©Wellcome Library, London

Detail from a painting entitled, ‘Decapitation of S Valerianus and his brother' by Amico Aspertini (1475-1552). Behind the executioner is a leper with bandaged legs who carries a banner emblazoned with a Scorpion. By this sign of the Zodiac, he declares himself a sufferer from syphilis.

Source: Karl Sudhoff. The earliest printed literature on syphilis. R Lier, Florence 1925.