This international workshop will bring together specialists working on various aspects of China’s maritime history, focusing on its historical relations to neighboring or distant countries and oceanic spaces. We will concentrate on two thematical chapters, (1) geographical knowledge, sea routes & navigation as the major precondition of seafaring, (2) on coastal defence and piracy as major consequences of seafaring activities, and otherwise divide the papers according to oceanic spaces, that is, China’s relations with (i) East and Southeast Asian countries, (ii) with the larger Indian Ocean World, and (iii) with the Asia-Pacific macro-region. The workshop seeks to enlarge our knowledge on China’s rich history of maritime relations.
Selection of recent most important publications
– “The Song 宋 Dynasty (960–1279) – A Revolutionary Era Turn?”, in Kósa Gábor (ed.), China across the Centuries [Budapest Monographs in East Asian Studies] (Budapest: ELTE University, Department of East Asian Languages, 2017), 133-173.
– “China’s Gate to the South: Iranian and Arab Merchant Networks in Guangzhou During the Tang-Song Transition (c.750–1050), PART II: 900–c.1050”, AAS Working Papers in Social Anthropology/ÖAW Arbeitspapiere zur Sozialanthropologie 29 (2015), 1-30.
Most important publications
– “‘Peruvian Balsam’: An Example of Transoceanic Transfer of Medicinal Knowledge’, Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 16:69 (2020), 1-20; https://doi.org/10.1186/s13002-020-00407-y (open access)
– Early Global Interconnectivity Across the Indian Ocean World [Palgrave Series in Indian Ocean World Studies], 2 vols. (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan), vol. I, Commercial Structures and Exchanges; vol. II, Exchange of Ideas, Religions, and Technologies
– “Trans-Pacific Connections: Contraband Mercury Trade in 16th to early 18th Centuries”, in Tamara Bentley (ed.), Picturing Commerce: Picturing commerce in and from the East Asian maritime circuits, 1550-1800 [Visual and Material Culture, 1300–1700] (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2019), 159-194.
–“16-18 seiki ni okeru taiheiyō o matagu suigin no mitsu bōeki” アンゲラ・ショッテンハマー著、「16－18世紀における太平洋を跨ぐ水銀の密貿易」, transl. by Hideaki Suzuki 鈴木英明, in Hideaki Suzuki 鈴木英明編訳 (ed.) Nettowaku to kaiiki: Higashi Ajia kara yūbō suru sekaishi 『ネットワークと海域―東アジアから眺望する世界史』(Akashi shoten, 2019), 230-264.
The Structure and Impact of Trans-Pacific Trade, 16th to 18th Centuries: The Manila Galleon Trade Beyond Silver and Silks
For actual research results, see also https://crossroads-research.net/news/ and https://crossroads-research.net/projects/erc-adg-transpacific/
With an interdisciplinary team, comprising specialists in Chinese, Japanese, Latin American, Southeast Asian, economic, environmental, and medical history, maritime archaeology, and geographical sciences, this project will, for the first time, systematically investigate the roles of actors, objects, side-effects, and exchanges that were ‘invisible’ or marginal to conventional histories of the Manila Galleon trade (1565 to 1815). It will also examine informal trade routes and networks in this trans-Pacific trade connection, concentrating on the 16th to 18th centuries. To achieve this goal, TRANSPACIFIC will expand upon the structure and impacts of contraband, informal, accidental, and undesired exchanges of cargoes, people, knowledge, technologies, and diseases across the Pacific, to evaluate, first, the complexity, nature, and degree of the global interconnectivity of Asian and European sub-regional networks, and, second, to reassess both their positive and negative impacts on trans-Pacific trade generally, and on indigenous actors and societies in China, Japan, and the Viceroyalty of Peru specifically.
