Series Foreword Communities have few concerns that are as fundamental as the health of their members. America’s current concern for societal provision of health care is as much a political, ethical, economic, and social mat- ter as it is a technical or “medical” one. Reflection on the history of health and medicine may help us to place our contemporary concerns in context, but it also shows how far humanity has come in being able and willing to provide for the highest levels of health and health care possible. It is a reminder, too, of the possibilities the future presents. Our culture believes in progress, but it is also aware that unforeseen challenges will continue to appear. Health and medicine are cultural as well as biological constructs, and we live each day with the constraints and opportunities that follow. This series of seven monographs explores the courses that human health and medicine have taken from antiquity to the present day. Though far from being complete in their coverage, these volumes map out continuities and changes over time in a set of health and medical fields. Each author has taken on the same outline in order to allow the student of health, medicine, and history to discover conditions, beliefs, practices, and changes within a given period, but also to trace the same concerns across time and place. With this in mind, each volume con- tains chapters on, for example, healers, children’s health and healing, occupational and environmental threats, and epidemic disease. To the extent possible, we authors have attempted to emphasize the ways
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