While occupying Naples the French soldiers indulged in a long bout of celebration and debauchery, and within a short space of time it came apparent that they were afflicted by a terrible disease.[4, 5] The disease started with genital ulcers, then progressed to a fever, general rash and joint and muscle pains, then weeks or months later were followed by large, painful and foul-smelling abscesses and sores, or pocks, all over the body.( Genesis 27:6-37 ) The restraining influence of the father's presence is admirably portrayed in the few words uttered by Esau: "the days will come of the mourning of my father, and I will kill my brother Jacob " ( Genesis ).That this exclamation revealed a deep-seated purpose, the evident anxiety of Rebecca, the hasty flight of Jacob to Haran, and his long stay with his uncle Laban, clearly demonstrated.
The remedies were few and hardly efficacious, the mercury inunctions and suffumigations that people endured were painful and many patients died of mercury poisoning. The impact of gonorrhoea and syphilis on military personnel in terms of morbidity and mortality was greatly mitigated after 1943 due to the introduction of penicillin, as well as other factors such as education, prophylaxis, training of health personnel and adequate and rapid access to treatment.Up until the early 20th century it was believed that syphilis had been brought from America and the New World to the Old World by Christopher Columbus in 1493. The eldest son of Isaac and Rebecca, the twin-brother of Jacob.The struggle of the two brothers, when still within Rebecca's womb, was prophetic of the lifelong opposition, deepening at times into hatred, which marked the relations between Esau and Jacob ( Genesis sq. Esau, who came forth first, when grown up, became a skilful hunter, and was much loved by Isaac, who ate of his hunting ( Genesis -28 ). And so taking bread and the pottage of lentils, he ate, and drank, and went his way; making little account of having sold his first birthright" ( Genesis -34 ).
The soldiers were mostly mercenaries – Flemish, Gascon, Swiss, Italian, and Spanish – and were accompanied by 800 camp followers including cooks, medical attendants and prostitutes.