N. Sivin

This annotated bibliography covers science and medicine in traditional and modern China. It is organized as follows:


Reference Works  *

General      *

Science and Society      *

Science and Philosophy *

Science and Religion     *

The Early Encounter With Europe    *

Mathematics and Divination    *

Astronomy  *

Alchemy and Early Chemical Arts     *

Siting (geomancy), Cartography, and Earth Sciences    *



Reference Works  *

Studies Useful for Orientation *

Medicine and Related Topics   *

Materia Medica     *


Reference Works  *

Medicine and Related Topics   *

This list emphasizes recent publications, for two reasons. With respect to China before ca. 1800, the bibliographies in Joseph Needham’s Science and Civilisation in China (see below, p. *) are extremely rich, and merely need to be supplemented. Although they are unannotated, the reader can easily use the indexes to find evaluations of sources. There is no correspondingly thorough survey for the last two centuries, but on the other hand a large part of the literature on that period published more than a decade ago is already obsolete.

The obvious differences in the subdivisions of this bibliography reflect the varying character and extent of the literature in each category. Books on traditional medicine keep pouring out, most of them with no scholarly value, because, unlike the old astronomy, alchemy, and so on, medicine is still widely practiced and the commercial demand, outside China as well as inside, is enormous. Historians have conspicuously neglected recent technology and science. Most publications are concerned with policy about them rather than the work and the people who did them.

Publications are included mostly because of their quality and usefulness, a few in order to warn readers that the promise of their titles is specious. Most of the books about Chinese medicine not listed here are of no use at all.


Reference Works

Cullen, Christopher. 1983. Science and Medicine in China. In Information Sources in the History of Science and Medicine, ed. Pietro Corsi & Paul Weindling, 476-499. Butterworths Guides to Information Sources. London: Butterworth Scientific, 1983. Introductory historic survey, oriented toward bibliography of secondary sources.

Fan Ka-wai. 2003. History of Chinese Medicine Online. A Guide to the Useful Sites on the WWW. The European Journal of Oriental Medicine, 4. 3: 52-60. General annotated list of sites.

Fan Ka Wai. 2004. Online Research Databases and Journals of Chinese Medicine. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 10. 6: 1123-28. Categorized list of main resources.

Ho Peng Yoke. 1977. Modern Scholarship on the History of Chinese Astronomy. Occasional Papers of the Faculty of Asian Studies, 16. Canberra: The Australian National University. A bibliographical essay on the state of the field, with a bibliography of about 400 items. See review in Chinese Science, 1982, 5: 42-44.

Loewe, Michael, editor. 1993 (publ. 1994). Early Chinese Texts. A Bibliographical Guide. Early China Special Monograph Series, 2. Berkeley: The Society for the Study of Early China and the Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California. Includes essays on early scientific texts.

Needham, Joseph, et al. 1954- . Science and Civilisation in China. 27 vols. to date. Cambridge University Press. The massive bibliographies in each volume provide the fullest documentation of most topics.

Pregadio, Fabrizio. 1996. Chinese Alchemy. An Annotated Bibliography of Works in Western Languages. Monumenta Serica, 44: 439-473.

Revue bibliographique de sinologie, 1955- . 1957- . Paris: Mouton. Valuable analytical annual bibliography of current sinological articles and books in humanities and social sciences published in Chinese, Japanese, and European languages. Wide coverage, but far from exhaustive. Abstracts, 40-250 words in length, in English or French, are signed by experts. Section VII, Histoire des sciences, includes astronomy, medicine, and technology.

Selin, Helaine. 1992. Science across Cultures: An Annotated Bibliography of Books on Non-Western Science, Technology, and Medicine. Garland Reference Library of the Humanities, 1597. London: Garland Publishing. Useful for cross-cultural studies, but not a first choice for China. Entries are neither comprehensive nor carefully chosen. Notes generally give an accurate idea of topics, but do not evaluate. It is impossible to tell whether an item is a classic or incompetent, an especially serious problem with respect to medicine.

Selin, Helaine. 1997. Encyclopedia of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Some articles are excellent and some embarrassing. The book is poorly integrated. Use only those you are prepared to evaluate.

Sivin, Nathan. 1981. Some Important Publications on Early Chinese Astronomy from China and Japan, 1978-1980. Archaeoastronomy, 4. 1: 26-31. Annotated, with analytic discussions. Includes collections of essays.

Sivin, Nathan. 1989. Chinese Archeoastronomy: Between Two Worlds. In World Archeoastronomy. Selected Papers from the 2nd Oxford International Conference on Archeoastronomy Held at Merida, Yucatan, Mexico 13-17 January 1986, 53-64. Cambridge University Press. Summary of recent work and research issues, with bibliography.

Sivin, Nathan. 2000. Editor’s Introduction. In Needham, Science and Civilisation in China, vol. 6, part 6, pp. 1-37. Recent and developing trends, important studies.

Wilkinson, Endymion. 2000. Chinese History: A Manual. Revised & enlarged ed. Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series, 52. xxiv + 1181 pp. Cambridge: Harvard University Asian Center. Now the standard for Western, Chinese, and Japanese sources, esp. recent.


Bodde, Derk. 1953. Harmony and Conflict in Chinese Philosophy. In Studies in Chinese Thought, ed. Arthur F. Wright, 19-80. University of Chicago Press. A penetrating attempt at a synthesis of Chinese cosmology and values.

Bodde, Derk. 1957. Evidence for ‘Laws of Nature’ in Chinese Thought. Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 20: 709-727. Issue published 1959. Takes issue with Needham, who doubts that the word law is applicable to Chinese natural conceptions. Concludes at least a few early Chinese thinkers viewed the universe in terms strikingly similar to those underlying the Western concept of `laws of nature.’

Bray, Francesca; Vera Dorofeeva-Lichtmann; & Georges Métailié, editors. 2007. Graphics and Text in the Production of Technical Knowledge in China. The Warp and the Weft. Sinica Leidensia, 79. Leiden: Brill, 2007. Important papers on the relations of text and illustration.

East Asian Science, Technology and Medicine. Published twice a year by the International Society for the History of East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine. Occasional reviews. Title was Chinese Science 1975-1999.

Elman, Benjamin A. 2005. On Their Own Terms: Science in China, 1550-1900. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Excellent general history. Elman, Benjamin A. 2006. A Cultural History of Modern Science in China. New Histories of Science, Technology, and Medicine. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Abridged textbook version of the 2005 book.

Elvin, Mark. 1973. The Pattern of the Chinese Past. Stanford University Press. A stimulating but problematic attempt to interpret Chinese social history in the light of the economics of technology, with some attention to science. Sivin, "Imperial China: Has Its Present Past a Future?" Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 1978, 38: 449-480, evaluates the book’s use of evidence pertaining to science and technology.

Elvin, Mark, editor. 1980. Symposium: The Work of Joseph Needham. Past and Present, 87: 17-53. Essay reviews of Needham’s writing on philosophy (W. Peterson), mathematics (U. Libbrecht), and astronomy (C. Cullen).

Elvin, Mark; Liu Ts’ui-jung, editors. 1998. Sediments of Time: Environment and Society in Chinese History. Cambridge University Press. Valuable conference papers on environmental history.

Fèvre, Francine; Georges Métailié. 2005. Dictionnaire Ricci des plantes de Chine. Paris: Éditions du Cerf. Lists 16,500 plants and 3500 medical plants, with definitions in French, Latin, and English.

Furth, Charlotte; Judith T. Zeitlin; Ping-chen Hsiung, editors. 2007. Thinking with Cases. Specialist Knowledge in Chinese Cultural History.Honolulu; University of Hawai’i Press. Essays explore what connects uses of the word an, "case," in law, medicine, religion and philosophy.

Graham, A. C. 1973. China, Europe, and the Origins of Modern Science: Needham’s The Grand Titration. In Nakayama & Sivin 1973: 45-69. A thorough and original critique of assumptions in Needham 1979.

Graham, A. C. 1978. Later Mohist Logic, Ethics and Science. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press. A translation and study of the Mohist Canons (ca. 300 B.C.), propositions that juxtapose ethics, logic, geometry, optics, mechanics, and other subjects. A major contribution.

Historia scientarum. Annual. 1962-1979. Tokyo: Nippon Kagakusi Gakkai. Originally published as Japanese Studies in the History of science. Frequently includes studies of China.

Huff, Toby E. 1993. The Rise of Early Modern Science. Islam, China, and the West. Cambridge University Press. Argues that science arose only in the West because of its legal concept of corporation, which gave rise to neutral space and free inquiry, concepts integral to modern science. Good example of fallacious, one-sided analysis.

Kim, Yung Sik; Francesca Bray, editors. 1999. Current Perspectives in the History of Science in East Asia. Seoul National University Press. Wide selection (53 papers) from a 1996 international conference.

Li Guohao et al., editors. 1982. Explorations in the History of Science and Technology in China. A Special Number of the Collections of Essays on Chinese Literature and History. Shanghai: Chinese Classics Publications House. Festschrift for the eightieth birthday of Joseph Needham. Pp. 703-720 are a complete list of Needham’s writings to 1980.

Lloyd, G. E. R., and Nathan Sivin. 2002. The Way and the Word. Science and Medicine in Early China and Greece. New Haven: Yale University Press. Uses a new methodology for comparative and other studies.

Nakayama, Shigeru; Nathan Sivin, editors. 1973. Chinese Science. Explorations of an Ancient Tradition. MIT East Asian Science Series, 2. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. A collection of essays on many aspects of science and medicine.

Nakayama, Shigeru. 1984. Academic and Scientific Traditions in China, Japan, and the West, tr. Jerry Dusenberry. University of Tokyo Press. English version of Rekishi toshite no gakumon (Academia as history; Tokyo, 1974). Important comparative study of educational institutions in China, Japan, Europe, and the Middle East.

Needham, Joseph. 1954- . Science and Civilisation in China (see above, p. *). "The single work of scholarship which in our time has raised the banner of human unity most bravely and most triumphantly" (Philip Morrison). Based on a great mass of scattered research in European languages and Chinese, and work in the sources by the author and several collaborators. Recent volumes are by other authors. Audacious, literate, and arranged for maximal accessiblity, with enormous bibliographies.

