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Disease and Medicine in World Historyis a concise introduction to diverse ideas about diseases and their treatment throughout the world. Drawing on case studies from ancient Egypt to present-day America, Asia and Europe, this survey discusses concepts of sickness and forms of treatment in many cultures.

Sheldon Watts shows that many medical practices in the past were shaped as much by philosophers and metaphysicians as by university-trained doctors and other practitioners.

Subjects covered include:

  • Pharaonic Egypt and the pre-conquest New World
  • the evolution of medical systems in the Middle East
  • health and healing on the Indian subcontinent
  • medicine and disease in China
  • the globalization of disease in the modern world
  • the birth and evolution of modern scientific medicine.

This volume is a landmark contribution to the field of world history. It covers the principal medical systems known in the world, based on extensive original research. Watts raises questions about globalization in medicine and the potential impact of infectious diseases in the present day.

The Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine celebrates the richness and variety of medical history around the world. In recent decades, the history of medicine has emerged as a rich and mature sub-discipline within history, but the strength of the field has not precluded vigorous debates about methods, themes, and sources. Bringing together over thirty international scholars, this handbook provides a constructive overview of the current state of these debates, and offers new directions for future scholarship. There are three sections: the first explores the methodological challenges and historiographical debates generated by working in particular historical ages; the second explores the history of medicine in specific regions of the world and their medical traditions, and includes discussion of the `global history of medicine'; the final section analyses, from broad chronological and geographical perspectives, both established and emerging historical themes and methodological debates in the history of medicine.