Pneumonic fever sometimes prevails as an epidemic, and, when wide-spread and very fatal, it naturally attracts the attention of the medical historian. Accounts of such outbreaks come to us from very remote times, although there must always remain a doubt whether the great epidemics of which we read were really pneumonic in their nature.
Thus the Plague of Athens, which, after devastating Æthiopia and the Mediterranean countries, destroyed more than one-fourth of the inhabitants of the Grecian metropolis, has been considered a form of this disease, although the wonderfully graphic account of the epidemic left us by Thucy-dides—himself a sufferer from the malady and one of the few attacked who recovered—scarcely warrants the conclusion.
The victims were generally attacked "suddenly, while in full health, and without ostensible cause. First they were seized with violent flushings about the head, and redness and turgescence of the eyes; within, the fauces and the