Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 26 items for

  • Author or Editor: Donald Harper x
  • Search level: All x
Clear All
In: Asian Medicine

This article surveys recipes for aphrodisiacs and philters from the medical manuscripts discovered in Mawangdui tomb 3 (burial dated 168 BCE) and Dunhuang manuscripts (seventh to tenth centuries CE). Despite medical views that defined sex as a form of physiological and spiritual cultivation, and that criticised se 'lust,' the aphrodisiac and philter recipes reveal elements of eroticism in ancient and medieval Chinese views of sex.

Free access
In: Asian Medicine
In: Books of Fate and Popular Culture in Early China
In: Books of Fate and Popular Culture in Early China
In: Graphics and Text in the Production of Technical Knowledge in China

Bamboo-slip manuscripts from Zhoujiatai tomb 30, Hubei (burial dated ca. 209 b.c.e.), provide important evidence of ancient Chinese occult manuscripts belonging to a man of modest status. One manuscript, identified as a rishu “day book” by the modern editors of the Zhoujiatai manuscripts, treats of hemerology and astrology and is the focus of this study. The bamboo slips of a calendar for years corresponding to 211–210 b.c.e. can be associated with the rishu and may have formed one manuscript unit. The contents of the rishu include two large-size diagrams related to hemerological and astro-calendrical systems. The first diagram involves calculations based on the position of the handle of the Dipper constellation and the second diagram is notable for reference to one of the years (211 b.c.e.) of the associated calendar. A third diagram, for which the title rong lirirong calendar day [divination]” is written on the manuscript, has a slightly different form in a second occurrence on the manuscript. Both forms of the diagram show thirty lines arranged in a vertical column, corresponding to the thirty days of the ideal month, with some lines enclosed in boxes. Days of the month are counted in the sequence of lines on the diagram in order to determine the lucky and unlucky aspects of a given day. A related hemerological system is attested in a manuscript from Mawangdui tomb 3, Hunan (burial dated 168 b.c.e.), and in medieval occult manuscripts from Dunhuang.


Full Access
In: Bamboo and Silk
Books of Fate and Popular Culture in Early China is a comprehensive introduction to the manuscripts known as daybooks, examples of which have been found in Warring States, Qin, and Han tombs (453 BCE–220 CE). Their main content concerns hemerology, or “knowledge of good and bad days.” Daybooks reveal the place of hemerology in daily life and are invaluable sources for the study of popular culture.
Eleven scholars have contributed chapters examining the daybooks from different perspectives, detailing their significance as manuscript-objects intended for everyday use and showing their connection to almanacs still popular in Chinese communities today as well as to hemerological literature in medieval Europe and ancient Babylon.
Contributors include: Marianne Bujard, László Sándor Chardonnens, Christopher Cullen, Donald Harper, Marc Kalinowski, Li Ling, Liu Lexian, Alasdair Livingstone, Richard Smith, Alain Thote, and Yan Changgui.