Science in the Time of the Plague: Jakob Gråberg and the Moroccan Plague Epidemic of 1818–20



The article explores Swedish consular secretary Jakob Gråberg in connection to the plague epidemic in Morocco, focusing on the summer of 1819. Gråberg described a treatment based on the liberal use of olive oil and a method of inoculation, both of which he claimed to be highly effective. In addition, he drew conclusions about the mechanisms by which the illness enters the body and causes the outbreak of plague. These reports and deductions—the contents of which were widely circulated by Gråberg's scientific peers—represent early, tentative developments in epidemiology.

Author Biography

Emil Kaukonen, Åbo Akademi University, Finland

Emil Kaukonen is a PhD candidate in History at Åbo Akademi University, Finland. His dissertation focuses on the Swedish consular staff in Tangier in 1787–1822 and their multifaceted roles as cultural intermediaries and diplomats. His research interests include intercultural contacts, the circulation of knowledge, and the history of diplomacy.

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