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Few medical authors can unambiguously claim to have written one of the most important works in their field: most important not simply in one language but in half a dozen, and not simply for a few years but for over a century and a half. Yet that distinction has long been given to the work of a largely obscure early sixteenth-century apothecary-turned-physician from Freiburg, Worms, and Frankfurt, one Eucharius Rösslin (c. 1470–c. 1526). His Der Swangern Frauwen und Hebammen Rosegarten (Rosegarden for Pregnant Women and Midwives), first published in Strasbourg and Hagenau in 1513, went through at least sixteen editions in its original form, was revised into three different German versions (each of which went through multiple printings), and was translated into Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, French, Italian, Latin, and Spanish, with almost all of these translations then going through their own multiple editions. The Rosegarten is the only work known to have been produced by Rösslin. His son, Eucharius Rösslin Jr, further capitalized on the work by producing in 1526 a German compilation of “marriage texts” which he called Ehestandts Artzney; this included his father's Rosegarten as well as extracts from the Enneas muliebris (Nine-Part Treatise on Women) by Ludovico Bonacciuoli (d. c. 1540), a herbal by Johannes Cuba (Johann Wonnecke von Caub, d. 1503/4), and Bartholomeus Metlinger's (born after 1440) tract on paediatrics. Eucharius Jr. also produced a Latin translation of the Rosegarten in 1532. That Rösslin's work was only the third obstetrical text addressed directly to an audience of midwives in a thousand years also places it in an important position in the history of the professionalization of midwifery. While it remains to be determined how frequently midwives themselves read the text, it is clear that both physicians and laypersons used the Rosegarten and later adaptations as the basis for medical training and as a reference for information on generation.
This article describes three periods in Brazil's modern history when governmental action was (or was not) taken against smallpox: first, when smallpox control became a priority in the Brazilian sanitary agenda from the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century; second, when it was rendered politically invisible during decades when greater attention was given to yellow fever and malaria control; third, when it reappeared at the centre of Brazilian health policy in the 1960s until its eventual eradication in 1973. Smallpox control in the latter two periods is suffused with paradox. For example, evidence suggests that the nearly fifty-year absence or lack of policies and agencies to deal with smallpox actually favoured the mobilization of local, national and international resources once the eradication programme was launched in 1966; these new approaches were accelerated from 1969 until the completion of eradication in 1973. Equally paradoxical, it was during the specific context of the military regime after 1964 that the Brazilian health system developed the capacity to mobilize existing but dispersed resources and flexibly to innovate, incorporate, and adapt new policies. Another important element in this period was institutional learning based on other vertical programmes such as the malaria eradication campaign. Although the Brazilian smallpox eradication programme was constrained by international agencies and by bilateral co-operation with the United States, the period after 1964 offered opportunities for the realization of a new and wide-ranging national health capacity including the creation of a national system of epidemiological surveillance and a national childhood immunization programme. It also saw the empowerment of young physicians who would later come to occupy key positions in Brazilian public health and in international health organizations.