Sui Tang Studies 隋唐史研究

Aside

Ceramics fired at the Tang period Changsha 長沙 kilns in Hunan, discovered on the Belitung wreck, an Arabo-Indian ship wrecked off Belitung Island in about 826 CE and carrying cargo seemingly bound for Western Asia.

Publications

– “Yang Liangyao’s Mission of 785 to the Caliph of Baghdād: Evidence of an Early Sino-Arabic Power Alliance?”, Bulletin d’École Française d’Extrême Orient 101 (2015), 177-241.

Intro (PDF)

– “China’s Gate to the Indian Ocean – Iranian and Arab Long-distance Traders”, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 76:1 (2016), 135-179.

– “Buddhismus als Mittel der Herrschaftslegitimation von Wu Zetian 武則天 (reg. 690–705), der einzigen Frau der chinesischen Geschichte mit dem Kaisertitel” (Buddhism as a Means for the Legitimation of the Rule of  Wu Zetian (r. 690-705), the Only Woman in Chinese History to Hold the Title Emperor), in Arno Strohmeyer (Hrsg.), Religion und Politik – historische und systematische Dimensionen eines aktuellen Spannungsverhältnisses (forthcoming 2017)

Huihui yaofang 回回藥方

Aside

An Encyclopedia of Arabic Hospital Medicine from Mongol China: Translation and Interpretation

By Paul D. Buell and Eugene N. Anderson

Introduction

Few documents express an era and an overlap of cultures in the way that the present text does. It is based in the Arabic Medicine of the Middle Ages, but is in Chinese even if including short descriptions in Arabic script. It also, as will be evident below, is a text that is not just purely Arabic Medicine but one in which Arabic Medicine has become assimilated to a Chinese environment which itself is already assimilated. Our present text is also in its medicinals and formulae indicative of a massively-extended environment in which all kinds of medicinals were traded and used over expansive spaces and associated with complex networks focused over land and sea.
Above all, the Huihui yaofang (HHYF), “Muslim Medicinal Recipes,” or perhaps better, medicinal recipes of “western medicine,” as will be seen from a detailed analysis of its contents had best be thought of as a product of the Mongol Age even if the present text is Ming. The Mongol era was a time of unprecedented cultural exchange, we have only to remember figures such as Marco Polo and Rabban Sauma, who went the other way, to Europe, to gain a grasp of what went on.

The name HHYF now applies to the 15% that survives of a once 3200 page Arabic-medicine hospital manual of a type known from Cairo, for example, and other places in the Islamic medical world. It was compiled in its present form between 1398 and 1408 but certainly based upon a version from the Mongol Yuan 元 Dynasty that is probably to be associated with a Syrian medical family resident in China. The text itself may have been based on a translation of a Persian-language work, or several such texts, although the present HHYF shows an effort to integrate Chinese and Arabic medical ideas and is much more than just a translation. Whoever was involved, they probably included not only Syrians but Turkic-speakers as is shown by the forms of the Chinese transcriptions of words and terms added tp the Arabic-script entries.

The original work was in 36 chapters (juan 卷) plus two tables of contents of which three content chapters (juan 12, 30, 34) survive along with the table of contents for the second half of the encyclopedia. This means, that with juan 12 from the first part we have precise details about the contents of more than half the book (in this case 20 juan). Internal cross-references provide addition indications of what there once was, including a separate, detailed discussion of specific materia medica and a discussion of the types of doses called from in the text.

Each of the three content chapters is organized around one or more disease categories. The largest is the detailed discussion of “wind” (feng 風 or feng 瘋) ailments, a completely Chinese concept but transferrable, with various subcategories. It occupies all of juan 12, Similar is the section on “various symptoms,” which occupies all juan 30. By contrast, Juan 34 is comprised of shorter discussions of wounds from metal objects, of broken bones, including a highly interesting section on head wounds and skull fractures, the practice of cauterization, scalds and burns, wounds from blows, and bites, called by the text the most dangerous kind of wound since the mouth is so dirty.

