Swiss Mercenaries came down from the mountains to fight on behalf of European rulers in Distant Lands. Many of these mercenaries suffered from nostalgia. * Nostalgia was believed to be a medical disease.
* Symptoms included anorexia, bouts of weeping and even suicide attempts. * For years, people believed only the Swiss were prone to it. * In 1688, Hofer suggested it was “a cerebral disease of essentially demonic cause” * In 1732, Scheuchzer said it was due to “a sharp differential in atmospheric pressure causing excessive body pressurization, which in turn drove blood from the heart to the brain, thereby producing the observed affliction of sentiment” * Military physicians believed it was caused by the constant sound of cowbells which damaged brain cells and the eardrum.
* The first two stanzas are nine lines each, an...