Apparently, syphilis was named after the main character in an epic poem written in 1530 by Hieronymus Fracastorius. Syphilis is a shepherd who disses the sun god and is thus cursed with the disease that would henceforth bear his name.
No, really. I know it sounds exactly like something I’d make up to BS my friends. But there was a whole discussion with physicians and professors on a recent NPR broadcast of Science Friday.
I am allergic to penicillin. Luckily, I am not a shepherd.