[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 54.205.176.107. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
Article
July 6, 1984

Princes and Peasants: Smallpox in History

Author Affiliations

Morris Fishbein Center University of Chicago

 

by Donald R. Hopkins, 380 pp, with illus, $25, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1983.

JAMA. 1984;252(1):106. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350010066034

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.

Abstract

In all of medical history, one of the most dramatic episodes is the eradication of smallpox. The disease has a fascinating history. It was sufficiently distinctive so that even ancient accounts provided fairly reliable information for the historian. Dr Hopkins, with enormous acumen and diligence, has traced the impact that smallpox has had in human history and, although with lesser emphasis, the way that modern science has conquered it.

There is considerable difference between "smallpox in history" and "history of smallpox." They are not synonymous. Hopkins has given us a quite exhaustive account of the former. The disease, appearing in epidemics, wrought enormous changes. Conventional history, dealing with wars and dynasties and the dominant classes, tells us how the deaths and illnesses of rulers and princes affected the course of nations. The more progressive types of history, dealing with social problems and economic events, show the effects of epidemics on

×