The Dancing Plague of 1518 Quiz

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By jwblackwell



9 Questions

What was the Dancing Plague of 1518?

What caused the Dancing Plague of 1518?

How long did the Dancing Plague of 1518 last?

What was the only known cure for the Dancing Plague of 1518?

Who ultimately intervened in the Dancing Plague of 1518?

What is ergot fungi?

What is mass psychogenic illness?

What was the role of music in curing the Dancing Plague of 1518?

What was the cultural impact of the Dancing Plague of 1518?


The Dancing Plague of 1518 occurred in Strasbourg, France and lasted from July to September; around 50-400 people took to dancing for weeks. The outbreak began when a woman began to dance fervently, and it is not known why. Historical sources agree that there was an outbreak of dancing after a single woman started dancing, and the dancing did not seem to die down. The event lasted so long that it attracted the attention of the Strasbourg magistrate and bishop, and some doctors ultimately intervened, putting the afflicted in a hospital. The only way to cure the bite was to "shimmy" and to have the right sort of music available, which was an accepted remedy by scholars like Athanasius Kircher. There is controversy over whether people ultimately danced to their deaths. Some believe the dancing could have been brought on by food poisoning caused by the toxic and psychoactive chemical products of ergot fungi, which grow commonly on grains used for baking bread. Others believe it could have been an example of fully developed cases of psychogenic movement disorder happening in mass hysteria or mass psychogenic illness. The event inspired the 2022 choral song "Choreomania" by Florence and the Machine.


"Put on Your Dancing Shoes: The Dancing Plague of 1518 Quiz" - Test your knowledge on one of history's most bizarre events as we explore the mysterious outbreak of dancing that swept through Strasbourg, France. From its mysterious origins to the potential causes and aftermath, this quiz will challenge your understanding of the Dancing Plague of 1518. So, get ready to shimmy and discover the truth behind this mass hysteria phenomenon.

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