In this issue we take you from the outskirts of ancient Thebes to a Renaissance apothecary in Florence, to the jungles of New Guinea and the complex tangles of neurological and mental diseases. We learn about smallpox vaccination, dying from voodoo, the supposed benefits of growing old, the particular humor of doctor jokes, and the lives of some great figures of medicine; also how bureaucracy has spread its ugly tentacles as far as Australia.