The first European epidemic was the Bubonic Plague in the mid 6th Century (Plague of Justinian).
The largest plague epidemic was the Black Death in Europe in the 14th Century so plague doctors
we’re considered public servants & valuable to the community treating everyone wealthy or poor
& given special privileges to freely travel performing autopsies researching cures, ‘Auditing’ public
death records & giving advice on preventative measures for the plague, commonly carrying a cane
to examine & direct patients without direct contact generally not interacting with the public &
subject to self isolation.
Nostradamus (Dec 1503 – July 1566 Julian Calendar) one of the most successful plague doctors
who cured the plague at Aix-en-Provence who’s advice included getting fresh air, drinking clean water
& juice of rose hips but most famously known today for one thousand undated French quantrains
‘Les Propheties’ (The Prophecies) after moving away from medicine towards the ‘Occult’ by writing
an almanac for 1550 which was so successful he wrote one annually becoming a psychic, entering
trance states, flame & water gazing & using a magic mirror or a bowl of water to engage in scrying
but feeling vulnerable to opposition on religious grounds & scared of persecution for heresy by the
inquisition he devised a method of obscuring the meanings by word play & mixing languages.
Plague Doctor Masks were beak shaped & filled with aromatic herbs & spices designed to protect
from putrid air with breathing holes along the beaks underside directing the airflow downwards.