Needham, Joseph, et al. 1969. The Grand Titration. Science and Society in East and West. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd. Needham’s collected arguments for the primacy of social and economic factors in the conditioning of Chinese scientific achievement. Particularly important is “Science and Society in East and West” (190-217) and his survey of noncyclical time conceptions, “Time and Eastern Man” (218-298). One can follow in this collection of papers, published from 1944 on, the development and modification of the author’s views. See the review in Journal of Asian Studies, 1971, 30: 870-873.

Needham, Joseph. 1970. Clerks and Craftsmen in China and the West. Lectures and Addresses on the History of Science and Technology. Cambridge University Press. Another gathering of contributions published from 1946 on, dealing with a spectrum of themes from the most general to articles on the earliest snow crystal observations. Includes a group of essays on medicine.

Needham, Joseph. 1981. Science in Traditional China. A Comparative Perspective. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Four informal lectures, of which only one is based on previously unpublished research.

Perdue, Peter C. 1999. China in the Early Modern World. Short Cuts, Myths and Realities. Education about Asia, 4. 1: 21-26. Rebuts common misconceptions: that Chinese humanism was anti-scientific, that the government was intolerant of commerce, that people lacked freedom; emphasizes China’s involvement in global system ca. 1500 on.

Ronan, Colin A. 1978- . The Shorter Science and Civilisation in China. An Abridgement of Joseph Needham’s Original Text. 3 vols. to date. Cambridge University Press. A readable but mechanical multi-volume condensation, which does not correct substantive errors, even those corrected by Needham in subsequent volumes of his series. Idiosyncratic short bibliographies. Skimming the original is likely to be more useful.

Sivin, Nathan, editor. 1977. Science and Technology in East Asia. History of Science: Selections from Isis, 4. New York: Science History Publications. Articles published in the international history of science journal over 60 years and still useful.

Sivin, Nathan. 1995. Science in Ancient China. Researches and Reflections. Variorum Collected Studies Series. Aldershot, Hants: Variorum. Eight previously published studies, three revised.

Science and Society

Huang, Ray; Joseph Needham. 1974. The Nature of Chinese Society: A Technical Interpretation. East and West, n.s., 24: 381-401. An attempt to specify material and social factors that impeded the development of capitalism and thus, in the authors’ opinion, modern science in China. Cf. Needham 1969. Emphasizes failure to fully develop a money economy.

Lee, Thomas H. C. 2000. Education in Traditional China, A History. Handbuch der Orientalistik. IV. China. 13. Leiden: Brill.

Nelson, Benjamin. 1974. Sciences and Civilizations, `East’ and `West.’ Joseph Needham and Max Weber. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 11: 445-493. A sociologist’s overview of the Scientific Revolution Problem.

Qian, Wen-yuan. 1985. The Great Inertia. Scientific Stagnation in Traditional China. London: Croom Helm. A shallow answer to the Scientific Revolution Problem uninformed by acquaintance with the primary literature.

Restivo, Sal P. 1979. Joseph Needham and the Comparative Sociology of Chinese and Modern Science. Research in Sociology of Knowledge, Sciences and Art, 2: 25-51. Excellent sociological assessment.

Science and Philosophy

Bodde, Derk. 1991. Chinese Thought, Society, and Science. The Intellectual and Social Background of Science and Technology in Pre-modern China. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. A summing up by a substantial contributor to the history of Chinese philosophy. A major theme is that "written Chinese has . . . hindered more than it has helped the development of scientific ways of thinking in China," but the book does not study the scientific and medical literature, and does not directly link early philosophy and later technical activity or society.

Graham, A. C., translator. 1981. Chuang-tzu. The Seven Inner Chapters and Other Writings. London: George Allen & Unwin. By far the best translation to date of a classic influential upon attitudes toward Nature. For documentation see Graham, Chuang-tzu. Textual Notes to a Partial Translation (London: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1982).

Graham, A. C. 1986. Yin-Yang and the Nature of Correlative Thinking. Occasional Paper and Monograph Series, 6. Singapore: The Institute of East Asian Philosophies. A philosophic analysis, with attention to pre-Han history, of yin-yang and the Five Phases. See also Sivin, Traditional Medicine in Contemporary China (below, p. *), pp. 43-94.

Lamont, H. G. 1973-1974. An Early Ninth Century Debate on Heaven: Liu Tsung-yuan’s T’ien shuo and Liu Yü-hsi’s T’ien lun. Asia Major, 1973, 18: 181-208; 1974, 19: 37-85. Lamont’s interpretation is debatable, but the translated documents are important, and deserve to be studied in context.

Major, John S., Sarah A. Queen, Andrew Seth Meyer, & Harold D. Roth. 2010. The Huainanzi. A Guide to the Theory and Practice of Government in Early Han China. Translations from the Asian Classics. xi + 988 pp. NY: Columbia University Press. Parts of this classic from the 2d century B.C. epitomize astronomical and cosmological knowledge of the time.

Yang Hsiung, ca. 4 B.C./1993. The Canon of Supreme Mystery, trans. with commentary by Michael Nylan. SUNY Series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture. Albany: State University of New York Press. Translation of a fundamental work on Chinese cosmology, based on the Book of Changes, but a systematic exposé in a form close to that of a prose poem.

Yosida Mitukuni [=Yoshida Mitsukuni]. 1979. The Chinese Concept of Technology: A Historical Approach. Acta Asiatica, 36: 49-66. Broad and general reflections on several landmarks of the literature.

Science and Religion

Harper, Donald J. 1997. Warring States, Qin, and Han Manuscripts Related to Natural Philosophy and the Occult. In New Sources of Early Chinese History: An Introduction to the Reading of Inscriptions and Manuscripts, ed. Edward J. Shaughnessy, pp. 223-252. Technical but fascinating account of the relations of popular religion and science in the 4th to 2nd centuries B.C. as based on recently excavated documents.

Ngo Van Xuyet. 1976. Divination magie et politique dans la Chine ancienne. Essai suivi de la traduction des ``Biographies des Magiciens’’ tirées de l’``Histoire des Han postérieurs.’’ (Bibliothèque de l’Ėcole des Hautes Ėtudes. Section des Sciences Religieuses, 78). Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Illuminating on the connections between divination and technology in the Han period.

Robinet, Isabelle. 1984. La Révélation du Shangqing dans l’histoire du Taoisme (Publications de l’Ecole Française d’Extrême-orient, 87). 2 vols. Paris: Ecole francaise d’Extrême-Orient. Important for the pre-Taoist origins of alchemy and other disciplines for self-cultivation.

Schipper, Kristofer M. 1978. The Taoist Body. History of Religions, 17: 355- 386. See also Schipper 1982 (p. * below).

Schipper, Kristofer M. 1982. Le corps taoïste. Corps physique, corps social. (L’espace intérieur, 25). Paris: Fayard. These two items are on interior cosmography in Taoist religious doctrine, but the theme is pertinent to medicine as well.

Schipper, Kristofer M. 1985. Seigneurs royaux, dieux des épidémies. Archives de sciences sociales des religions, 59: 31-40. On ideas of epidemics in Chinese popular religion.

Schipper, Kristofer, Franciscus Verellen, editors. 2004. The Taoist Canon. A Historical Companion to the Daozang. 3 vols. University of Chicago Press. A historical description and abstract of every book in the Taoist canon, with much additional reference material.

Schipper, Kristofer M.; Wang Hsiu-huei. 1986. Progressive and Regressive Time Cycles in Taoist Ritual. In Time, Science and Society in China and the West. The Study of Time, 5, ed. J. T. Fraser et al., 185-205. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press. Brilliant.

Schluchter, Wolfgang, editor. 1983. Max Webers Studie über Konfuzianismus und Taoismus. Intepretation und Kritik. Suhrkamp Taschenbuch, Wissenschaft, 402. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp. Essays by sociologists and Sinologists on Weber’s interpretations of Chinese religion.

Seidel, Anna, 1974. Taoism; Michel Strickmann, Taoism, History of; Strickmann, Taoist Literature. Encyclopedia Britannica (15th ed.), s. v. Long articles by two of the best historians of Taoism in the new Britannica. Concerned as much with religious as with philosophic Taoism, and with their links.

Sivin, Nathan. 1978. On the Word "Taoist" as a Source of Perplexity. With Special Reference to the Relations of Science and Religion in Traditional China. In Medicine, Philosophy, and Religion in Ancient China, chapter 6. Aldershot, Hants: Variorum, 1995. On common confusions due to vagueness in thinking about Taoism and its social contexts.

Sivin, Nathan. 1995. Taoism and Science. In ibid., chapter 7. On the mistaken assumption that Taoism played an important role in the evolution of science.

Skar, Lowell. 2003. Golden Elixir Alchemy: The Formation of the Southern Lineage and the Transformation of Medieval China. xiv + 375 pp. Ph.D. dissertation, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Pennsylvania. See especially chap. 2, "Nourishing the Vitalities and Embodying the Way," for a remarkable history of Chinese self-cultivation.

Strickmann, Michel. 1979. On the Alchemy of T’ao Hung-ching. In Facets of Taoism. Essays in Chinese Religion, ed. Holmes Welch & Anna Seidel, 123-192. New Haven: Yale University Press. On the relations between alchemy, revelation, and eschatology in writings by the founder of a major Taoist movement.

Ware, James R. 1966. Alchemy, Medicine and Religion in the China of A. D. 320. The Nei P’ien of Ko Hung. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Well-indexed but frequently careless translation of the Pao p’u tzu nei p’ien, a book written to prove that the hierarchy of the gods of popular religion really exists. Alchemy is among the techniques of transcendence explored. The translator’s parallels between Taoism and Christian mysticism are best regarded with caution.

Wolf, Arthur P., editor. 1974. Religion and Ritual in Chinese Society. Stanford University Press. Conference papers, mostly excellent, on popular religion in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The next best thing to a book on Chinese popular religion.

The Early Encounter With Europe

Chu, Ping-yi. 1994. Technical Knowledge, Cultural Practices and Social Boundaries. Wan-nan Scholars and Recasting of Jesuit Astronomy, 1600-1800. Ph.D. diss., History, UCLA. On local traditions and their response.

