Jan Brzezinski jankbrz at YAHOO.COM
Fri Oct 1 19:42:27 UTC 1999

Dear scholars, especially of Ayurveda,

I have just learned that the term "phiringAmaya" was
used for syphilis, at least from the time of the
BhAva-prakAsha (BhAva Mishra, 1550).

> From my dictionaries, I see that syphilis also has the
names upadaMza and vRSaNa-kacchU, the first of which
has come into Hindi and Bengali. Phiranga does not
seem to have come into popular usage as a synonym for
syphilis in the vernaculars.

Can anyone shed a little light on the history of this
association of syphilis with Europeans and perhaps the
pre-European history of syphilis in India?

Thanks for your help,

Jan Brzezinski


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