Politics of Chinese Medicine Under Mongol Rule
Under the rule of the descendants of Chinggis Khan (1167-1227), China saw the development of a new culture in which medical practice came to be considered a highly respected occupation for elite men. During this period, further major steps were also taken towards the codification of medical knowledge and promotion of physicians’ social status.
This book traces the history of the politics, institutions, and culture of medicine of China under Mongol rule, through the eyes of a successful South Chinese official Yuan Jue (1266-1327). As the first comprehensive monograph on history of medicine in China under the Mongols, it argues that this period was a separate moment in Chinese history, when a configuration of power different from that of previous and succeeding periods created its own medical culture. The Politics of Chinese Medicine under Mongol Rule emphasizes the impact of the political and institutional changes caused by the Mongols and their collaborators on the social and cultural history of medicine, which culminated in the medical theory of Zhu Zhenheng (1282–1358), still influential in East Asian medicine. Using a variety of Chinese-language sources including gazetteers, legal texts, biographies, poems, and medical texts, it analyses the roles of the Mongols and West and Central Asians as cultural brokers and also as unifiers of China. Further, it views North and South Chinese elites as agents of historical change rather than as victims of Mongol oppression.
Underlining the complexity of the history of China under the Mongols and the significance of time and geography for the study of this history, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars of Chinese medical history, Chinese social and cultural history, and medieval global history.