The Old Regime justice system, an unexpected source of education about ovine epidemic diseases. What lessons can be drawn from it in the region of haute Provence, circa 1660-1789?

Maître de conférences à l’IUT d’Aix-Marseille Université site de Digne-les-Bains, Docteur en biologie-écologie. Habilité à diriger des recherches en Histoire moderne et contemporaine

Priority must be given to manuscript sources when studying infectious animal diseases in haute Provence during the Old Regime, as opposed to the general and imprecise regulatory texts printed out by public administrations. The cattle plague (Rinderpest) of the year 1745-1746 is the only epidemic to leave a lasting record in these species. Sheep pox dominates the ovine pathology, in times of transhumance prone to create frictions between herds owners and drivers, suspected of violating basic prophylactic precautions. Sheep herds composition over time can be deduced from such documents. The communities managed the sheep pox epidemics by themselves, without any intervention from the administrative authorities.

Read the complete articleéd.sci.vét., 2017, 17 : 07-20