© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2007 DOI: 10.1163/157342008X307866 Asian Medicine 3 (2007) 241–264 www.brill.nl/asme Th e Transmission of Foreign Medicine via the Silk Roads in Medieval China: A Case Study of Haiyao Bencao 海葯本草 Chen Ming 陳明 1 Abstract Th e importance of cultural exchange along the Silk Routes to the cosmopolitan identity of High Tang culture has long been acknowledged. Th is paper develops that understanding for the med- ical context by examining the Haiyao bencao 海藥本草 (Overseas Pharmacopoeia), a specialist materia medica work made up of foreign remedies. With a deeper understanding of the socio- cultural and religious context within which its author, Li Xun 李珣 , a Persian born in China, worked we can begin to build a vivid picture of the background against which foreign medicines arrived from the Western regions to Medieval China. Keywords Persian, Chinese, materia medica, Tang, Li Xun, Haiyao Bencao Generally speaking, there were three main channels of cultural exchange between the external world and China during the Sui, Tang and Five Dynasties (late sixth century to mid-tenth century), namely the overland route in the north- west, the maritime in the southeast and the route through the grasslands in the
Asian Medicine – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2007
Keywords: MATERIA MEDICA; LI XUN; CHINESE; HAIYAO BENCAO; TANG; PERSIAN
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