主 办:北 京 中 医 药 大 学
ISSN 1006-2157 CN 11-3574/R

JOURNAL OF BEIJING UNIVERSITY OF TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE ›› 2019, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (6): 469-473.doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1006-2157.2019.06.006

• Textual Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A discussion of differences between “Shennong” classics and “Materia Medica” classics based on lost articles of ancient versions of Shen Nong’s Classic of the Materia Medica found in other classics*

Peng Bisheng   

  1. School of Public Administration, Sichuan University, Sichuan 610065, China
  • Online:2019-06-05 Published:2019-06-05
  • Contact: Peng Bisheng, Ph.D. candidate. School of Public Administration, Sichuan University. Nanyuan Building 2, 24 South Section 1, Ring Road No.1, Chengdu, Sichuan 610065. E-mail: bishengpeng@hotmail.com

Abstract: The extant editions of Shen Nong’s Classic of the Materia Medica (Shennong Bencaojing) are taken mostly from Materia Medica Arranged According to Pattern (Zhenglei Bencao) compiled in the Song Dynasty, whose original source is Collective Commentaries on the Classic of Materia Medica (Bencaojing Jizhu) compiled by Tao Hongjing in the Liang Dynasty. These editions, however, are different from the ancient original versions. It is discovered that the lost articles of the ancient versions of Shen Nong’s Classic of the Materia Medica found in other classics fall into two categories: “Shennong” classics and “Materia Medica” classics through an investigation into the Imperial Readings of the Taiping Era (Taiping Yulan), Taoist Canon (Daozang) and other ancient books. The “Shennong” classics are mainly about Chinese herbal medicine theories and Taoist theories of necromancy, astrology, medicine, etc. while “Materia Medica” classics include entries of Chinese medicinal herbs. These two groups of classics roughly correspond with the prologue and main body of the extant Shen Nong’s Classic of the Materia Medica. It is presumed that the extant classic may be a combination of the ancient “Shennong” classics and “Materia Medica” classics.

Key words: Shen Nong’s Classic of the Materia Medica, Tao Hongjing, Collective Commentaries on the Classic of Materia Medica, Imperial Readings of the Taiping Era, Taoist Canon

CLC Number: 

  • R281.2