Local Society and Physicians of the Southern Region during the Yuan Dynasty

Project: Research

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After the perdition of the Southern Song dynasty, China was reunified under Mongol rule in 1279. The people of China's Southern region needed to adapt the new policies of Yuan court, which differed greatly from the policies of the Southern Song court, and physicians were no exception. On the one hand, southern physicians had to adapt to the new political system, including the household system, the local medical education system, and the local administrative system. On the other hand, southern physicians also needed to absorb medical knowledge and theories from northern China that had developed during the Jin-Yuan period.This project aims to explore the relationship between physicians of the Southern region and local society by dividing its analysis into three parts. Firstly, it will delve into the motivations and ways of physicians' participation in local affairs by analyzing primary historical materials. It will give an overview of their activities in local society, as well as exploring the role of physicians, medical households, medical officials, and local officials when establishing or rebuilding the temples of Three Progenitors. The establishment and rebuilding of the Temple of Three Progenitors in Luling county will be used as a case study. Secondly, it will investigate the lives and careers of several representative physicians through individual case studies. These studies reveal the kinds of medical knowledge they learned, how they became medical officials both locally and centrally, as well as why they were willing to participate in local affairs. Thirdly, the social network of southern physicians in local society during the Yuan period will also be probed, especially their interaction with local officials and Confucian scholars. This is crucial for expanding our understanding of southern physicians’ social status and the exact nature of their role in local society. Two research methods named Prosopography and Historical Social Network Analysis will be used to analysis the common background characteristics of physicians and their social network.Physicians and local society during the Ming period have been studied extensively. However, the relationship between physicians and local society during Yuan period has been somewhat overlooked. To make up this deficiency, this project seeks to shed new light on medical history during the Yuan-Ming transition. 


Project number9043270
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/22 → …