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Buddhism and the Historicising of Medicine in Thirteenth-century Tibet

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This article considers a Tibetan anthology, the Eighteen Additional Practices (Cha lag bco brgyad), that includes some of the earliest indigenous Tibetan medical works still extant, and examines more closely its first text, a history of the Four Tantras. Several of these works display an explicit concern to show medicine to be part of Buddhist history. Other texts in the collection exhibit the heavy infl uence of what we might call religious practice on the work of medical healing. The anthology'sfi rst text articulates an explicit connection between Tibetan medical literature and Indian Buddhism. This article compares this work's structure and content to other Tibetan medical histories and addresses its role in early medical history.


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