While Doctor Hoeppli was Professor of Parasitology at the Peking Union Medical College from 1930 to 1952, he and his Chinese associates gathered material on parasitological subjects from early Chinese medical books and European literature and published several papers in Chinese journals. While he was Visiting Professor of Parasitology at the University of Malaya in Singapore from 1952 to 1958 he extended his historical studies to the islands of the Southwest Pacific and published several papers in the Proceedings of the Malaya Alumni Association. The present book is a series of loosely connected essays which includes not only reprintings of these papers, usually with alterations, but also chapters and sections on similar subjects from other eastern and western countries and civilizations from ancient times to the middle of the seventeenth century.
The author presents much of the material in its original form as quotations from original texts. The Chinese quotations are in the Chinese written characters with English translations.