Supporting recipes and the accompanying theory discussions presented in the chapters are numerous quotations from the various Arabic medical authorities. These include, and this is unique for East Asia, as noted, Zhalinuxi 扎里奴思 (i.e. Galen[os]), but also, among others, Rufus of Ephesus, Paul of Aegina, Hippocrates, Aristotle, Alexander the Great, and, of course, the great purely Arabic authorities such as Ibn Sīnā whose work was increasingly important at about the time that the HHYF was being written and used. The HHYF, although in Chinese, is unique, as noted also, in its Arabic-script entries for the names of medicinals and for key terminology. These are not just given in Arabic-script but are also provided in Chinese transliteration entries as read by informants, in this case, judging by the pronunciation employed for primarily Persian-language texts, Turkic informants with a heavily palatalized pronunciation of the original standard Persian and Arabic.

Yuan Studies 元史研究

Recovery of Traditional Technologies: A Comparative Study of Past and Present Fermentation and Associated distillation Technologies in Eurasia and their Roots

Special issue of Crossroads – Studies on the History of Exchange Relations in the East Asian World


The Huihui yaofang 回回藥方: An Encyclopedia of Arabic Hospital Medicine from Mongol China


China’s Maritime Commerce and Naval Activities in Northeast Asia during the “Yuan-Ming Rupture”

PhD project sponsored by Ghent University, Belgium (2012-2016)


“Huihui Medicine and Medicinal Drugs in Yuan China”, paper presented on the International Workshop “Eurasian Influences on Yuan China: Cross-cultural Transmissions in the 13th and 14th centuries”; Binghamton University, Downtown Centre Campus, 20.-21.11.2009, Binghamton, NY, USA (sponsored by the Chiang-Ching-Kuo Foundation, Taipei)


Publications

  • Recovery of Traditional Technologies I: A Comparative Study of Past and Present Fermentation and Associated Distillation Technologies in Eurasia and Their Roots, Crossroads – Studies on the History of Exchange Relations in the East Asian World 14 (2016), 1-

Book chapters:

  • “Huihui Medicine and Medicinal Drugs in Yuan China”, in Proceedings of the International Workshop Eurasian Influences on Yuan China: Cross-cultural transmissions in the 13th and 14th centuries (Singapore: NUS Press, 2013), chpt. 4, 75-102.
  • „Westasiatisch-muslimische (Huihui 回回) Medizin und Ärzte im yuanzeitlichen China (13./14. Jh.)“, in Michael Borgolte, Matthias Tischler (Hrsg.), Migration als transkulturelle Verflechtung im mittelalterlichen Jahrtausend. Europa, Ostasien und Afrika im Vergleich (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft 2012), 34-53.
  • „Vom mongolischen Teilreich zum neuen Reich der Mitte“, in Thomas Ertl (Hrsg.), Die Welt, 1250 bis 1500 (The World 1250 to 1500) (Essen: Magnusverlag 2009),  355382. Globalgeschichte. Die Welt 1000–2000 (Global History. The World 1000–2000).

Ming Qing Studies 明清研究

“The East Asian ‘Mediterranean’, c. 1500-1800:
A New Quality in the Development of its Neighbouring Countries

www.eamh.net

Research project has been sponsored by the VW-Foundation, May 2002 – July 2009
(see also under “projects”)


Equine Medicine and Surgery – A Chinese Manuscript from 1824 (Daoguang 4)

馬往書 by 苗集澤

馬往書 by 苗集澤

馬往書 by 苗集澤


Monograph/Handbook project:

China’s Administration of Maritime Trade: From the Maritime Trade Office (shibo si) to the Customs House (haiguan). [This monograph is designed as a handbook for China’s maritime trade administration during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, including extensive lists of persons in office] Continue reading

Global History 世界史

Crossroads Research Centre – History of Interaction in the East Asian, Eurasian, Indian Ocean & Asia-Pacific Worlds

This research focus investigates on the variety of interactions, communication and exchange relations in the macro-region of Eurasia, East Asia, the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Worlds across both land and sea routes. Major emphasis will be placed on the transfer of science and technologies, commodity and product exchange, trade, cultural aspects in their widest interpretation, religions, as well as migration and the organisation and functioning of networks.

