Did Catherine the Great of Russia have syphilis?

Genitourin Med. 1991 Dec;67(6):498-502. doi: 10.1136/sti.67.6.498.


Catherine the Great (1729-96) ruled Russia for the last 34 years of her life. She pursued many reforms with energy, intelligence and political shrewdness. Not least amongst her activities was a serious interest in matters of public health which extended to personal involvement in the care of the venereally infected. This paper suggests that perhaps her zeal in this last was based on more than social awareness.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • Famous Persons*
  • Female
  • History, 18th Century
  • Humans
  • Russia (Pre-1917)
  • Syphilis / history*

Personal name as subject

  • None Catherine the Great