IZO Events

May 5 2022

Guest Lecture by Prof. Dr. Marta Hanson: "Understanding is Within One’s Grasp, The World Within the Hands in the Classified Canon, 1624"

On May 5th, the IZO is organizing a guest lecture on the following topic by Prof. Dr. Marta Hanson: "Understanding is Within One's Grasp, The World Within the Hands in the Classified Canon, 1624".

By the early sixteenth century, some physicians considered the most important medical canon of Han antiquity, the Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon: Basic Questions (Huangdi neijing: suwen, ca. 1st BCE), to be in a state of crisis. Many of their contemporary physicians found it too archaic, inaccessible, and impractical to use. Many self-proclaimed healers favored more recent medical texts that private publishing had made more widely available, easier to read, and more practical for healing. The literati physician Zhang Jiebin 張介賓 (1563–1640) participated in the broader trend “to recover antiquity" (fugu 復古) by reorganizing the original Inner Canon, providing many illustrations, and adding explanations. The resulting Classified Canon, Illustrated with Commentary (Leijing tu yi 類經圖翼, 1624) also used many popularizing genres – diagrams, short essays, versified didactic poems, illustrations, and even the healer's own hand as a mnemonic tool. Dr. Zhang's amply illustrated, often versified, clearly explained, completely reorganized, and even, in part, embodied Classified Canon is best understood as one late-Ming literati physician's response to this perceived crisis. In fact, this Classified Canon was so successful among physicians in China that Jesuits used it as the source text for the first Latin translations of Chinese conceptions of the viscera and channels of the human body published in the Specimen Medicinae Sinicae (A Sample of Chinese Medicine) in 1682 in Frankfurt, Germany. 

Time: 05. 05. 2022 – 18:00

Place: Seminarhaus 0.106