We will analyse continental and maritime exchange and transfer of knowledge, ideas, products and people, including forms of migration. To this end, we will particularly investigate forms of interaction that have been important in both the past and the present, such as military (including geographical knowledge as portrayed in maps; weapons, horses, or provisions); medical knowledge and medicinal products, including diseases; aspects of culture (such as food, music) and religion (such as Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam); and historical naval enterprises and maritime commerce.

A milestone of our research lies in the parallel comparative analysis of both archaeological and textual evidence and a cross-cultural inter-disciplinary approach. The use of a wide range of sources from archaeological findings to texts, documents, and pictorial material, to linguistic evidence, will be a hallmark of the approach. Continue reading

Tomb Inscriptions 墓誌銘

Cover of the tomb inscription of the Wudai military governor (jiedushi 節度使) Wang Chuzhi 王處直 (863-923).

Cover of the tomb inscription of the Wudai military governor (jiedushi 節度使) Wang Chuzhi 王處直 (863-923).

An Introduction

There are many explanations for the emergence and the causes of writing tomb inscriptions (muzhiming).
One comes from the Ming period scholar Xu Shiceng 徐師曾
(Jinshi 1553; c. 1530-1594). He explains muzhiming as follows (German translation):

Zhi 誌 bedeutet ‘schriftlich aufzeichnen’ (ji 記); ming 銘 bedeutet ‘bekanntmachen’. Wenn die Leute im Altertum Tugendhaftigkeit und Verdienste (eines Menschen) nachfolgenden Generationen bekanntgeben wollten, gossen dessen Nachkommen metallene Gefäße (zhuqi 鑄器), um dies bis in alle Ewigkeit weiterzuüberliefern, ähnlich, wie es bei der Opfergefäßinschrift (dingming 鼎銘) des Herrn Zhu Shu 朱叔 mit dem Beinamen Mu 穆 der Fall ist, die in den Gesammelten Werken des Herrn Cai Zhonglang 蔡中郎 mit dem Beinamen Yong 邕 (i.e. Cai Yong 蔡邕) abgedruckt ist. In der Han-Zeit begann Du Zixia 杜子夏 (i.e. spätere Westliche Han-Zeit) damit, einen Text einzumeißeln (le wen 勒文) und ihn neben dem Grab zu vergraben (mai muce 埋墓側). Daraufhin gab es Grabinschriften (muzhi 墓誌), spätere Generationen folgten (dieser Tradition).”

Tomb inscription of the Wudai military governor (jiedushi 節度使) Wang Chuzhi 王處直 (863-923); the original is kept by the Hebeisheng wenwu yanjiusuo 河北省文物研究所, Shijiazhuang 石家莊.

Tomb inscription of the Wudai military governor (jiedushi 節度使) Wang Chuzhi 王處直 (863-923); the original is kept by the Hebeisheng wenwu yanjiusuo 河北省文物研究所, Shijiazhuang 石家莊.

Continue reading

Economy, Science & Technology

Copperplate for the fabrication of Huizi papernotes

Copperplate for the fabrication of Huizi papernotes

An Introduction

“(隆興) 二 (1164) 年七月二十五日臣僚言熙寧初創立市舶一司所以來遠人 通物貨也舊法抽解既有定數又寬期納稅使之待價此招致之方也邇來州郡官吏趣辦抽解之外又多名色兼迫其輸納貨滯則減價求售所得無幾恐商旅自此不行欲望戒敕州郡推明神宗皇帝立法之意使商賈懋遷以助國用從之繼而戶部欲行廣南福建兩浙路轉運司並市舶司鈐束所屬州縣場務遵守見行條法施行…”

(Song huiyao jigao 宋會要輯稿 (Draft of documents pertaining to matters of state in the Song dynasty) by Xu Song 徐松 (1781–1848) et al. (comp.). Taibei: Shijie shuju 1964. Zhiguan 44/27a).

