Marshlands, Sanitation Policies, and Epidemic Fevers in Late-Eighteenth-Century Barcelona (1783–1786)


  • Kevin Pometti Aix-Marseilles University (AMU), France


The tertian fever epidemic (malaria) detected in Barcelona took place inside a peninsular scale epidemic context of fevers at this time (1783—1786), which affected 1,000,000 people and caused 100,000 deaths. This article seeks to give a broader perspective on the effects of the tertian fever epidemic on the development of sanitation policies used to control unhealthy lands, such as the marshlands surrounding Barcelona in the eighteenth century. The results are based on two reports written by physicians of the Real Academia de Medicina de Barcelona between 1783 and 1785.

Author Biography

Kevin Pometti, Aix-Marseilles University (AMU), France

Kevin Pometti is a PhD student in modern environmental history, funded by and attached to the LabexMed laboratory. He is writing his thesis under international co-direction by Isabelle Renaudet (TELEMMe Aix-Marseille University) and Armando Alberola Romá (Department of Medieval History, Modern History and Historiographic Sciences and Techniques, University of Alicante). His research focuses on historical perspectives on epidemics in Catalonia (eighteenth and nineteenth centuries). He is interested in public health, the environment, and the demographic and social impacts of infectious diseases, more concretely, vector-borne diseases such as malaria or yellow fever.