A Hundred Verses on Manifestations of Cold Damage Disorders


In one of the prefaces to his works, the author Xu Shuwei (1079–1154) describes a certain Hua Tuo, a scholar born around 140 AD during the Han dynasty, who, after seeing many people die in epidemics, famines, and wars, chose to abandon scholarship to pursue a medical career. Referring to himself, Xu Shuwei writes, “every time I think of the lack of good physicians and of patients who are resigned to die, how could someone with capability sit by and not help? Therefore I have buried my fame as a scholar and pursue medicine. Now, at the twilight of my life, I have collected records of the past and written a hundred songs, entitled Shang han bai zheng ge (A hundred verses on manifestations of cold damage disorders), as well as the work Shang han fa wei lun (Subtleties of cold damage revealed), in two juan, and had them printed so that they will spread among the people.” Among Xu’s other works are 81 essays on treatments and a manual on pulse, with 36 illustrations, based on the work of the Eastern Han-dynasty physician Zhang Zhongjing (flourished 168–96) on pulse diagnosis. The present work is a manuscript edition with a preface by Xu. It is in five chapters, each containing 20 verses. The verse form, intended to make the text easier to understand and remember, greatly contributed to its dissemination and popularization. In some places, brief annotations were added. These were mostly attributed to Zhang Zhongjing, who also made references to other texts. The copy has two inscriptions by the Qing bibliophile Huang Pilie (1763–1825), which indicate that he owned two other copies of this Yuan edition.

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Physical Description

5 juan, 2 volumes : illustrations ; 23.4 x 13.5 centimeters


  • Only preface, table of contents and 1st page of juan 1 are included in the WDL presentation.
  • Issued with Shang han fa wei lun (Subtleties of cold damage revealed)

Last updated: February 26, 2014