The Politics of Chinese Medicine Under Mongol Rule (Needham Research Institute)

December 1, 2020
The Politics of Chinese Medicine Under Mongol Rule (Needham Research Institute)

Under the rule of the descendants of Chinggis Khan (1167-1227),China saw the development of a new culture in which medicalpractice came to be considered a highly respected occupation forelite men. During this period, further major steps were also takentowards the codification of medical knowledge and promotion ofphysicians' social status.This book traces the history of the politics, institutions, andculture of medicine of China under Mongol rule, through the eyes ofa successful South Chinese official Yuan Jue (1266-1327). As thefirst comprehensive monograph on history of medicine in China underthe Mongols, it argues that this period was a separate moment inChinese history, when a configuration of power different from thatof previous and succeeding periods created its own medical culture.The Politics of Chinese Medicine under Mongol Ruleemphasizes the impact of the political and institutional changescaused by the Mongols and their collaborators on the social andcultural history of medicine, which culminated in the medicaltheory of Zhu Zhenheng (1282-1358), still influential in East Asianmedicine. Using a variety of Chinese-language sources includinggazetteers, legal texts, biographies, poems, and medical texts, itanalyses the roles of the Mongols and West and Central Asians ascultural brokers and also as unifiers of China. Further, it viewsNorth and South Chinese elites as agents of historical changerather than as victims of Mongol oppression.Underlining the complexity of the history of China under theMongols and the significance of time and geography for the study ofthis history, this book will be of great interest to students andscholars of Chinese medical history, Chinese social and culturalhistory, and medieval global history.