Hardcover, 236 pages, London 2021, new
It is rarely appreciated how much of the history of Eurasian medicine in the premodern period hinges on cross-cultural interactions and knowledge transmissions. Using manuscripts found in key Eurasian nodes of the medieval world – Dunhuang, Kucha, the Cairo Genizah and Tabriz – the book analyses a number of case-studies of Eurasian medical encounters, giving a voice to places, languages, people and narratives which were once prominent but have gone silent.
This is an important book for those interested in the history of medicine and the transmissions of knowledge that have taken place over the course of global history.
List of Illustrations
Transliterations and Abbreviations
Introduction: Medical Encounters along the Silk Roads
1. Narrating Eurasian Origins of Medical Knowledge
2. Of Dice and Medicine: Interactions in Central Asian 'Contact Zones'
3. Myrobalans: The Making of a Eurasian Panacea
4. Tibetan Moxa-Cautery from Dunhuang: Practices and Images on the Move
5. Medicine of the Bakhshis: Cross-Pollinations in Buddhist Iran
“Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim draws on materials from the Bower Manuscript, the Genizah repository in Cairo, and cave 17 in Dunhuang to explain how medical knowledge moved across cultural contact zones and spread through Eurasia. Through reading sources in an unusual combination of languages, this study constitutes an impressive breakthrough in Silk Road studies.” – Valerie Hansen, Professor of History, Yale University, USA
“Compact and readable, and yet richly informative about the interactions between a wonderful diversity of linguistic and scholarly traditions, ReOrienting Histories of Medicine will now be the first book that I recommend to students for orientation about the early history of Eurasian medical exchange.” – Shigehisa Kuriyama, Reischauer Institute Professor of Cultural History, Harvard University, USA