D’Elia, Pasquale M. 1960. Galileo in China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. A partisan account of the introduction of astronomy in the early 1600’s, but provides a good chronological narrative.

Elman, Benjamin A. 1984. From Philosophy to Philology. Intellectual and Social Aspects of Change in Late Imperial China (Harvard East Asian Monographs, 110). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Council on East Asian Studies. A seminal work on a revolution in the content and social context of thought ca. 1600-1750, with a subtle analysis of the limits of European impact.

Engelfriet, Peter M. 1996. "Euclid in China: A Survey of the Historical Background of the First Chinese Translation of Euclid’s Elements (Jihe yuanben: Beijing, 1607), an Analysis of the Translation, and a Study of its Influence up to 1723." 428 pp. Ph.D. dissertation (cum laude), Sinologisch Instituut, Leiden.

Gernet, Jacques. 1985. China and the Christian Impact. A Conflict of Cultures, tr. Janet Lloyd. New York: Cambridge University Press. Translation of Chine et christianisme. Action et réaction (Bibliothèque des histoires; Paris: La Maison des sciences de l’homme, 1982). For a summary see Christian and Chinese Visions of the World in the Seventeenth Century, Chinese Science, 1980, 4: 1-17. Gernet writes with equal authority on science and religion.

Hashimoto, Keizo. 1988. Hsü Kuang-ch’i and Astronomical Reform. The Process of the Chinese Acceptance of Western Astronomy 1629-1635. Osaka: Kansai University Press. A Cambridge dissertation, which among other things documents the European sources of the missionaries’ early astronomical translations.

Henderson, John. 1984. The Development and Decline of Chinese Cosmology. Neo-Confucian Studies, 11. New York: Columbia University Press. An original look at changes in Chinese philosophy in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centures, with much material that suggests Jesuit influence through astronomy.

Martzloff, Jean-Claude. 1980. La compréhension chinoise des méthodes démonstratives euclidiennes au cours du XVIIe siÈcle et au début du XVIIIe. In Actes, IIe Colloque International de Sinologie. Les rapports entre la Chine et l’Europe au temps des lumiÈres. Centre de Recherches Interdisciplinaires de Chantilly (CERIC), 16-18 septembre 1977. La Chine au temps des lumiÈres, 4, pp. 125-143. Paris: Le Centre. On the character of Chinese responses to Euclid.

Spence, Jonathan D. 1969. To Change China. Western Advisors in China, 1620-1960. Boston: Little, Brown. Characteristically reflective, but uncharacteristically based on secondary sources, often unreliable ones.

Spence, Jonathan D. 1983. The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci. New York: Viking Penguin Inc. On the transplantation to China of the classical art of memory. Not important but brilliant and curious. For background see Frances A. Yates’ equally brilliant and curious The Art of Memory (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1969).

Xi Zezong [=Hsi Tse-tsung] et al. 1973. Heliocentric Theory in China. In Commemoration of the Quincentenary of the Birth of Nicolaus Copernicus. Scientia Sinica, 16: 364-376.

Zürcher, Erik; Nicolas Standaert, S. J.; Adrianus Dudink. 1991. Bibliography of the Jesuit Mission in China (ca. 1580-ca. 1680). Leiden: Center of Non-Western Studies, Leiden University.

Mathematics and Divination

Chemla, Karine. 1982. Etude du livre Reflets des mesures du cercle sur la mer de Li Ye. Dissertation for doctorat de 3e cycle, University of Paris. 4 vols. Pathbreaking study of mathematical classic Ts’e yuan hai ching (1248).

Chemla, Karine; Guo Shuchun. 2004. Les neuf chapitres. Le classique mathématique de la Chine ancienne et ses commentaries. Paris: Dunod. Complete scholarly translation of a classic.

Cullen, Christopher. 1982. An Eighth Century Chinese Table of Tangents. Chinese Science, 5: 1-33. On a table of gnomon shadow lengths using third-order finite differences, perhaps the oldest extant tangent table in the world. Pertinent to astronomy as well.

Hoe, John. 1977. Les systèmes d’équations polyn"mes dans le Siyuan yujian (1303) (Mémoires de l’Institut des Hautes Etudes Chinoises, Collège de France, 6). Paris: L’Institut. A dissertation concerned with polynomials in the Ssu yuan yü chien (Jade mirror of the four unknowns) of Chu Shih-chieh. Good introductory orientation.

Jami, Catherine. 1990. Les Méthodes rapides pour la trigonométrie et le rapport précis du cercle (1774). Tradition chinoise et apport occidental en mathématiques (Mémoires de l’Institut des Hautes Etudes Chinoises, Collège de France, 32). Paris: L’Institut. Sophisticated analysis of a trigonometric treatise by the Mongol astronomer Minggantu. Important for its conclusions about how traditional methods and assumptions were imposed on techniques borrowed from Europe.

Jami, Catherine. 2012. The Emperor’s New Mathematics. Western Learning and Imperial Authority during the Kangxi Reign Period (1662-1722). Oxford University Press. Important study of European mathematics in imperial palace.

Lam Lay Yong. 1977. A Critical Study of the Yang hui suan fa. A Thirteenth-Century Chinese Mathematical Treatise. Singapore University Press. Complete translation of an important text of ca. 1270, with explanations.

Lam Lay Yong; Ang Tian Se. 1992. Fleeting Footsteps. Tracing the Conception of Arithmetic and Algebra in Ancient China. Singapore: World Scientific. Introduction to ancient Chinese computational methods and translation of Sun-tzu suan ching, a textbook of ca. A.D. 400.

Li Yan; Du Shiran. 1987. Chinese Mathematics. A Concise History, tr. John N. Crossley & Anthony W.-C. Lun. Oxford Science Publications. Oxford University Press. Uncomprehending translation of Du’s competent but positivistic textbook written for Chinese cadres in 1963.

Libbrecht, Ulrich. 1973. Chinese Mathematics in the Thirteenth Century. The Shu-shu chiu-chang of Ch’in Chiu-shao (MIT East Asian Science Series, 1). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Full of examples and informed discussions of differences in approach between Chinese, Islamic, Indian, and European mathematics. Emphasizes indeterminate equations.

Martzloff, Jean-Claude. 1981. Recherches sur l’oeuvre mathématique de Mei Wending (1633-1721). Mémoires de l’Institut des Hautes Etudes Chinoises, Collège de France, 16. Paris: L’Institut. Dissertation on a great seventeenth-century mathematician’s work on arithmetic and elementary geometry.

Martzloff, Jean-Claude. 1995. A History of Chinese Mathematics, tr. Stephen L. Wilson. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. Translation of Histoire des mathématiques chinoises (Paris: Masson, 1988). Highly competent historical survey, with equal attention to the intellectual and social contexts of mathematics and its technical content.

Mikami, Yoshio. 1913. The Development of Mathematics in China and Japan. Leipzig: B. G. Teubner; reprint, New York: Chelsea Publishing Company, n.d. Still worth consulting, particularly for details of operations.

Needham, Joseph, et al. 1959. Science and Civilisation in China. Vol. III. Mathematics and the Sciences of the Heavens and the Earth, 1-168. Cambridge University Press. A good survey of the literature and classic problems, but in other respects the weakest section of the series, superficial and largely reliant on obsolete Western-language sources.

Smith, Richard J. 1991. Fortune-tellers and Philosophers : Divination in Traditional Chinese Society. Boulder : Westview Press. Good non-technical introduction, with substantial bibliography.

Smith, Richard J. 2008. Divination In Late Imperial China: New Light On Old Problems. In The Imperative of Understanding: Chinese Philosophy, Hermeneutics, Comparative Philosophy and Onto-Hermeneutics, ed. On-cho Ng, pp. 273-315. New York: Global Scholarly Publications.

Vogel, Kurt, translator. 1968. Neun Bücher arithmetischer Technik. Ostwalds Klassiker der exakten Wissenschaften, n. s., 4. Braunschweig: View E G. A complete translation of the oldest text of the classical arithmetical tradition, the Chiu chang suan shu (late first century A.D.?), with scanty introduction and commentary. Largely based on a Russian translation by Elvira Berezkina.

Wagner, Donald Blackmore. 1978. Liu Hui and Tsu Keng-chih on the Volume of a Sphere. Chinese Science, 3: 59-79.

Wagner, Donald Blackmore. 1979. An Early Chinese Derivation of the Volume of a Pyramid: Liu Hui, Third Century A.D. Historia mathematica, 6: 164-188. On geometrical proofs, the use of which in China has often been denied.

Wylie, Alexander. 1897/1966. Chinese Researches. Reprint, Taipei: Ch’eng-wen Publishing Company. Wylie (1815-1887) was a polymathic missionary who wrote on topics in technology, mathematics, and science that have not been freshly studied since.

Yabuuti, Kiyosi. 2000. Une histoire des mathématiques chinoises. Regards sur la science, tr. Catherine Jami & Kaoru Baba. Paris: Belin-Pour la science. Tr. of Yabuuchi 1974, 2d ed.


Clark, D. M.; F. R. Stephenson. 1977. Historical Supernovas. London: Pergamon Press. The best comprehensive attempt to identify supernovas in early astronomical records. Uses Chinese and other materials in a sophisticated way.

Cullen, Christopher. 1996. Astronomy and Mathematics in Ancient China: the Zhou bi suan jing. Needham Research Institute Studies, 1. Cambridge University Press. Full translation and innovative study of one of the most important early books on cosmology (between 50 B.C. and A.D. 100).

Deane, Thatcher E. 1994. Instruments and Observation at the Imperial Astronomical Bureau during the Ming Dynasty. Osiris, 9: 127-140. On practical astronomy in the 14th to 17th centuries.

Eberhard, Wolfram. 1970. Sternkunde und Weltbild im alten China. Gesammelte Aufs„tze. Occasional Series, 5. Taipei: Chinese Materials & Research Aids Service Center. A useful collection, all except one article published 1932-1940. Often unreliable for astronomy and for interpretation, but many are the only secondary sources on interesting topics, e.g., aspects of early cosmology, writings of Buddhists on astronomy.

