Further Explorations in Medieval Mongol Medical Ethnobiology

Date and Time: 
Friday, 13 April, 2012 - 20:20 to 20:40
ANDERSON, E. N. - University of California, Riverside

In previous addresses to this Society, I have described the Huihui Yaofang, a medieval medical encyclopedia of Near Eastern medicine compiled under the Mongol Empire for Chinese use.  Research on this work continues, and my coworkers and I are gaining more understanding of its ancestors and analogues.  This paper will link it to earlier Near Eastern herbal works, including the aqrabadhin ("medical formulary") tradition.  We are still searching for a direct ancestor in the Near Eastern medical literature, but we have found many close relatives, showing this work is thoroughly within the Near Eastern medical tradition.  This is leading me to question more and more radically the currently popular idea of medical traditions as isolated, culture-bound, and incommensurable.