The development of midicine constitutes a branch of historical studies second to none in utility and interest. The present work aims at both general and academic readers is a semianl contribution highlighting the evolution of medicine in one of the greatest civilizations of the world. The author divides the development of Indian medicines into diverse phases dominated by the sorcerers, curers, and finally, the vaidyas i.e. the doctors. These phases were partly overlapping and partly antagonistic. New ideas were developoed from within or introduced from without and adopted by different professionals while the older views continued to have their practitioners as well as clients. Thus, the author argues, the history of medicine in India is not hemmed in by the conventional chronological divisions and it straddles the canonical boundaries between the ancient regime and recent periods. The work has used ethnographical and old literay data profusely. It opens some of the Black Boxes of Indian history and has been probably successful in introducing a different kinds of discipline, the metahistory.
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