Ginzel, F. K. 1906-1914. Handbuch der mathematischen und technischen Chronologie. Das Zeitrechnungswesen der V"lker. 3 vols. Leipzig: Hinrichs. An introduction to the basic problems of calendar and ephemerides construction and their solutions in various cultures; none of the literature on Chinese astronomy provides full introductory information of this kind. For summary data, see Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac (Mill Valley, CA: University Science Books, 1992).

Ho Peng Yoke [=Ping-yü]. 1966. The Astronomical Chapters of the Chin shu. With Amendments, Full Translation and Annotations. Paris: Mouton & Co. Definitive translation of the Astrological Treatise (T’ien wen chih ), which provides abundant data on positional astronomy and the astrological interpretation of observational data. Ho supplements this first translation of its kind with notes and introductory remarks on historiography and observatory practice.

Ho Peng Yoke. 2003. Chinese Mathematical Astrology. Reaching Out to the Stars. London: Routledge/Curzon. A deep technical discussion of various forms of divination.

Maeyama, Y[asukatsu]. 1975. On the Astronomical Data of Ancient China (ca. -100 D2D200): A Numerical Analysis. Archives internationales d’histoire des sciences, 25: 247-276; 1976, 26: 27-58. Through a strikingly original error analysis, redates a fundamental source of star data to roughly 70 B.C.

Maeyama, Y. 1977. The Oldest Star Catalogue of China, Shih Shen’s Hsing ching. In Maeyama & W. G. Salzer, editors. Naturwissenschaftgeschichtliche Studien. Festschrift für Willy Hartner, 211-245. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag GmbH. A broader study that confirms Maeyama’s earlier work.

Martzloff, Jean-Claude. 2009. Le calendrier chinois: Structure et calculs (104 av. J.-C.–1644). Indétermination céleste et réforme permanente. La construction chinoise officielle du temps quotidian discret à partir d’un temps mathématique cache, linéaire et continu. (The Chinese calendar: Structure and computation, 104 B.C. – A.D. 1644). Celestial indeterminacy and permanent reform. The official Chinese construction of discrete, quotidian time from a mathematical time that is abstract, linear, and continuous). Sciences, techniques et civilizations du moyen âge à l’aube des lumières, 11. Paris: Honoré Champion. A study of the design of lunisolar calendars in official systems.

Maspero, Henri. 1938-1939. Les instruments astronomiques des Chinois au temps des Han. Mélanges chinois et Bouddhiques, 6: 183-370. Rigorous, accurate, and illuminating. Basic for early astronomy, and among Needham’s main sources.

Müller, Paul M. 1975. An Analysis of the Ancient Astronomical Observations with the Implications for Geophysics and Cosmology. Newcastle upon Tyne: The author. Dissertation. Considerable use of East Asian observations; many pertinent references in bibliography.

Nakayama, Shigeru. 1966. Characteristics of Chinese Astrology. Isis, 57: 442-454. A concise characterization, discussing the late importation of horoscopic astrology of the Hellenistic type.

Nakayama, Shigeru. 1969. A History of Japanese Astronomy. Chinese Background and Western Impact. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Contains one of the best characterizations to date of Chinese approaches to computational astronomy.

Needham, Joseph, et al. 1959. Science and Civilisation in China. Vol. III. Mathematics and the Sciences of the Heavens and the Earth, 169-641. Cambridge University Press. Excellent survey, with much attention to observational astronomy and instruments. Uses little important research by Japanese historians. Chinese astronomy was calendrical, that is, oriented toward the production of a complete ephemeris. Needham misleads the reader when he dismisses the calendrical problem as trivial, and deals with other aspects of astronomy as though they were autonomous. In most other respects accurate; in case of doubt, check sources.

Schafer, Edward H. 1977. Pacing the Void. T’ang Approaches to the Stars. Berkeley: University of California Press. Recreates with brio the sky as seen by medieval poets.

Schlegel, Gustave. 1875. Uranographie chinoise ou preuves directes que l’astronomie primitive est originaire de la Chine, et qu’elle a été empruntée par les anciens peuples occidentaux a la sphère chinoise. 2 vols. with star maps in folder. La Haye: Martinus Nijhoff. Despite Schlegel’s extravagant views on the antiquity of Chinese astronomy, this remains the basic Western-language reference on Chinese constellations and stars.

Sivin, Nathan. 2009. Granting the Seasons: The Chinese Astronomical Reform of 1280, With a Study of its Many Dimensions and a Translation of its Records. Sources and Studies in the History of Mathematics and Physical Sciences. Secaucus, NJ: Springer. A study of the high point of Chinese mathematical astronomy. Chapter 2 is a general briefing on the tradition up to ca. 1280.

Steele, John M. 2000. Observations and Predictions of Eclipse Times by Early Astronomers. Archimedes, 4. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Multi-cultural study of eclipses for which time of day was recorded.

Stephenson, F. Richard. 1978. Applications of Early Astronomical Records. Monographs on Astronomical Subjects, 4. Bristol: Oxford University Press. A technically sophisticated, but not mathematically difficult, introduction to the topic, using many East Asian observational records.

Stephenson, F. Richard; M. A. Houlden. 1986. Atlas of Historical Eclipse Maps. East Asia 1500 BC AD 1900. Cambridge University Press. Useful introduction, and maps and data on solar eclipses only.

Stephenson, F. Richard. 1997. Historical Eclipses and the Earth’s Rotation. University Press. Detailed theoretical and empirical study of historic records. Argues for variable non-tidal changes in day length in opposition to tidal ones.

Stephenson, F. Richard; Nha Il-Seong, editors. 1997. Oriental Astronomy from Guo Shoujing to King Sejong. Proceedings of an International Conference. Seoul, Korea. 6-11 October 1993. Seoul: Yonsei University Press.

Sun Xiaochun; Jacob Kistemaker. 1997. The Chinese Sky during the Han. Constellating Stars & Society. Leiden. E. J. Brill. Primarily a reconstruction, with attention to social imagery in asterisms.

Sun Xiaochun. 2000. Crossing the Boundaries between Heaven and Man: Astronomy in Ancient China. In Astronomy across Cultures. The History of Non-Western Astronomy, ed. Helaine Selin & Sun, pp. 423-454. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Good introductory essay for an encyclopedia.

Sun Xiaochun; Jacob Kistemaker. 1997. The Chinese Sky during the Han. Constellating Stars & Society. Leiden: E. J. Brill. Primarily a reconstruction, with attention to social imagery in asterisms.

Swarup, Govind, et al., editors. 1987. History of Oriental Astronomy. International Astronomical Union, Colloquium 91, New Delhi, India, November 1985. Cambridge University Press. Short papers on most of the Asian traditions, variable in quality.

Teboul, Michel. 1985. Sur quelques particularités de l’uranographie polaire chinoise. T’oung Pao, 71: 1-39. Demonstrates the vagueness of Han nomenclature for stars.

Xu Zhentao. 1989. The Basic Forms of Chinese Sunspot Records. Chinese Science, 9: 19-28.

Yabuuti, Kiyosi. 1979. Researches on the Chiu-chih li. Indian Astronomy under the T’ang Dynasty. Acta Asiatica, 36: 7-48. Revised translation of an important document for the influence of Indian mathematical astronomy and trigonometric functions in eighth-century China.

Alchemy and Chemical Arts (see also "Science and Religion")

Eliade, Mircea. 1962. The Forge and the Crucible. New York: Harper. Original title Forgerons et alchimistes (Paris: Flammarion, 1956). A distinguished general study of the primitive roots of alchemical doctrines. The chapters on Chinese and Indian alchemy are suggestive despite the inadequacy of their secondary sources. For a survey of later developments, see The Forge and the Crucible: A Postscript, History of Religions, 1968, 8: 74-88.

Ho Peng-yoke. 1979. On the Dating of Taoist Alchemical Texts. Griffith Asian Papers. Nathan, Queensland: Griffith University. A methodological introduction, with examples. Ho has made important strides in applying dating techniques.

Kohn, Livia, editor. 2000. Daoism Handbook. Handbuch der Orientalistik. IV. China. 14. Leiden: Brill. Comprehensive, generally authoritative chapters, some topical, some chronological. This and Pregadio 2008 are essential guides.

Needham, Joseph, et al. 1974-1983. Science and Civilisation in China. Vol. 5, parts 2-5. Spagyrical Discovery and Invention. Cambridge University Press. A historical survey of alchemy (including the physiological and spiritual disciplines of internal alchemy ), mainly from the point of view of modern chemistry. This anachronistic bias often distracts from understanding what alchemists were trying to do; in particular, part 5 on “physiological alchemy” as “proto-biochemistry” is badly misleading, as are Needham’s arguments that alchemy is essentially Taoist in some sense. The comparative study of Chinese, Islamic, and Hellenistic alchemy in vol.5, part 4, 323-509, is exceptionally useful if approached critically.

Needham, Joseph. The Epic of Gunpowder and Firearms, Developing from Alchemy. In Needham 1981: 27-56 (see above, p. *).

Pregadio, Fabrizio, editor. 2008. The Encyclopedia Of Taoism. 2 vols. New York: Routledge.

Pregadio, Fabrizio. 2006. Great Clarity. Daoism and Alchemy in Early Medieval China. Asian Religions and Cultures. Stanford University Press. A detailed and learned study of an early Taoist movement that made use of alchemical writings. Readers will want to know something about the history of Taoism and of alchemy before reading it.

Pregadio, Fabrizio. 2011-2012. The Seal of the Unity of the Three. A Study and Translation of the Cantong qi, the Source of the Taoist Way of the Golden Elixir. 2 vols. Mountain View, CA: Golden Elixir Press. Vol. II catalogues and discusses commentaries, etc., and gives Chinese text. Translation of 周易參同契.

Schäfer, Dagmar. 2011. The Crafting of the 10,000 Things. Knowledge and Technology in Seventeenth-Century China. University of Chicago Press. Study of Tiangong kaiwu 天工開物.

Sivin, Nathan. 1968. Chinese Alchemy: Preliminary Studies. Harvard Monographs in the History of Science, 1. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Mostly discussions and heuristic studies aimed at developing a critical and analytical approach to the history of alchemy. Among the appendixes is a list of published translations of alchemical treatises.

