I wonder how long arachnophobia has been around? I mean, I’m sure it’s always been present in some number. But given the state of people for hundreds of years – the hygiene standards, the infrequency of baths, sleeping among animals and being covered with lice, fleas, scabies and all sorts of other buggy parasites (sorry, I’m reading The Jungle right now) that could make up their permanent residence on a human body if inclination and opportunity arose (which it often did) – it seems like a vast and common fear of spiders, like you hear about today, would be pretty silly, wouldn’t it?
I wonder if I could look that up on Wikipedia? – wg