Oh the miserable and calamitous spectacle! -Samuel Pepys' Diary, 1666
PTSD: The Soldier's Private WarWednesday, 09 January 2013 00:00 By Robert Wilbur and James L Knoll IV, Truthout | News Analysis
Samuel Pepys was a member of parliament and a high-ranking figure in the Admiralty, where he was instrumental in strengthening the Royal Navy, but he is best remembered as a diarist. His account of the Great Fire of London, which razed the area where the city - the financial nexus of the United Kingdom - now stands, is perhaps the definitive eyewitness narrative of the tragedy. Fully six months after Pepys saw the Great Fire devour people and buildings, his sleep was broken by nightmares of the horror.
Today we would say that Pepys was probably suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the mental state that we associate with the broken military dribbling back from 12 years of war in the Middle East.