Sivin, Nathan. 1976. Chinese Alchemy and the Manipulation of Time. Isis, 67: 513-527. Reprinted in Sivin (ed.), Science & Technology in East Asia (New York: Science History Publications, 1976), 108-122.

Sivin, Nathan. 1980. The Theoretical Background of Elixir Alchemy. In Needham et al. 1974-1983. vol. 5, part 4, pp. 210-297. A general reconstruction of the theories Chinese alchemists created to explain their work. For a concise summary see the preceding item, written later but published earlier.

Sivin, Nathan. 1990. Research on the History of Early Alchemy. In Alchemy Revisited. Proceedings of the International Conference on the History of Alchemy at the University of Groningen. 17-19 April 1989Z. R. W. M. von Martels, pp. 3-20. Leiden: E. J. Brill. Discusses the lack of vitality in research on the history of alchemy in China and worldwide.

Sivin, Nathan. 2005. Alchemy: Chinese Alchemy. In Encyclopedia of Religion, 2d ed., 15 vols., vol. 1, pp. 237-41. New York: Macmillan Reference. Reflects the state of the art.

Skar, Lowell. 1997. Administering Thunder: A Thirteenth-century Memorial Deliberating the Thunder Rites. Cahiers d’Extrême-Asie, 1996-1997, 9: 159-202. NS.

Skar, Lowell. 2003. Golden Elixir Alchemy: The Formation of the Southern Lineage and the Transformation of Medieval China. xiv + 375 pp. Ph.D. dissertation, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Pennsylvania. See especially chap. 2, “Nourishing the Vitalities and Embodying the Way,” for a remarkable history of Chinese self-cultivation.

Sung Ying-hsing. 1637/1966. T’ien-kung k’ai-wu. Chinese Technology in the Seventeenth Century, trans. E-Tu Zen Sun & Shiou-chuan Sun. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press. Translation of a 17th-century technological encyclopedia containing much information about chemical processes.

Wagner, Donald B. 2008. Science and Civilisation in China. Volume 5. Chemistry and Chemical Technology. Part 11. Ferrous Metallurgy. Cambridge University Press. Fresh and illuminating study of iron and steel technology.

Siting (geomancy), Cartography, and Earth Sciences

Bennett, Steven J. 1978. Patterns of the Sky and Earth: A Chinese Science of Applied Cosmology. Chinese Science, 3: 1-26. The best available introduction to geomancy, a misnomer; Bennett proposes "siting" instead.

Feuchtwang, Stephan D. R. 1974. An Anthropological Analysis of Chinese Geomancy. Vientiane, Laos: Vithagna. Concerned with both the ideas and the social functions of geomancy. Not a tightly integrated study, nor based on extensive research, but contains useful materials on the siting compass.

Harley, J. Brian; David Woodward. 1994. The History of Cartography. Vol. II, Book 2. Cartography in the Traditional East and Southeast Asian Societies. University of Chicago Press. Innovative and richly illustrated chapters on China, including celestial mapping and cosmological diagrams.

Smith, Richard J. Chinese Maps: Images of "All Under Heaven." 1996.New York: Oxford University Press. Good non-technical introduction.

Smith, Richard J. 1998. Mapping China’s World: Cultural Cartography in Late Imperial Times. In Landscape, Culture and Power in Chinese Society, ed. Yeh Wen-hsin, pp. 52-109. Berkeley: Center for East Asian Studies, University of California.Good non-technical introductions.


Buck, Peter. 1980. American Science and Modern China 1876-1936. Cambridge University Press. Based on superficial research on China, and concerned mainly with the social sources and social consequences of scientific development in the United States. Contains a couple of interesting interpretations, e.g., of the role of Progressivism in forming ideas of Chinese reformers.

Cao, Cong; R. P. Suttmeier. 2001. China’s New Scientific Elite: Distinguished Young Scientists, the Research Environment, and Hopes for Chinese Science. China Quarterly, 168: 960-984.

Conroy, Richard. 1987. The Disintegration and Reconstruction of the Rural Science and Technology System: Evaluation and Implications. In Ashwani Saith (ed.), The Reemergence of the Chinese Peasantry. Aspects of Rural Decollectivization (London: Croom Helm), 137-172. On science policy since the Cultural Revolution.

Elman, Benjamin, et al. 2007. Focus: Science in Modern China. Isis, 98. 3: 517-596. A collection of six articles that cast light on a wide range of topics. See especially Elman, New Directions in the History of Modern Science in China: Global Science and Comparative History, pp. 517-523.

Gould, Sidney H., editor. 1961. Sciences in Communist China. Washington: American Association for the Advancement of Science. Articles by experts; useful, among other things, to document U.S. ignorance of China during the period.

Orleans, Leo A., editor. 1980. Science in Contemporary China. Stanford University Press. Essays on science, engineering, and medicine by prominent U.S. scientists who have taken part in exchange delegations to China since the mid-1970’s.

Reardon-Anderson, James. 1991. The Study of Change. Chemistry in China, 1840-1949. Studies of the East Asian Institute, Columbia University. New York: Cambridge University Press. An excellent first attempt in a Western language to sum up its topic. Not generally technical; emphasizes institutions, with attention to ideas and language.

Schneider, Laurence A. 1982. The Rockefeller Foundation, the China Foundation, and the Development of Modern Science in China. Social Science and Medicine, 16: 1217-1221.

Schneider, Laurence A. 1986. Lysenkoism in China. Proceedings of the 1956 Qingdao Genetics Symposium. Special issue of Chinese Law and Government, 19. 2. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe. Valuable introduction and summaries of the papers that stopped the persecution of genetics under Soviet Lysenkoist influence.

Simon, Denis Fred; Merle Goldman, editors. 1989. Science and Technology in Post-Mao China. Harvard Contemporary China Series, 5. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Council on East Asian Studies. Wide selection of up-to-date essays by political scientists, historians, and scientists. The best introduction to the topic, but see review in Minerva, 1992, 30. 3: 432-439.

Volti, Rudi. 1982. Technology, Politics, and Society in China. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Mainly on agriculture, energy, ground transport, and medicine.

Yamada Keiji. 1971. The Development of Science and Technology in China: 1949-1965. The Developing Economies, 9: 502-537. Useful Japanese view.


Reference Works

Bensky, Dan, et al. 1986. Chinese Herbal Medicine. Materia Medica. Seattle: Eastland Press. Discusses and illustrates over 400 plants, with data from Chinese textbooks. Not scholarly, but relatively full and clear, with useful appendices.

Bynum, W. F.; Helen Bynum. 2007. Dictionary of Medical Biography. 5 vols. Tunbridge Wells: Greenwood. Includes 33 notices of Chinese physicians and physicians in China.

Chen Chan-yuen (Ch’en Ts’un-jen). 1968. Chung-kuo i-hsueh-shih t’u chien (‘History of Chinese Medical Science Illustrated with Pictures’). Hong Kong: Shang-hai Yin-shu-kuan. Pictorial archive with condensed English versions of the captions. Nothing in the sloppy text should be used without checking; the author has missed no opportunity to represent legends as historical facts and late imaginative depictions as portraits.

Cullen, Christopher. 1993. Patients and Healers in Late Imperial China: Evidence from the Jinpingmei. History of Science, 31. 2: 99-150. Enlightening on the social relations of medicine as reflected in a great novel.

Ferreyrolles, Paul. 1953. L’acupuncture chinoise. Lille: Editions S.L.E.L. Recommended solely for the bibliography of European writing on Chinese medicine from 1671 to 1950 (pp. 177-191).

Fèvre, Francine; Georges Métailié. 2005. Dictionnaire Ricci des plantes de Chine. 902 pp. Paris: Éditions du Cerf. Lists 16,500 plants and 3500 medical plants, with definitions in French, Latin, and English.

Hu, Shiu-ying. 1999. An Enumeration of Chinese Materia Medica. 2d edition. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press. A concise, authoritative reference list by Chinese names; provides pharmaceutical and botanical identifications. The most up-to-date handbook on botanical and pharmaceutic nomenclature in English; Read, Stuart, etc., are largely obsolete for Latin names of plants.

Huard, Pierre. 1968. Chinese Medicine, trans. Bernard Fielding. World University Library. New York: McGraw-Hill. This well-illustrated paperback deserves praise for its concern with the connections of other Asiatic traditions to that of China, and European knowledge of Chinese medicine and vice versa in the last three centuries. At the same time, it is perfunctory, carelessly thought through, and full of elementary errors of fact, interpretation, translation, and transliteration.

Keys, John D. 1976. Chinese Herbs. Their Botany, Chemistry, and Pharmacodynamics. Rutland, VT: C. E. Tuttle Company. Uninformative despite the rich sources that the author claims to have drawn on.

Read, Bernard E. 1931-1941. Chinese Materia Medica. Peking Natural History Bulletin. Standard references for animal drugs. For detailed list of fascicules, see Needham, Science and Civilisation in China, III, 784-785. Although Read’s publications are the best of their sort in English, recent publications in Chinese have rendered them obsolete.

Read, Bernard E.; C. Pak. 1936. A Compendium of Minerals and Stones Used in Chinese Medicine From the Pen Ts’ao Kang Mu. . . [of] Li Shih Chen . . . 1597 A.D. 2d ed., Peking Natural History Bulletin. Unlike Chinese Materia Medica, this is not a translation but an ill-digested mass of information from hither and yon. The order of accuracy is nevertheless high.

Sivin, Nathan. 1989. A Cornucopia of Reference Works for the History of Chinese Medicine. Chinese Science, 9: 29-52. Reports on a large number of reference sources published in China and Japan since ca. 1985.

Smith, F. Porter. 1911. Chinese Materia Medica. Vegetable Kingdom. Revised edition, ed. G. A. Stuart. Shanghai: American Presbyterian Mission Press. Reprint (ed. Ph. Daven Wei), 1969, Taipei: Ku T’ing Book House. The fullest of the older monographs on Chinese materia medica. Still worth consulting, particularly in view of its indexes to Chinese names of herbs. There is also valuable translated material on identities and characteristics of medicinal plants in Bretschneider 1881-1895: Part III.

See also Sivin 2000 (p. * above).