Angela Schottenhammer, “’Peruvian balsam’”: An Example of Transoceanic Transfer of Medicinal Knowledge”, Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine (2020) 16:69, https://doi.org/10.1186/s13002-020-00407-y; https://rdcu.be/cagEq
Appraising Risks: Patterns of Major Socio-Economic Risk and Risk Projection in the Indian Ocean World
Prof. Dr. Angela Schottenhammer is part of a multi-disciplinary, international team of scholars under the directorship of Professor Gwyn Campbell of McGill University that has been awarded a $2.5 million partnership grant funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) to investigate six periods of historical and contemporary environmental (e.g. climate change, volcanism, monsoons, cyclones, drought) and human (e.g. famine, disease, conflict, migration) crisis, in order to elucidate past-to-to-present patterns that will help inform current and future risk preparedness and socio-human responses to environmental crises and disasters.
The Indian Ocean world (IOW), a macro-region stretching from Africa to China, is a significant global socio-ecological system. Factors such as climate change, the monsoon system, El Niño Southern Oscillation, and volcanism, have profoundly affected its history. Moreover, it contains 17 of the 20 countries most at risk from global warming and associated rising sea levels, and increasing frequency and intensity of drought, famine, conflict over scarce natural resources, and human migration.
This research project applies a conceptual-analytical methodology designed to bridge the boundaries between social and natural sciences. Adopting Fernand Braudel’s view that conventional frameworks of historical analysis are inadequate as analytical tools because they largely ignore both environmental factors and natural cycles and related temporal spans, project members will interrogate, on macro and micro levels, the relationship between clusters of unfavourable environmental events and adverse historical tipping points.
Schottenhammer will lead one of eight teams in the project. Her team, which focuses on the eastern section of the Indian ocean world (IOW), includes Dr. Mathieu Torck and Wim De Winter, M.A. (both Ghent University, Belgium), Dr. Ma Guang (Shandong University, PRChina), Dr. Kimura Jun (Tokai University, Japan), Xu Zhexin (Salzburg University, Austria), Dr. Li Man (Vasco Da Gama European Institute of Diplomacy and International Relations, Belgium), Dr. Alexander Jost (European Centre for Chinese Studies, Peking University, PRChina; Salzburg University, Austria), Prof. Dr. Tansen Sen and Dr. Elke Papelitzky (both NYU Shanghai). Her team will recruit a number of PhD and postgraduate student (including habilitation) to write their thesis on issues related to the impacts in the eastern IOW of the six periods of environmental crisis and human reactions to them.
“Maritime disasters and shipwrecks of Manila galleons in the East and Southeast Asian waters”, MARITIME KNOWLEDGE FOR ASIAN SEAS. An interdisciplinary dialogue between maritime historians and archaeologists, Paris, EFEO, EHESS, 21.-23.11.18 (21.11.18)
Crossroads – History of Interactions across the Silk Routes
with E. J. Brill, Leiden
This series focuses on the manifold commercial, human, political-diplomatic and scientific interactions that took place across the continental (overland) and maritime Silk Routes. This includes exchanges of ideas, knowledge, religions, and the transfer of cultural traditions, including forms of migration. Geographically speaking the series covers networks (or routes) across the Eurasian continent, the broader Indian Ocean (from East Asia as far as Africa), and the Asia-Pacific world, that is, trans-Pacific connections from Asia to the American continent. A special interest lies on the history of science and technology and knowledge transfer along and across these routes. We focus particularly on historical topics but contemporary studies are also welcome.
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.
– “Die zunehmende Einbindung Chinas in die Welt des Indischen Ozeans bis zum Beginn der Song-Dynastie: Seewege, Verbindungen und Handel”, in Raimund Schulz (Hrsg.), Die Überwindung von Zeit und Raum, Sonderband der Historischen Zeitschrift (Oldenburg: De Gruyter Verlag, 2019), 139-173.
– “Buddhismus als Mittel der Herrschaftslegitimation unter Wu Zetian 武則天 (624–705; 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 on the Imperial Throne), in Arno Strohmeyer (Hrsg.), Historische und systematische Fallstudien in Religion und Politik vom Mittelalter bis ins 21. Jahrhundert [Salzburger Interdisziplinäre Diskurse, 9] (Wien: Peter Lang, 2017), 69-94.
– “China’s Gate to the Indian Ocean – Iranian and Arab Long-distance Traders”, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 76:1 (2016), 135-179.
An Encyclopedia of Arabic Hospital Medicine from Mongol China: Translation and Interpretation
By Paul D. Buell and Eugene N. Anderson
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.