A book written in 1896 by physicians George M. Gould and Walter L. Pyle, cataloguing the true and the apocryphal (they don't make much of a distinction) from medical literature going as far back as ancient Rome. The full text is available as an etext from Project Gutenberg.

Some of this stuff is very definitely false, in an "I can't believe Victorians believed that!" sort of way; some is definitely true; and most of the stuff in between is hard to believe, but who knows? Science can be stranger than fiction. I'd love to hear from physicians or others in the know as to whether, say, it's possible for a woman to vomit up fetuses. Or, to quote Gould and Pyle themselves...

We wish, also, to enter a mild protest against the modern egotism that would set aside with a sneer as myth and fancy the testimonies and reports of philosophers and physicians, only because they lived hundreds of years ago. We are keenly appreciative of the power exercised by the myth-making faculty in the past, but as applied to early physicians, we suggest that the suspicion may easily be too active.


Being an encyclopedic collection of rare and extraordinary cases,
and of the most striking instances of abnormality in all branches
of medicine and surgery, derived from an exhaustive research of
medical literature from its origin to the present day,
abstracted, classified, annotated, and indexed.


Table of Contents:

I. Genetic Anomalies
II. Prenatal Anomalies
III. Obstetric Anomalies
IV. Prolificity
V. Major Terata
VI. Minor Terata
VII. Anomalies of Stature, Size, and Development
VIII. Longevity
IX. Physiologic and Functional Anomalies
X. Surgical Anomalies of the Head and Neck
XI. Surgical Anomalies of the Extremities
XII. Surgical Anomalies of the Thorax and Abdomen
XIII. Surgical Anomalies of the Genitourinary System
XIV. Miscellaneous Surgical Anomalies
XV. Anomalous Types and Instances of Disease
XVI. Anomalous Skin-Diseases
XVII. Anomalous Nervous and Mental Diseases
XVIII. Historic Epidemics

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