Studies Useful for Orientation

Brieger, Gert. 1980. History of Medicine. In A Guide to the Culture of Science, Technology, and Medicine, ed. Paul T. Durbin, pp. 121-194. New York: Free Press. A discussion of issues and trends in the study of European medicine.

Chang, Kwang Chih, editor. 1977. Food in Chinese Culture. Anthropological and Historical Perspectives. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Essays on the culinary arts, dynasty by dynasty, mostly by leading historians. Little on nutrition, but the book is the best of its kind.

Kuriyama, Shigehisa. 1992. Between Mind and Eye: Japanese Anatomy in the Eighteenth Century. In Leslie & Young 1992: 21-43. A sophisticated study of the interaction between Western representations of anatomy and traditional ideas of spirituality.

Lock, Margaret. 1980. East Asian Medicine in Urban Japan. Varieties of Medical Experience. Comparative Studies of Health Systems and Medical Care, 4. Berkeley: University of California Press. Excellent field study of Chinese-style medicine and its social matrix.

Lock, Margaret. 1993. Encounters with Aging: Mythologies of Menopause in Japan and North America. Berkeley: University of California Press.

McNeill, William H. 1977. Plagues and Peoples. Garden City: Anchor Press. On the role of micro-organisms and infectious disease in world history. Weak on China but important for epidemiology applied to history.

Ohnuki-Tierney, Emiko. 1984. Illness and Culture in Contemporary Japan. An Anthropological View. Cambridge University Press. A penetrating analysis of lay conceptions of body, illness and health care. Like Lock, a model for studies of China.

Medicine and Related Topics

Ågren, Hans. 1982. The Conceptual History of Psychiatric Terms in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In Li Guohao 1982: 573-581.

Anonymous. 1975. Herbal Pharmacology in the People’s Republic of China. A Trip Report of the American Herbal Pharmacology Delegation. Washington: National Academy of Sciences. In addition to first-hand reports on clinical use of herbal drugs and on the cultivation of herbs, includes overly brief but informative notes on 248 drug substances.

Benedict, Carol. 1996. Bubonic Plague in Nineteenth-Century China. Stanford University Press. Interesting study of epidemiology, tracing the advance of the plague from one locality to another.

Brownell, Susan. 1995. Training the Body for China. Sports in the Moral Order of the People’s Republic. University of Chicago Press. Excellent analytic study based on the author’s experience as an athlete on a Chinese national team, a Sinologist, and an anthropologist.

Chang, Che-chia. 1998. The Therapeutic Tug of War. The Imperial Physician-Patient Relationship in the Era of Empress Dowager Cixi (1874-1908). Ph.D. diss., Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Pennsylvania. Uses the enormous Qing palace medical archives and other neglected sources in the first substantial study of doctor-patient relations in imperial China. An excellent study of the encounter of official and private medical subcultures. Offers the first solid solutions to enigmas in the medical histories and deaths of the Tongzhi and Guangxu emperors and the empress dowager Cixi.

Chang, Chia-feng. 1996. Aspects of Smallpox and its Significance in Chinese History. Ph.D. diss., School of Oriental and African Studies. Very general study of smallpox and its many historical dimensions.

Chao, Yuan-ling. 2009. Medicine and Society in Late Imperial China. A Study of Physicians in Suzhou, 1600-1850. Asian Thought and Culture, 61. New York: Peter Lang. Chapters on the social history of medicine in the lower Yangzi River region and in Suzhou.

Chiu, Martha Li. 1981. Insanity in Imperial China. A Legal Case Study. In Kleinman & Lin 1981: 75-94. On k’uang, a technical term for manic behavior or mania as a syndrome.

Chiu, Martha Li. 1986. Mind, Body, and Illness in a Chinese Medical Tradition. Ph.D. diss., History and East Asian Languages, Harvard University. Excellent critical study of the Inner Canon of the Yellow Lord (Huang ti nei ching t’ai su that finds exceptions to the predominant holistic viewpoint.

Demiéville, Paul. 1937. Byō. In Hōbōgirin. Dictionnaire encyclopédique du Bouddhisme d’aprés les sources chinoises et japonaises, ed. Demiéville, III, 224-265. Paris: Adrien Maisonneuve. Magisterial survey of the connections between Buddhism, sickness, and medicine. Trans. Mark Tatz, Buddhism and Healing: Demiéville’s Article ‘Byō ‘ from Hōbōgirin (Lanham, MI: University Press of America, 1985).

Despeux, Catherine. 1985. Shanghan lun. Traité des coups de froid. Paris: de la Tisserande. Translation of the Treatise on Cold Damage Disorders (Shang han lun, between A.D. 196 and 220).

Despeux, Catherine. 1987. Prescriptions d’acuponcture valant mille onces d’or. Traité d’acuponcture de Sun Simiao du VIIe siÈcle. Paris: Guy Trédaniel. Translation of part of Prescriptions Worth a Thousand (Ch’ien chin fang, with an introduction and scholarly notes.

Epler, Dean C. 1980. Blood-letting in Early Chinese Medicine and its Relation to the Origin of Acupuncture. Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 54: 337-367.

Furth, Charlotte. 1995. From Birth to Birth. The Growing Body in Chinese Medicine. In Chinese Views of Childhood, ed. Anne Behnke Kinney, pp. 157-191. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. On schemata of conception, growth, stages of sexual activity, etc. Offprint in file.

Furth, Charlotte. 1999. A Flourishing Yin: Gender in China’s Medical History, 960-1665. Berkeley: University of California Press. On medical care for women and childbirth, with a chapter on women as healers. NS

Goldschmidt, Asaf. 2009. The Evolution of Chinese Medicine. Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). Needham Research Institute Series, 8. London: Routledge. Original study of the great changes in every aspect of medical thought and practice in a time of government involvement in health care.

Grant, Joanna. 2003. A Chinese Physician. Wang Ji and the ‘Stone Mountain Medical Case Histories.’ Needham Research Institute Series, 2. London: RoutledgeCurzon. Looks at gender issues, not narrowly in connection with gynecology and obstetrics (cf. Y. L. Wu 1998), but through the full range of disorders in men and women in Wang Chi’s Shih shan i an, a 16C collection of medical case records.

Hanson, Marta. Hanson, Marta. 2011. Speaking of Epidemics in Chinese Medicine. Disease and the Geographic Imagination in Late Imperial China. Needham Research Institute Series, 9. London: Routledge. Important on the nexus of medicine and politics.

Harper, Donald J. 1998. Early Chinese Medical Literature: The Mawangdui Medical Manuscripts. Sir Henry Wellcome Asian Series. London: Royal Asiatic Society. Meticulous translations of and excellent commentaries on important medical manuscripts excavated in 1973 at Mawangdui, Hunan. With long prolegomena and material from other archeological discoveries; indexes of materia medica, physiological terms, ailments.

Hillier, Sheila M.; John A. Jewell. 1983. Health Care and Traditional Medicine in China, 1800-1982. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Compiled from secondary sources of greatly varying quality.

Ho, Peng Yoke; F. P. Lisowski. 1998 (publ. 1999). A Brief History of Chinese Medicine and its Influence. 2d ed. Singapore: World Scientific. Frequently unreliable, partly obsolete sketch (China, 47 pp.; 11 pp; Japan, 10 pp.; Islam, 3 pp.). Ignores most important recent work.

Hoeppli, R. 1959. Parasites and Parasitic Infections in Early Medicine and Science. Singapore: University of Malaya Press. A large part of this collection of previously published essays is devoted to China and Southeast Asia.

Hoizey, Dominique. 1988. Histoire de la médecine chinoise. Des origines … nos jours. Médecine et sociétés, 12. Paris: Editions Payot. Based not on research but on recent Chinese textbooks. Primarily bibliographical, unreliable on such matters as translation of technical terms.

Hsiung Ping-Chen. 2005. A Tender Voyage. Children and Childhood in Late Imperial China. Stanford University Press. A fine history of child care and pediatrics.

Hsu, Elisabeth, editor. 2001. Innovation in Chinese Medicine. Needham Research Institute Studies, 3. Cambridge University Press. Papers, varying greatly in quality, illuminate many aspects of innovation.

Huard, Pierre; Ming Wong. 1971. Oriental Methods of Mental and Physical Fitness: The Complete Book of Meditation, Kinesiotherapy & Martial Arts in China, India & Japan. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. The authors’ usual chaotic more-or-less-historical once-over-lightly. Some of the material on calisthentics is novel, but only the illustrations (many of them excellent) can be trusted.

Hymes, Robert P. 1987. ‘Not Quite Gentlemen.’ Physicians in the Sung and Yuan. Chinese Science, 8: 9-76. Meticulous, important study of changing patterns of recruitment to medical careers.

Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Chinese Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1990. State Standard of the People’s Republic of China. The Location of Acupoints. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press. Profusely illustrated. Includes substantial material from early sources with discussions to resolve contradictions, and data on related anatomical, incl. nerve, structures. Does not discuss therapy. Makes previous publications on loci obsolete.

Kaptchuk, Ted J. 1983. The Web That Has No Weaver. Understanding Chinese Medicine. New York: Congdon & Weed. An insightful introduction for laymen. The author has had some training in a school of traditional medicine.

Katz, Paul R. 1995. Demon Hordes and Burning Boats. The Cult of Marshal Wen in Late Imperial Chekiang. Albany: State University of New York Press. On a popular religious cult concerned with epidemics.

Keegan, David. 1988. Huang-ti nei-ching. The Structure of the Compilation, the Significance of the Structure. Ph.D. diss., History, University of California, Berkeley. A pathbreaking technical study of how the Inner Canon (and by implication other Han classics) came together.

Kleinman, Arthur M., et al., editors. 1975. Medicine in Chinese Cultures: Comparative Studies of Health Care in Chinese and other Societies. Bethesda; Washington, DC: National Institutes of Health. This conference volume includes a couple of good historical papers. A number of the anthropological contributions are useful, but no one tests the applicability of field work in today’s Taiwan and Hong Kong to questions about traditional China.

Kleinman, Arthur M.; Tsung-yi Lin, editors. 1981. Normal and Abnormal Behavior in Chinese Culture. Culture, Illness, and Healing. Studies in Comparative Cross-Cultural Research, 2. Dordrecht: D. Reidel.

