However much the three great traditions of medicine - Galenic, Chinese and Ayurvedic - differed from each other, they had one thing in common: scholarship. The foundational knowledge of each could only be acquired by careful study under teachers relying on ancient texts. Such medical knowledge is special, operating as it does in the realm of the most fundamental human experiences - health, disease, suffering, birth and death - and the credibility of healers is of crucial importance. Because of this, scholarly medical knowledge offers a rich field for the study of different cultural practices in the legitimation of knowledge generally. The contributors to this volume are all specialists in the history or anthropology of these traditions, and their essays range from historical investigations to studies of present-day practices.