Medical History

Dominik Wujastyk ucgadkw at UCL.AC.UK
Tue Oct 28 18:19:34 UTC 2008

I'm sure you already know Kohn's Encyclopedia of Plague and Pestilence. It 
contains very rich information, but also demonstrates that before the 
eighteenth century any quantitative information about epidemic disease in 
India is almost non-existent.  There is a little information about cholera 
in 16cent Goa, from da Orta and Portuguese sources.  Prof. Kapstein's 
reference is important, and almost unique.  The Tibetans developed a genre 
of medical history writing, which never happened in peninsular India.

The Carakasamhita contains a passage about plague, located in Kampilya, 
but we learn nothing of the symptoms, and the text, probably written in 
about 2nd cent AD, is too early for your reference.

It is possible that the plague of Justinian never reached peninsular 
India.  However, I am not aware of anyone having scoured the literature 
for clues.

Dr Dominik Wujastyk
University College London

On Sat, 25 Oct 2008, Mary Storm wrote:

> Dear Colleagues,
> Could someone recommend an Asian/South Asian/Indian medical history that 
> would cover the period from approximately the fifth century AD  to 15th 
> century AD? Specifically, I am trying to find indian references to the 6th 
> c. pandemic known in the Byzantine world as the Plague of Justinian.
> Your help is much appreciated!
> With Thanks,
> Mary
> Mary Storm, Ph.D.
> Academic Director
> North India Arts and Culture
> and
> Himalayan Buddhist Art and Architecture
> SIT Study Abroad
> School for International Training
> Mobile +91 98106 98003
> F-301 Lado Sarai
> 2nd Fl
> New Delhi 110030  India

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