Kuriyama, Shigehisa, editor. 2001. The Imagination of the Body and the History of Bodily Experience. International symposium, 15. Kyoto: International Research Center for Japanese Studies.

Kuriyama, Shigehisa. 1999. The Expressiveness of the body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine. New York: Zone Books. Sensitive comparison of experience of body in two cultures. Does not attempt to explain reasons for change.

Kuriyama, Shigehisa. 2001. The Imagination of the Body and the History of Embodied Experience: The Case of Chinese Views of the Viscera. In Kuriyama (ed.) 2001: 17-29. An important essay on how to look at old medical diagrams.

Leslie, Charles, and Allan Young, editors. 1992. Paths to Asian Medical Knowledge. Comparative Studies of Health Systems and Medical Care. Berkeley: University of California Press. One paper on Japan and four on China.

Leung, Angela Ki Che. 2009. Leprosy in China: A History. Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute. New York: Columbia University Press. On li 癘, lai 癩, ta feng 大風, later mafeng 麻風, mostly from Ming through PRC.

Leung, Angela. 2011. “Evolution of the Idea of chuanran. Contagion in Imperial China.” In Leung and Furth, eds. 2011.

Li Guohao et al., editors. 1982. Explorations in the History of Science and Technology in China. Shanghai Chinese Classics Publishing House. Festschrift for Needham. See Ågren 1982 and Porkert 1982.

Lo, Vivienne; Christopher Cullen, editors. 2005. Medieval Chinese Medicine. The Dunhuang Medicine Manuscripts. Needham Research Institute Series, 4. London: Routledge Curzon. Sixteen papers on the trove of manuscripts, list of material medica mentioned in them, abstracts of medical manuscripts.

Lu Gwei-Djen; Joseph Needham. 1980. Celestial Lancets. A History and Rationale of Acupuncture and Moxa. Cambridge University Press. The first scholarly history of acupuncture. Esp. valuable material on its transmission outside China and its influence in Europe from the sixteenth century on.

Miyasita Saburo [Miyashita Saburō]. 1976. A Historical Study of Chinese Drugs for the Treatment of Jaundice. American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 4. 3: 239-243. This and the next three essays are concerned with historical changes in drugs of choice for various remedies. This and Miyasita 1980 are confusing because of careless editing.

Miyasita Saburo. 1977. A Historical Analysis of Chinese Formularies and Prescriptions: Three Examples. Nihon ishigaku zasshi, 23. 2: 283-300.

Miyasita Saburo. 1979. Malaria (yao) in Chinese Medicine during the Chin and Yuan Periods. Acta Asiatica, 36: 90-112.

Miyasita Saburo. 1980. An Historical Analysis of Chinese Drugs in the Treatment of Hormonal Diseases, Goitre and Diabetes Mellitus. American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 8. 1: 17-25.

Needham, Joseph; Lu Gwei-djen. 1970. Clerks and Craftsmen in China and the West. Cambridge University Press. ‘Proto-endocrinology in Medieval China’ (pp. 294-315) has not been incorporated in Science and Civilisation in China, vol. 6, part 6.

Ng, Vivien. 1990. Madness in Late Imperial China. From Illness to Deviance. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. The main emphasis of the book is on law. A chapter on medicine contains interesting material, but suffers from failure to consult original sources. Cf. the more acute Chiu 1981.

Obringer, Frédéric. 1997. L’aconit et l’orpiment. Drogues et poisons in Chine ancienne et médiévale. Penser la médecine, 4. Paris: Fayard. On medicine as poison and as cure, an important theme in Chinese medicine.

Otsuka, Keisetsu. 1976. Kanpo. Geschichte, Theorie und Praxis der Chinesisch-Japanischen traditionellen Medizin. Tokyo: Tsumura Juntendo. Translation of the standard introduction to Chinese-style medicine as practiced in Japan, by its leading practitioner. Different in many fundamental ways from Chinese practice.

Porkert, Manfred. 1974. The Theoretical Foundations of Chinese Medicine. Systems of Correspondence. MIT East Asian Science Series, 3. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. The deepest available analysis of the basic concepts of medicine; restricted to those concerning the body and its functions. For a heated comparison of Porkert’s and Needham’s approaches to translating technical terms, see Needham’s review of this book in Annals of Science, 1975, 32: 491-502.

Porkert, Manfred. 1988. Chinese Medicine. Its History, Philosophy and Practice, and Why it May One Day Dominate the Medicine of the West. New York: William Morrow. A general textbook and synthesis of Porkert’s previous writings. Somewhat more simply argued than 1974.

Sivin, Nathan. 1986. Traditional Chinese Medicine and the United States: Past, Present, and Future. Bulletin, The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, May, 39. 8: 15-26. Informal survey of Western knowledge of Chinese medicine since the seventeenth century.

Sivin, Nathan. 1987. See below, p. *. Contains a long introduction on classical medicine.

Sivin, Nathan. 1995. Medicine, Philosophy and Religion in Ancient China. Researches and Reflections. Variorum Collected Studies Series. Variorum Collected Studies Series. Aldershot, Hants: Variorum. Eight essays, four new, one revised.

Sivin, Nathan. 1995. Text and Experience in Classical Chinese Medicine. In Knowledge and the Scholarly Medical Traditions, ed. Don G. Bates, pp. 177-204. Cambridge University Press. A study of the role that transmission of written texts played in Han-dynasty medicine.

Sung Tz’u. 1981. The Washing Away of Wrongs (Hsi yuan chi lu): Forensic Medicine in Thirteenth-Century China, trans. Brian E. McKnight. Science, Medicine, and Technology in East Asia, 1. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, Center for Chinese Studies. Translation of the oldest extant book on forensic medicine (ca. 1247), which discusses how to determine whether a death is an accident, suicide, or homicide, and who was responsible. Detailed, comparative introduction. Contains much of medical interest.

Unschuld, Paul U. 2003. Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen. Nature, Knowledge, Imagery in an Ancient Chinese Medical Text. 525 pp. Berkeley: University of California Press. Extremely detailed study of the classic, particularly textual aspects.

Unschuld, Paul Ulrich, editor. 1988. Approaches to Traditional Chinese Medical Literature. Proceedings of an International Symposium on Translation Methodologies and Terminologies. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Essays on problems of translation vary greatly in competence.

Unschuld, Paul Ulrich. 1979. Medical Ethics in Imperial China. A Study in Historical Anthropology, trans. M. Sullivan. Berkeley: University of California Press. English version of Medizin und Ethik. Sozialkonflikte im China der Kaiserzeit (Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1975). Contains much material previously unavailable in Western languages, but analytically uncritical and sinologically unreliable.

Unschuld, Paul Ulrich. 1985. Medicine in China. A History of Ideas. Comparative Studies of Health Systems and Medical Care, 13. Berkeley: University of California Press. Innovative in its attention to medical pluralism and in the range of issues discussed, but use with caution. For this and the next two titles see the essay review in Isis, 1990, 81: 722-731.

Unschuld, Paul Ulrich. 1986. Medicine in China. A History of Pharmaceutics. Idem, 14. Idem. Extremely detailed descriptive bibliography of the main books in the pen-ts’ao tradition. Ignores pharmaceutics as reflected in other genres.

Unschuld, Paul Ulrich. 1987. Medicine in China. Nan-ching. The Classic of Difficult Issues. Idem, 18. Idem. First integral translation of a medical classic. Also translates a number of its commentaries. Perceptive introduction, innovative interpretation, but the Chinese edition is sloppy and the translation unreliable.

Unschuld, Paul Ulrich. 1989. Forgotten Traditions in Ancient Chinese Medicine. The I-hsueh Yüan Liu Lun of 1757 by Hsü Ta-Ch’un. Brookline, MA: Paradigm Publications. The only translation of an entertaining collection of essays. Use with caution.

Unschuld, Paul Ulrich. 1989. Forgotten Traditions in Ancient Chinese Medicine. The I-hsueh Yüan Liu Lun of 1757 by Hsü Ta-Ch’un. Brookline, MA: Paradigm Publications. The only translation of an entertaining collection of essays. Use with caution.

Unschuld, Paul U., & Zheng Jinsheng. 2012. Chinese Traditional Healing. The Berlin Collections of Manuscript Volumes from the Sixteenth through the Early Twentieth Century. Sir Henry Wellcome Asian Series, 10. 3 vols. Leiden, Brill. Descriptive catalogue of the world’s largest collection of MSS, in two libraries.

Unschuld, Ulrike. 1972. Das T’ang-yeh pen-ts’ao und die Übertragung der klassischen chinesischen Medizintheorie auf die Praxis der Drogenanwendung. München: Privately published. Provides an overview of a therapeutic treatise by a leading doctor of the mid 13th century. The argument that the T’ang-yeh pen-ts’ao marks the first integration of medical theory and pharmaceutical practice should be approached critically. For a summary see the next item.

Unschuld, Ulrike. 1977. Traditional Chinese Pharmacology: An Analysis of its Development in the Thirteenth Century. Isis, 68: 224-248.

Veith, Ilza, trans. 1949. Huang Ti Nei Ching Su Wen, The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins. Incompetent partial translation. The University of California Press 1966 ‘revised edition’ revises only a few sentences.

Wu, Yi-li. 1998. Transmitted Secrets: The Doctors of the Lower Yangzi Region and Popular Gynecology in Late Imperial China. Ph.D. diss., History, Yale University. An ingenious study of the interpenetration of elite and popular writing on women’s disorders the Qing dynasty, with attention to survivals up to the present day. A chapter closely and fruitfully analyzes the notion of specialization in late classical medicine. Also concerned with the role of hereditary practitioners.

Yamada Keiji. 1979. The Formation of the Huang-ti Nei-ching. Acta Asiatica, 36: 67-89. Brilliant reconstruction of the theoretical classic by Yamada and Akahori Akira. Yamada’s identification of different interlocutors in Huang ti nei ching with different schools is an assumption, not a conclusion.

Yamada Keiji. 1991. Anatometrics in Ancient China. Chinese Science, 10: 39-52. A study of ideas in early medicine about dimensions and proportions of the human body.

