In a series of two articles published in the International Review of the Red Cross (IRRC No. 298, March 1994 / IRRC No. 299, April 1994), Dr. Jean Guillermand, who served as medical officer in various hospitals of the Armed Forces Medical Corps and has published a number of works on the history of medicine, explores the historical foundations of humanitarian action. He traces the origins of the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement to religious traditions, but also delves into other roots underlying humanism and philosophical thought.

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