Black Death

Dominik Wujastyk ucgadkw at UCL.AC.UK
Mon Jun 15 10:22:20 UTC 1998

On Wed, 3 Jun 1998, Mary Storm wrote:

> Can anyone recommend a good medical history of India, focusing not on
> modern issues, but more ca. A.D. 500-1500 ?

There isn't one, I'm afraid.

You could try looking at

C. G. Uragoda, A history of medicine in Sri Lanka (Colombo, Sri Lanka
Medical Association, 1987).  A good book.

Asoke K. Bachi, Medicine in medieval India 11th to 18th centuries (Delhi:
Konark Publishers, 1997).  Very poor on pre-Mughal stuff.

P. V. Sharma, Indian medicine in the classical age (Varanasi: Chowkhamba
Sanskrit Series Office, 1972).  Combs classical literature for medical
info, but very far from being a social history of medicine.

Journals like the Indian Journal of History of Medicine, Indian Journal of
History of Science, Bulletin of the Indian Institute of History of
Medicine, Studies in History of Medicine and Science, etc., are of uneven
quality, but contain some articles on the social history of medicine from
time to time.

In the light of your Black Death question, I assume you have read
McNeill's classic Plages and Peoples, which has quite a lot about India,
plague, etc.  (including an interesting hypothesis linking disease ecology
with the rise of the caste system).   Christopher Wills' _Plagues: their
origin, history, and future_ (London: Flamingo, 1997) has a chapter on the
1994 plague outbreak in India, and much other interesting stuff.  Wills'
chapter on choler in India is very interesting, but he is nearly two
hundred years late on the date of the first outbreaks (mo.dasii again).

All the best,

Dr Dominik Wujastyk,                FAX:        +44 171 611 8545
Wellcome Institute for              URL:
  the History of Medicine,          Email:      d.wujastyk at
Wellcome Trust, 183 Euston Road,    Trust URL:
London NW1 2BE, England.

First Rule of History:
  History doesn't repeat itself -- historians merely repeat each other.

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