Zhang Zhongjing. 1986. Treatise on Febrile Diseases Caused by Cold (Shanghan lun), trans. Luo Xiwen. Beijing: New World Press. This and the next item are loose translations, based on superficial understanding, of early therapeutic classics.

Zhang Zhongjing. 1987. Synopsis of Prescriptions of the Golden Chamber (Jinkui yaolue fanglun), trans. Luo Xiwen. Idem.

Zhu Ming. 2001. The Medical Classic of the Yellow Emperor. B: Foreign Languages Press.
Based on a textbook version of the Inner Canon by Ch’eng Shih-te. Author’s English is not adequate, and he uses obsolete translations of technical terms without looking at them critically. Generally unreliable.

Materia Medica

Bray, Francesca. 1989. Essence and Utility. The Classification of Crop Plants in China. Chinese Science, 9: 1-13. Although studies of Chinese taxonomy are generally based exclusively on materia medica, Bray shows this is insufficient.

Bretschneider, E. 1870. The Study and Value of Chinese Botanical Works. Chinese Recorder, 3: 157-163, and in following issues. The author, a famous physician and botanist, studied most of the Chinese writings specifically devoted to botany. An introductory essay, better informed than most writings on the subject a century later.

Li Hui-lin, translator. 1979. Nan-fang ts’ao-mu chuang. A Fourth Century Flora of Southeast Asia. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press. Translation of the classic on southern plants of A.D. 304, with copious notes and good introduction by a highly competent botanist. The authenticity of the book translated is a matter of debate; see Ma Tai-loi 1978.

Ma Tai-loi. 1978. The Authenticity of the Nan-fang ts’ao-mu chuang. T’oung Pao (Leiden), 64: 218-252. Cf. Li Hui-lin 1979.

Nappi, Carla. 2009. The Monkey and the Inkpot: Natural History and its Transformation in Early Modern China. Harvard University Press. Based on Princeton dissertation, advisor Naquin. Brilliant, readable study of Pen-ts’ao kang-mu and its epistemology.

Needham, Joseph. 1968. The Development of Botanical Taxonomy in Chinese Culture. In Actes du douzieme congrés international d’histoire des sciences. Paris, pp. 127-133. Tentative, positivistic, but suggestive.


Reference Works

Akhtar, Shahid. 1975. Health Care in the People’s Republic of China. A Bibliography with Abstracts. IDRC-038e. Ottawa: International Development Research Center. Summaries of ca. 600 articles and books, mostly in English, ranging in quality from excellent to useless. The compiler provides no help in determining which is which.

Anonymous. 1973. A Bibliography of Chinese Sources on Medicine and Public Health in the People’s Republic of China: 1960-1970. Bethesda: National Institutes of Health. A massive compilation; most of the articles and books have been abstracted and translated into English through Joint Publications Research Service.

Medicine and Related Topics

Andrews, Bridie J. 1996. The Making of Modern Chinese Medicine. Ph.D. diss., History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge. Survey history, mainly mid 19C to 1930, largely concerned with Western influence.

Anonymous. 1974. A Barefoot Doctor’s Manual. Bethesda: National Institutes of Health. Reprint, Philadelphia: Running Press, 1977. Translates a compilation by the Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Hunan Province, 1970. Invaluable guide to the integrated Western-Chinese primary therapy of the Cultural Revolution period, with information on plant drugs in wide use. Detailed and practically oriented.

Barnes, Linda L. 2007. Needles, Herbs, Gods and Ghosts. China, Healing and the West to 1848. Harvard University Press. Important for the influence of Chinese medicine in the Occident.

Bowers, John Z.; Elizabeth F. Purcell, editors. 1974. Medicine and Society in China. New York: Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation. Conference papers on scattered subjects; those on current medicine are useful.

Chen, C. C.; Frederica M. Bunge. 1989. Medicine in Rural China: A Personal Account. Berkeley: University of California Press. Chen was the most eminent public-health reformer of the Republican period. His work continued until he was purged in 1957. Valuable for his experiences and for his critique of public health policy and education since 1949.

Croizier, Ralph. 1968. Traditional Medicine in Modern China. Science, Nationalism, and the Tensions of Cultural Change. Harvard East Asian Series, 34. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. On the struggle of traditional medicine to survive before 1949. Cf. Zhao 1991, which uses a wider range of sources but is not as well informed about certain aspects of Republican politics.

Farquhar, Judith Brooke. 1987. Problems of Knowledge in Contemporary Chinese Medical Discourse. Social Science and Medicine, 24. 12: 1013-1021. Argues against imposing theory/practice, reality/symbol dichotomies on contemporary Chinese medicine.

Farquhar, Judith Brooke. 1994. Knowing Practice. The Clinical Encounter of Chinese Medicine. Boulder: Westview Press. Original, extremely perceptive analytic study based on field work in a traditional medical school. Important for understanding classical medicine as well.

Farquhar, Judith. 2002. Appetites. Food and Sex in Post-socialist China. Durham: Duke University Press. Philosophically substantial and personally informed account of recent social change.

Furth, Charlotte; Ch’en Shu-yueh. 1992. Chinese Medicine and the Anthropology of Menstruation in Contemporary Taiwan. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 6. 1: 27-48.

Henderson, Gail E. 1989. Issues in the Modernization of Medicine in China. In Science and Technology in Post-Mao China, ed. Denis Fred Simon & Merle Goldman, pp. 199-221. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Council on East Asian Studies.

Henderson, Gail E.; Myron S. Cohen. 1984. The Chinese Hospital. A Socialist Work Unit. New Haven: Yale University Press. A sociological field study of the effects of the work organization on the individual, with valuable observations on recent health care.

Henderson, Gail E., et al. 1988. High-technology Medicine in China. The Case of Chronic Renal Failure and Hemodialysis. New England Journal of Medicine, 14 April, 318: 1000-1004. Discusses the effects of economic reforms on health care, and the role of occupation and insurance in access to expensive therapy.

Hsu, Elisabeth. 1999. The Transmission of Chinese Medicine. Cambridge Studies in Medical Anthropology, 7. Cambridge University Press. Field study of how knowledge is transmitted in the seminar of a TCM school, in a TCM practice, and in a qigong practice. Revision of 1992 diss.

Jamison, Dean T., et al. 1984. The Health Sector in China. Population, Health and Nutrition Department, Reports, 4664-CHA. Washington: World Bank. An exceptionally well-informed, systematic digest of information.

Jennerick, Howard P. 1973. Proceedings. NIH Acupuncture Research Conference. February 28 and March 1, 1973. Bethesda: National Institutes of Health. Short reports on a cross-section of acupuncture research in the U. S. show contradictory results due to lack attention to standards for professional competence.

Kleinman, Arthur M. 1980. Patients and Healers in the Context of Culture. An Exploration of the Borderland between Anthropology, Medicine, and Psychiatry. Comparative Studies of Health Systems and Medical Care, 3. Berkeley: University of California Press. Based on field work in Taiwan; perceptive on medical pluralism.

Kleinman, Arthur M. 1986. Social Origins of Distress and Disease. Depression, Neurasthenia, and Pain in Modern China. New Haven: Yale University Press. Based on field work in a Hunan psychiatric facility; comparative in interpretation. This and the next item are important for general implications.

Kleinman, Arthur M.; Byron Good, editors. 1985. Culture and Depression. Studies in the Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Psychiatry of Affect and Disorder. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Lisowski, F. P. 1979. The Emergence and Development of the Barefoot Doctor in China. Nihon ishigaku zasshi, 25: 339-392. Reprinted in Eastern Horizon, April 1980, 19. 4: 6-20.

Lythcott, George I., et al. 1980. Rural Health in the People's Republic of China. Report of a Visit by the Rural Health Systems Delegation. June 1978. Bethesda: National Institutes of Health. Observations by U. S. experts.

Liu Xingzhu; Junle Wang. 1991. An Introduction to China’s Health Care System. Journal of Public Health Policy, 12. 1: 104-116. Brief but informative survey of system ca. 1990.

Lucas, AnElissa. 1982. Chinese Medical Modernization. Comparative Policy Continuities, 1930s-1980s. New York: Praeger Publishers.

Mann, Felix. 1963. Acupuncture. The Ancient Art of Healing. New York: Random House. Useful only as a description of modern European acupuncture.

Scheid, Volker. 2002. Chinese Medicine in Contemporary China: Plurality and Synthesis. Durham: Duke University Press. A remarkable field study (observed in 1994) of practitioners and patients. Gives many examples of medical reasoning and practice as eclectic, heterogeneous, and responsive to complex historic influences. Well informed about the history of traditional medicine since 1950.

Scheid, Volker. 2007. Currents of Tradition in Chinese Medicine. 1626-2006. Seattle: Eastland Press. Important study of a group of medical lineages and their role in shaping modern Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Sivin, Nathan. 1987. Traditional Medicine in Contemporary China. A Partial Translation of Revised Outline of Chinese Medicine (1972), with an Introductory Study on Change in Present-day and Early Medicine. Science, Medicine and Technology in East Asia, 2. Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan. Translates discussions of theory and its application to diagnosis and the planning of therapy from a traditional medical school textbook, with an extensive introduction on change in classical and recent medicine.

Wong, K. Chimin [Wang Chi-min]; Wu Lien-teh. 1932. History of Chinese Medicine. Being a Chronicle of Medical Happenings in China from Ancient Times to the Present Period. Tientsin: Tientsin Press. 2d ed., Shanghai: National Quarantine Service, 1936. Only about a quarter is devoted to traditional medicine, and is hopeless as history. The rest is about the impact of European medicine; since it ignores Chinese sources, it is almost entirely an institutional history.

Wu Lien-teh. 1959. Plague Fighter. The Autobiography of a Modern Chinese Physician. Cambridge, England: W. Heffer & Sons Ltd. Includes a famous account of the 1910-1911 Manchurian plague epidemic, which the author was in charge of relieving.

Zhao Hongjun. 1991. Chinese versus Western Medicine. A History of their Relations in the Twentieth Century. Chinese Science, 10: 21-37. Summarizes a remarkable study in Chinese of competition and shifting legal status to 1949. Cf. Croizier 1968.

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