Medieval Chinese medicine includes a collection of medieval manuscripts discovered in 1900 in a walled-up room in the Buddhist cave-shrines of Dunhuang, Gansu Province, west China.
Formerly Dunhuang was an important Silk Road town.
The majority of the manuscripts stored in the cave are copies of Buddhist scriptural texts, there are also thousands of non-Buddhist texts, both religious and secular.
It is suggested that the Dunhuang prefectural school was a center for copying and transmitting medical writings.
A lot of earliest handwritten copies of well-known classical medical treatises, together with hitherto unknown medical works, including illustrations and charts, texts related to religious and popular healing traditions and extensive portions of texts previously known only through brief quotations in later works are found in this collection.
This is the first book to discuss this fascinating material in a western language in the century since the Dunhuang library was discovered.