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The Art of Medicine in Early China: The Ancient and Medieval Origins of a Modern Archive (Hardback)
  • The Art of Medicine in Early China: The Ancient and Medieval Origins of a Modern Archive (Hardback)
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The Art of Medicine in Early China: The Ancient and Medieval Origins of a Modern Archive (Hardback)

(author)
£67.00
Hardback 251 Pages / Published: 20/04/2015
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In this book, Miranda Brown investigates the myths that acupuncturists and herbalists have told about the birth of the healing arts. Moving from the Han (206 BC-AD 220) and Song (960-1279) dynasties to the twentieth century, Brown traces the rich history of Chinese medical historiography and the gradual emergence of the archive of medical tradition. She exposes the historical circumstances that shaped the current image of medical progenitors: the ancient bibliographers, medieval editors, and modern reformers and defenders of Chinese medicine who contributed to the contemporary shape of the archive. Brown demonstrates how ancient and medieval ways of knowing live on in popular narratives of medical history, both in modern Asia and in the West. She also reveals the surprising and often unacknowledged debt that contemporary scholars owe to their pre-modern forebears for the categories, frameworks, and analytic tools with which to study the distant past.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107097056
Number of pages: 251
Weight: 550 g
Dimensions: 228 x 152 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'The great strength of this book lies in its deep examination and unearthing of the key method of historiography of Chinese medicine ... The book also greatly contributes to our understanding of the modern retelling of Chinese medical history since the early twentieth century. Brown argues that this narrative was not a European invention, as historian of science Joseph Needham (1900-1995) interpreted it to be. The book also urges scholars to examine a fundamental question concerning the origins and evolution of the historiography of traditional Chinese medicine in post-1949 China. All in all, this book will be of great interest to scholars in the fields of Chinese history, Chinese medical history, Chinese historiography, and the history of science and medicine in general.' Xiaoping Fang, The American Historical Review
'Miranda Brown's new monograph spotlights a fundamental, yet surprisingly neglected question: Why did the development of medicine in China come to be narrated in the way that it is? Her work is a pioneering foray into the historiography, the first book-length study devoted to exploring how Chinese medical history has been told.' Shigehisa Kuriyama, Bulletin of the History of Medicine
'Through an analysis of six portrayals of figures from antiquity, three belonging to the medical history of the earliest period (Attendant He, Bian Que, and Chunyu Yi) and three from a later time (Liu Xiang, Zhang Ji, and Huangfu Mi), Miranda Brown questions the formation of myths built by acupuncturists and pharmacologists in the context of both Chinese and Western historiography. She brilliantly shows how Western scholars, despite their willingness to be scientific, are dependent on Chinese historians. ... The erudition of the author, the richness and diversity of the materials used, the relevance of the epistemological questions, and the originality of the approach are the strengths of this study.' Catherine Despeux, Isis

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