Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Textual History of the Materia Medica in the Han Period: A System-Theoretical Reconsideration

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of T'oung Pao

The purpose of the present essay is to throw light on the process of generating the materia medica in China. Western forms of medical pluralism led to the appearance of the first known materia medica in approximately the 4th century BC. In the East, by contrast, the emergence of a materia medicacan merely be localized to a period certainly no later than the 2nd century AD. Thus, existing theories suggest a gap of more than five centuries between the evolution of the materia medica in each of the two hemispheres. This gap, the author suspects, is much too large. The study shows that one can track four lineages of material medica in the transmitted literature of the Han period. However, each lineage appears to be an upgraded form of materia medica. Thus, the emergence of a materia medica must have antedated these four lineages. The author concludes that it is precisely this multiple reproduction of a materia medica that reflects the human interest in establishing and consolidating an infrastructure for health care. L'objet de cet essai est d'éclairer le processus d'élaboration des materia medica en Chine. Les formes occidentales de pluralisme médi cal ont conduit à l'apparition des premières materia medica connues approximativement au ive siècle avant notre ère. En Extrême-Orient, en revanche, l'émergence d'une materia medica ne peut être située que dans une période qui ne doit pas être postérieure au iie siècle de notre ère. En d'autres termes, les théories existantes suggèrent un décalage de plus de cinq siècles entre l'évolution des materia medica dans l'un et l'autre hémisphère. Ce décalage, pense l'auteur, est beaucoup trop grand. La présente étude montre que l'on peut retracer quatre lignées de materia medica dans les textes des Han qui nous ont été transmis. Or, chacune de ces lignées se présente comme une forme révisée de materia medica. L'émergence d'une materia medica doit donc être antérieure à ces quatre lignées. L'auteur conclut que cette reproduction multiple de materia medica reflète en fait l'intérêt humain pour établir et consolider une infrastructure sanitaire.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    T'oung Pao — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation