Health Care in Eleventh-Century China

  • Nathan┬áSivin

Part of the Archimedes book series (ARIM, volume 43)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Nathan Sivin
    Pages 9-30
  3. Nathan Sivin
    Pages 31-52
  4. Nathan Sivin
    Pages 53-91
  5. Nathan Sivin
    Pages 93-128
  6. Nathan Sivin
    Pages 129-170
  7. Nathan Sivin
    Pages 171-181
  8. Nathan Sivin
    Pages 183-192
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 193-223

About this book


By examining all the prevalent varieties of therapy from self-care to religious ritual, this book explores health care practices in China, before modern times. In ancient China most people were unable to afford a doctor, even in the unlikely case that one lived near their village and was willing to treat peasants. What did they do when their children got sick?

The answer is to be found in this book, which goes far beyond the history of medicine. The author uses methods of medical anthropology to explain the curative roles of popular religion, Daoism, Buddhism, and the therapeutic rites performed by imperial officials. Readers will discover the steady interaction of religious healing and classical medicine in this culture.

This highly readable book builds on over forty years of study and analysis of early liturgical and medical writings, and a wide variety of other sources. Its focus on the eleventh century throws new light on a period of rapid transition in many aspects of therapy, and it will appeal to scholars and general readers alike.


Daoist (Taoist) curative ritual Northern Song dynasty classical medicine curative ritual imperial liturgy medical efficacy placebo effect popular religion

Authors and affiliations

  • Nathan┬áSivin
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Medicine Medicine (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-20426-0
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-20427-7
  • Series Print ISSN 1385-0180
  • Series Online ISSN 2215-0064
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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