Antiquarianism, Language, and Medical Philology: From Early by Benjamin Elman

By Benjamin Elman

In accordance with numerous study seminars, the authors during this quantity offer clean views of the highbrow and cultural heritage of East Asian medication, 1550-1800. They use new assets, make new connections, and reassess previous assumptions, thereby interrogating even if and why eu clinical modernity is a suitable normal for delineating the fashionable destiny of East Asia’s clinical classics. the original significance of early sleek Europe within the heritage of recent medication shouldn't be used to gloss over the both targeted and hence diverse advancements in East Asia. every one paper deals an incredible contribution to knowing the dynamics of East Asian drugs, particularly, the connection among scientific texts, clinical perform, and practitioner id. moreover, the essays during this quantity are particularly priceless for guiding our recognition to the flow of scientific texts among various polities and cultures of early sleek East Asia, in particular China and Japan. Of specific curiosity are the interactions, similarities, and changes among scientific thinkers throughout East Asia.

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150 bce, also known as Cang Gong) concerning his medical training and clinical practice. 5 Approximately four hundred years later, we find additional case histories recorded for another physician, Hua Tuo 華佗 (ca. 6 It is important to note that in both these instances imperial officials recorded the medical cases as part of the biographies of Chunyu Yi and Hua Tuo. Consequently, these records were designed, not to transmit medical knowledge to posterity, but rather to glorify the legacy and expertise of these two physicians.

Xu chose the cases he included in his book and provided both case details and an annotated discussion elaborating the doctrinal logic behind the diagnosis and the treatment. 14 Below I will discuss Xu’s book and explain why he chose to utilize this innovative genre in his ­writings. Unlike during the Ming dynasty, when the publication of medical case histories became an established literary genre, Xu Shuwei’s book stood alone. Therefore, we must ask, why did Xu write this unique book? In other words, what was the general or medical context that prompted Xu to produce a book in a genre that had never been used before by physicians to transmit medical knowledge?

This medical genre or approach explained the working of the human body in terms of concepts derived from Warring States and Han dynasty cosmological doctrines: namely, microcosm-macrocosm, yinyang 陰陽, and Five Phases (wuxing 五行).  3. Skonicki 2007. Before establishing the Bureau, Emperor Renzong sent physicians to affected areas, distributed medications without charge, and ordered the compilation, printing, and distribution of two brief formularies. This was Zhang’s claim in the preface to his book.

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