Nan Ching


The Nan-ching is an ancient Chinese medical classic; it was compiled, probably, at some time during the first or second century AD. For the past eight or nine centuries, the Nan-ching has been overshadowed by the reputation and authority of the "original" classic, the Huang-ti nei-ching ("The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic") with its two largely different segments, the Huang-ti nei-ching su-wen (or Su-wen) and the Huang-ti nei-ching ling-shu (or Ling-shu). The present edition of the Nan-ching combines a translation of its textus receptus and of selected commentaries by twenty Chinese and Japanese authors of the past seventeen centuries with an interpretation by this author. One of its goals is to demonstrate that the Nan-ching should once again (as was the case until early this millennium) be regarded as a significant and innovative work that marks the apex, and also the conclusion, of the developmental phase of the conceptual system known as the medicine of systematic correspondence. The contents of the Nei-ching texts, in contrast, should be appreciated as a collection of extremely valuable transitory stages in this developmental phase—valuable because they reflect various historical steps as well as a wide range of diverging (and even contradictory) theoretical arguments.’ These arguments characterize the genesis of a system of therapeutic ideas and practices which has a formative period that can be traced from its first documented sources extant (the so-called Mawang-tui texts of about the late third century B.C.) to the heterogeneous contents of the Nei-ching texts and, finally, to the homogeneous and highly systematized message of the page from paul unschuld's excellent book