Learning about the Leapers

Leprosy has tormented humans throughout recorded history. The earliest possible account of a disease that many scholars believe is leprosy appears in an Egyptian Papyrus document written around 1550 B.C. Around 600 B.C. Indian writings describe a disease that resembles leprosy.


Young Hawaiian boys with leprosy were banished
to the remote island settlement of Kalaupapa,
away from their families and friends.

How Does Leprosy Damage the Human Body?

What Was Life Really Like Inside a Leper Colony

Where Do Leper Colonies Still Exist?


Historians have made persistent claims that symptoms of leprosy are described among skin afflictions in ancient Greek, Middle Eastern and Indian documentary sources. Scholars acknowledge that it is difficult to make retrospective diagnoses of leprosy from symptoms described in ancient writings, but believe that Hippocrates discussed leprosy in 460 BC. Documentary evidence also indicates that it was recognized in the civilizations of ancient China, Egypt, Israel, and India. Leprosy was also described in Ancient Rome by the authors Aulus Cornelius Celsus (25 BC – 37 AD) and Pliny the Elder (23–79 AD).[8]

– Julie D.