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Free access

Paul D. Buell

Free access

Paul D. Buell

Peoples of central Asia have long been a world apart with their own unique way of life and foodways. These have been based primarily upon carefully harboured dairy products, supplemented by occasional meat and whatever else could be obtained from the environment without limiting pastoralism. The paper describes these foodways and the changes that they have undergone over the centuries in response to contacts with the outside world, conquest, and empire. Focus is on the Mongols, whose world empire gave rise to a world cuisine, and Turkic groups such as the Kazakhs. The paper concludes that, due to globalisation and the destruction of traditional pastoralism, steppe foodways are now in rapid decline. The social base that has supported them for centuries has now been all but destroyed.

Free access

Paul D. Buell

The name of Rashīd al-Dīn (1247-1317) is associated with the transmission of considerable medical lore from China to Mongol Iran and the Islamic World. In fact, Rashīd al-Dīn was only at one end of the exchange, and while Chinese medical knowledge, including lore about pulsing and the Chinese view of anatomy, went west, Islamic medical knowledge went east, where Islamic medicine became the preferred medicine of the Mongol elite in China. The paper traces this process and considers who may have been involved and what specific traditions in an ongoing process of medical globalisation.

No Access

A Soup for the Qan: Chinese Dietary Medicine of the Mongol Era As Seen in Hu Sihui's Yinshan Zhengyao

Introduction, Translation, Commentary, and Chinese Text. Second Revised and Expanded Edition

Series:

Paul D. Buell and Eugene N. Anderson

In the early 14th century, a court nutritionist called Hu Sihui wrote his Yinshan Zhengyao, a dietary and nutritional manual for the Chinese Mongol Empire. Hu Sihui, a man apparently with a Turkic linguistic background, included recipes, descriptions of food items, and dietary medical lore including selections from ancient texts, and thus reveals to us the full extent of an amazing cross-cultural dietary; here recipes can be found from as far as Arabia, Iran, India and elsewhere, next to those of course from Mongolia and China. Although the medical theories are largely Chinese, they clearly show Near Eastern and Central Asian influence.
This long-awaited expanded and revised edition of the much-acclaimed A Soup for the Qan sheds (yet) new light on our knowledge of west Asian influence on China during the medieval period, and on the Mongol Empire in general.

Open Access

Series:

Paul D. Buell, Timothy May and David Ramey