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China and the Parthians, Sasanians, and Arabs in the First Millennium
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What type of exchanges occurred between West and East Asia in the first millennium CE? What sort of connections existed between Persia and China? What did the Chinese know of early Islam?
This study offers an overview of the cultural, diplomatic, commercial, and religious relationships that flourished between Iran and China, building on the pioneering work of Berthold Laufer’s Sino-Iranica (1919) while utilizing a diverse array of Classical Chinese sources to tell the story of Sino-Iran in a fresh light to highlight the significance of transcultural networks across Asia in late antiquity.
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Abstract

This paper explores the historicity of state and Buddhist accounts of the monk Xuanzang 玄奘 (602-664), arguing that in the reconstruction of Xuanzang’s life and career we ought to utilize the former to help adjudicate the latter. It is specifically argued that the Daci’en si sanzang fashi zhuan 大慈恩寺三藏法師傳 (T. no. 2053), a biography of Xuanzang sometimes cited by modern scholars, was produced as Buddhist propaganda to advance the standing of certain monks under the reign of Wu Zetian 武則天 (r. 690-705). It is further argued that the objectivity of the Buddhist account that describes Emperor Taizong 太宗 (r. 626-649) embracing Buddhism in his twilight years under the influence of Xuanzang ought to be reconsidered.

In: T'oung Pao
in Brill's Encyclopedia of Buddhism Online
in Brill's Encyclopedia of Buddhism Online
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This study documents the introduction and implementation of foreign astrological medicine—specifically, prognosis on the basis of horoscopy—between the eighth and sixteenth centuries in China. It is argued that materials derived from Hellenistic, Indian, Iranian, and Islamicate sources were utilized by Chinese astrologers during the medieval period to predict illness. This study furthermore argues that remedies for negative astral influence were religious in nature and therefore constituted a type of faith healing that was practiced among Buddhists and Daoists.

In: Asian Medicine
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Abstract

This study compares the astrological doctrines of the Twelve Houses and Lot of Fortune as they are explained in Xingxue dacheng 星學大成 of Wan Minying 萬民英 (1521–1603) and Christian Astrology by William Lilly (1602–1681). These two astrologers, who were near contemporaries, lived on opposite sides of Eurasia, yet both were heir to traditions of astrology that together reached back to identical origins in the Near East. The use of largely similar doctrines between both authors testifies to the enduring integrity of astrology throughout centuries of transmission westward and eastward through multiple cultures and languages.

In: International Journal of Divination and Prognostication