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Author: 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.

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In: Asian Medicine
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In: Asian Medicine
Author: 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.

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In: Asian Medicine
In: The Mongol Empire and its Legacy
Author: Paul D. Buell

Abstract

Cinggis-qan (d. 1227) and their successors created the largest empire in history, and although the Mongol hordes have been most famous for rapine, pillage, war, and conquest, their overall reputation has recently achieved a well-deserved and long-awaited rehabilitation, based on Mongol achievements in many other areas than empire building. A new generation of scholars (led by Jack Weatherford) now recognizes that the Mongols, when they were not conquering and setting up empires and states, were often busy spreading cultural, technological and even scientific goods from one part of the world to the other, everything from food to philosophy and medicinals and medical lore, as well as achievements of science and technology.

Paul Buell discusses the transmission of Arabic medicine to China as attested for example in the Huihui yaofang 回回藥方 (HHYF), “Muslim Medicinal Recipes”, or perhaps better, “Western Medicinal Recipes”, so much is after all Greek. It is a unique document one that is Arabic Medicine on the surface but in fact shows many other influences, not just that of mainstream Arabic Medicine.

In: Mathematics and Physics in Classical Islam
In: Arabic Medicine in China
In: Arabic Medicine in China
In: Arabic Medicine in China