite who was believed to send pleasing aromas:. The goddess — who was well-disposed to the inhabitants of Naucratis — immediately filled all the vessels that had been set before her with fresh myrtle, and the entire ship with a delicious scent, even though everyone on board had given up any hope of surviving, because they were so seasick, and there was a great deal of vomiting.
Dietary measures were also reported to be therapeutic by Celsus , a famous classical writer on medicine:.
Is vero, qui navigavit et nausea pressus est, si multam bilem emovuit, vel abstinere a cibo debet vel paulum aliquid adsumere. Si pituitam acidam effudit, utique sumere cibum, sed adsueto leviorem: si sine vomitu nausea fuerit, vel abstinere vel post cibum vomere. He too who on a voyage is troubled by seasickness, if he has vomited out a quantity of bile, should fast or take very little food.
If he has spewed out sour phlegm, he may take food notwithstanding, but lighter than usual; if he has nausea without vomiting, he should either fast, or after food excite a vomit. Similarly Oreibasios reports that fasting or restricting oneself to a certain diet, namely dry or boiled lentils with mint or bread, pulverized in fragrant wine, can help. In case of continuous vomiting, sour honey was recommended. The effective alkaloid-based emetic was widely used in antiquity, but therapeutic dosages differed from those currently used. The habilitation thesis of Hahnemann 24 mentions that the contemporary white hellebore is thought to be identical to the plant referred to in classical texts.
Its area of distribution includes the Alps, the Apennine mountains, and Eastern Europe. Several species of this genus also originated in Asia. The concentration of the alkaloid in the plant decreases with the increasing altitude of its habitat. Frequently used in antiquity as an emetic. Hippokrates — BC already recommended it for seasickness in his Aphorismoi.
The physician and author Zhu Danxi — is considered one of the most important physicians of his time. The following entry appears in paragraph 29, in the third chapter of Danxi Xinfa , his book on vomiting;. Ship-influence with pronounced vomiting; those who have thirst and drink water will die, whereas it is very helpful to drink the urine of young boys. A specific substance is discussed in Ben cao gang mu Medical material organized by categories from Cart- and ship-influence describes the phenomenon of suffering from agitation and pressure on the breast, headaches and the urge to vomit when traveling on a cart or a ship.
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Another remedy is to collect water that drops from a long bamboo stick into a bowl, add this to boiling water, and drink the mixture; this too is effective. If you then go on a ship, you will have nothing to fear. Earth can protect you from the meaning threat of water. In his historical opus Ab urbe condita Buch XXI, 26 , it is obvious that the troops of Scipio who were unaccustomed to sea travel became seasick and needed time to recover.
Hannibal was marching with his troops in the direction of the estuary of the Rhone. To oppose him, Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Maior was moving 60 of his warships along the coast of Etruria and Liguria and along the regions of the Saluer toward Massilia, modern-day Marseille. It was feared that Hannibal could begin crossing the Rhone at any moment. Fortunately, in the end, however, Scipio was able to allow his soldiers to take a rest to sufficiently recover: they did not have to immediately engage in a great battle with Hannibal upon landing.
The stormy weather swept some of the soldiers onto the shores, which were patrolled by the enemy. Exhausted by seasickness, they surrendered and were put to death. Others were nevertheless able to mobilize energy for the ensuing battle.
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But the men of the veteran legion, though equally distressed by the discomforts of the storm and the bilge-water, considered it their duty to relax nothing of their pristine valour, …. In this context, it is interesting that another medical condition, namely the fear of heights, also influenced historical warfare, for example, the conquest of Carthago Nova reported by Titus Livius in his History of Rome Ab urbe condita , libri CXLII.
The few scaling ladders that were as high as the wall were flawed, and the taller the ladder was, the more flawed it was. For this reason they broke under the weight of the soldiers. Those who had just reached the highest point were not able to escape, while others pressed up from below. Several plunged down to the ground, while the ladders were still standing, since the heights altitudo had veiled their eyes with dizziness caligo.
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Chinese society has long valued the past, especially ancient history and stories of former times. It is the subject of poems and films about the heroic battle to unify the empire. The narrative describing the battle suggests that the swaying motion of the ships was perceived as causing illness and an absence of well-being; however, none of the known terms indicating seasickness appear.
Two works contain information about the story and the battle. Dating from the 14th century, it is considered one of the four classical novels of ancient China, and thus the crowning achievement of Chinese narrative art.
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