Contagion: Perspectives from Pre-modern Societies

Front Cover
Lawrence I. Conrad, D. Wujastyk
Ashgate, 2000 - History - 224 pages
0 Reviews
Contagion - even today the word conjures up fear of disease and plague and has the power to terrify. The nine essays gathered here examine what pre-modern societies thought about the spread of disease and how it could be controlled: to what extent were concepts familiar to modern epidemiology present? What does the pre-modern terminology tell us about the conceptions of those times? How did medical thought relate to religious and social beliefs? The contributors reveal the complexity of ideas on these subjects, from antiquity through to the early modern world, from China to India, the Middle East, and Europe. Particular topics include attitudes to leprosy in the Old Testament and the medieval West, conceptions of smallpox aetiology in China, witchcraft and sorcery as disease agents in ancient India, and the influence of classical Greek medical theory.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Epidemics Weather and Contagion in Traditional Chinese Medicine
Conceptions of Smallpox
Kewu in PreModern Chinese Paediatrics

7 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2000)

Dominik Wujastyk is associate curator for South Asian collections at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London. He has taught Sanskrit grammar and literature as well as the history of classical Indian medicine and science.

Bibliographic information