Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), previously known as venereal diseases (VD), were present among the populations of antiquity as well as during the Middle Ages. Clay tablets from Mesopotamia, Egyptian papyri, along with mythology, paintings of erotic scenes, and presence of prostitutes give sufficient information to assume that some form of urethral and vaginal discharge, and also herpes genitalis were present among people at that time, and that these diseases were considered a divine punishment. Some passages of the Bible say much about the sexual behavior of the ancient Hebrews. The writings of the Greek and Roman physicians and of their satiric poets (Martial, Juvenal, Ovid) described diverse genital diseases. Celsus described various diseases of the genitals, that he called the "obscene parts". Galen made a strange description of the female genitals and coined the term gonorrhea - flow of semen. The ancient Chinese and Indian physicians also gave some account on the presence of venereal diseases in their books, and the temple sculptures depict their sexual life. During the Middle Ages, numerous physicians and surgeons from Europe as well as from Arabic countries wrote on local diseases of the genitals, describing chancres, condylomata, erosions, pustules, urethral and vaginal discharge, and their treatment. Some were aware that the alterations were connected with sexual activity. In spite the fact the Christian church propagated abstinence, the spread of venereal diseases was possible because the diffusion of prostitution, communal baths, and wars. During the 19th century, some of the physicians and historians, especially J. Rosenbaum, F. Buret, and E. Lancereaux believed syphilis was as old as mankind, whereas later authors had the opinion the disease appeared at the end of the 15th century.