“This emperor [of Cathay] may dispend as much as he will without estimation; for he not dispendeth ne maketh no money but of leather imprinted or of paper. And of that money is some of greater price and some of less price, after the diversity of his statutes. And when that money hath run long that it beginneth to waste, then men bear it to the emperor’s treasury and then they take new money for the old. And that money goeth throughout all the country and throughout all his provinces, for there and beyond them they make no money neither of gold nor of silver; and therefore he may dispend enough, and outrageously. And of gold and silver that men bear in his country he maketh cylours, pillars and pavements in his palace, and other diverse things what him liketh.”

(The Travels of Sir John Mandeville by Sir John Mandeville (1300-1399?), chapt. XXV)

Northern Song bronze coins

Northern Song bronze coins

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Culture, Ideology, State & Society

Playing music - Liao dynasty

Playing music - Liao dynasty

 

  • Vom mongolischen Teilreich zum neuen Reich der Mitte”, in Thomas Ertl (Hrsg.), Die Welt, 1250 bis 1500. Essen: Magnusverlag 2009, 25 pages. Globalgeschichte. Die Welt 1000–2000.
  • „Kriege und Barbaren im China des späten 8. bis frühen 10. Jahrhunderts“, in Thomas Kolnberger, Ilja Steffelbauer et al. , Krieg und Akkulturation. Wien: Mandelbaum Verlag 2004. S. 64–84.
  • Auf den Spuren des Jenseits – Chinesische Grabkultur in den Facetten von Wirklichkeit, Geschichte und Totenkult . Frankfurt, Wien, Bern: Peter Lang, 2003. 234 Seiten.
  • „China und Ostasien im Jahre 1000“, Periplus 2000, S. 13-55 (Einzelbeitrag zu einem Sonderband über die Welt um 1000). „Dokumente zum­ Thema“, S. 120–123.­ [The introduction of the article was not written by the author but by one of the editors of Periplus].
  • „Kommunikation, Transport und Verkehr“ (Communication, Transport, and Exchange), in F.-J. Brüggemeier, W. Schenkluhn, Die Welt im Jahr 1000. Freiburg, Basel: Herder Verlag ­2000, S. 251–300.
  • Co-Autor in: F.-J. Brüggemeier, G. Hoffmann, Menschen im Jahr­ 1000. Ein Lesebuch. Freiburg, Basel, Wien: Herder Verlag 1999.
  • „Politics and Morality in Song China: Sima Guang as a Typical Example”, New Developments in Asian Studies, hrsg. von Paul van der Velde und Alex McKay. London, New York: Keagan Paul 1998. Pp. 77–91­.
Preparing tea - Liao dynasty

Preparing tea - Liao dynasty

 

Sima Guang

Sima Guang

Reviews

  • Hugh R. Clark, Portrait of a Community. Society, Culture, and the Structures of Kinship in the Mulan River Valley (Fujian) from the Late Tang through the Song, xiv, 473 pp. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 2007, in Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, SOAS (2008), 3 pages.
  • Christian Lamouroux, Fiscalité, Comptes Publics et Politiques Financière dans la Chine des Song. Le Chapitre 179 du Songshi. Paris: Collège de France 2003. Institut des Hautes Études Chinoises, in Oriens Extremus (2003/04), S. 275-279.
  • Herbert Franke, Krieg und Krieger im chinesischen Mittelalter (12. bis 14. Jahrhundert). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag 2002. Münchener Ostasiatische Studien, Bd. 81, in Oriens Extremus (2003/04), S. 279–281.
  • Roderich Ptak, China, the Portuguese, and the Nanyang. Oceans and Routes, Regions and Trade (c. 1000-1600). (Variorum Collected Studies Series, 777) xii, 304 pp. Aldershot, Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2004, in Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, SOAS 68:3 (2005), pp. 496–498.
  • So Kee Long, Prosperity, Region, and Institutions. The South Fukien Patterm 946-1368. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press 2000. Harvard University Asia Center, in Business History Review 2002, pp. 220–223.
  • Claude Guillot, Denys Lombard, Roderich Ptak (eds.) From the Mediterranean to the South China Sea: Miscellaneous Notes. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz 1998, in Periplus 1999, S. 173–177.
  • „Discussion of the Cultural History of Northern­-Song”, in Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, 02 (1995), S. 365–372. (Rezension des Buches „Chen Zhi’e, Bei Song wenhuashi shulun. Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe 1992”).