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    Belcastro, M. G. Mariotti, V. Facchini, F. and Dutour, O. 2005. Leprosy in a skeleton from the 7th century necropolis of Vicenne-Campochiaro (Molise, Italy). International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, Vol. 15, Issue. 6, p. 431.

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  • Print publication year: 1993
  • Online publication date: March 2008

III.10 - History of Public Health and Sanitation in the West before 1700

from Part III - Medical Specialties and Disease Prevention
Summary
This chapter examines the history of public health and sanitation in the west before the 1700s. It discusses the ideas and ideals of personal hygiene along with the development of concepts that led to genuine public health practices. The Hippocratic theory of the four humors, describing health as a balance of the humors, which in turn represented the four elements of all material substance, dictated the fundamental ways of preserving equilibrium through an individual's natural changes in age, diet, season, and exposure to noxious influences. In places like Western Europe, retreat to a rural economic base, the effective disappearance of cities and market economies, and the introduction of Germanic customs interrupted the Greco-Roman public health tradition. Caroline Hannaway has indicated, at the beginning of the eighteenth century, the French, British, German, and, ultimately, U.S. traditions of public health relied mainly on the traditional Galenic-Hippocratic discourse about what ensured an individual's good health.
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The Cambridge World History of Human Disease
  • Online ISBN: 9781139053518
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521332866
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