Epidemics and Crisis Management

in Pre-modern South Asia

Author: Vitus Angermeier

  • New Publication: Dharma and the Physicians: Ethic Reflections in Early Ayurvedic Literature

    Angermeier, Vitus. “Dharma and the Physicians: Ethic Reflections in Early Ayurvedic Literature.” In Visages Du Dharma, edited by Christèle Barois and Silvia D’Intino, 71–94. Puruṣārtha 39. Paris: éditions EHESS, 2023. http://editions.ehess.fr/ouvrages/ouvrage/visages-du-dharma/ Accepted manuscript available here: https://doi.org/10.17613/j0xc-4s48 This article is rather preliminary work than an outcome of this research project, but, due to some delays, was… → Read more


  • Pandemics, Epidemics, Academics. Projects on the medical traditions in South Asia and Tibet

    Pandemics, Epidemics, Academics. Projects on the medical traditions in South Asia and Tibet

    Besides the epidemics project, the Viennese Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies (ISTB) houses two other research projects on medical traditions focusing on Āyurveda and Tibetan medicine: To highlight this research focus, we organize a one-day workshop introducing first findings by the involved scholars. June 23, 2023, physically at the University of Vienna,… → Read more


  • Epidemiology in the Bhelasaṃhitā

    The Carakasaṃhitā (CS) has its own chapter on epidemics (3.3) and the Suśrutasaṃhitā (SS) deals with collective suffering within the frame of its chapter on the seasons (1.6). But what about the Bhelasaṃhitā (BhS)? This poorly preserved early āyurvedic compilation, like the CS, belongs to the school of internal medicine, and could provide precious insights,… → Read more


  • CfP: Panel on “Health, disease and epidemics”

    CfP: Panel on “Health, disease and epidemics”

    As mentioned before, we will host a panel at the ECSAS 2023 in Torino. The full title is “Health, disease and epidemics: multidisciplinary perspectives on the socio-ecology of medicine in pre-modern South Asia” The call for papers in now open for all the panels at the conference: https://ecsas2023turin.eu/call-for-papers/. If you consider submitting a paper, either… → Read more


  • New publication: The Seasons in Ancient Indian Medicine

    Angermeier, Vitus. 2022. “The Seasons in Ancient Indian Medicine: Long Winters or Extensive Rains?”. History of Science in South Asia 10 (October). Edmonton, Canada:247-71. https://doi.org/10.18732/hssa89. This article, in parts based on an older draft, is the first publication resulting from research done within the frame of the epidemics project. Because the chapter on the seasons… → Read more


  • Health, disease and epidemics – panel at the ECAS 2023

    Julia Shaw and Vitus Angermeier will host a joint panel at the ECSAS 2023 in Torino. The full title is: “Health, disease and epidemics: multidisciplinary perspectives on the socio-ecology of medicine in pre-modern South Asia”. Abstract The ongoing climate, biodiversity, and pandemic crises, influenced by increasingly unsustainable human-animal interactions in a globalized world, have intensified… → Read more


  • Epidemics in Suśruta

    or: Why critical editions matter. An example from Ayurveda, Suśrutasaṃhitā. According to the vulgate editions (none of them critical), all the compilations of early Ayurveda have a chapter on the seasons near their beginning discussing topics such as the structure of time, seasonal hazards, appropriate diet and conduct. Usually they bear a title like “ṛtucarya”… → Read more


  • Mantras and epidemics

    Mantras and epidemics

    Someone recently asked me why I, conducting a project on epidemics, write a paper on mantras in Ayurveda. Here is the reason: Early South Asian medical compilations discuss epidemics and how to treat them. They suggest various countermeasures. Besides more “medical” remedies they also mention truthfulness, compassion, mantras, offerings, fasting, atonement, veneration of gods, certain… → Read more


  • Mantras in early Ayurveda

    Mantras in early Ayurveda

    Vitus Angermeier presented a paper on “Medication or Magic? Mantras in Early Āyurveda” at the Workshop Mantras: Sound, Materiality, and the Body, 12-14 May 2022, Vienna. The complete paper is available here: https://www.academia.edu/79051821/For the slides, please visit https://www.academia.edu/79092507/. Abstract The seminal 1989 study “Mantra in Ayurveda” by Kenneth G. Zysk1 describes four areas in which… → Read more