Collected Prescriptions for Divine Relief from Suffering, Reissued in the Dade Reign


The Sheng ji zong lu was originally a 200-juan encyclopedic compilation of more than 20,000 medical prescriptions, collected from both officially verified sources and common practices during and before the Song dynasty (960–1279) and published around 1111–17. Shortly after its completion, it was removed to the north due to the Jingkang Incident, which took place in 1127, when invading Jurchen soldiers besieged and sacked the Song capital Bianjing and abducted Emperor Qinzong. As a consequence, this work did not become well known in the south. Two early official editions were issued, one of the Jin Dynasty around 1161–89 and the other a Yuan edition of 1300, the fourth year of the Dade reign (1297–1307). During the Ming dynasty, the Dade edition suffered damage. Parts missing from the damaged edition later were copied by hand, but it did not become a complete set. During the compilation of the Qing encyclopedia Si ku quan shu, the officials responsible for the encyclopedia could only acquire a 26-juan Qing edition of the Sheng ji zong lu, entitled Sheng ji zong lu zuan yao (Brief compilation of records of divine relief), compiled by Cheng Lin. In 1547 Yoshida Ian acquired a copy of this work and took it to Japan. In 1813 Yamamoto Ryo, the Japanese imperial physician and superintendent of medical schools, had it reprinted, thereby spreading knowledge of the work to a much wider audience. The 20,000 or so prescriptions are grouped into various categories, including yun qi (circulation of qi) and zhi fa (treatment). A total of 66 diseases are discussed, beginning with apoplexy and ending with divine prescriptions, with details on the meridians and points and cure with incantations. Symptoms of each disease are listed with causes, pathological features, medication, and treatment. The contents of the work are extensive. This fragmentary copy of the Dade edition, with some handwritten parts, has only six juan (juan 50, 52, 53, 131, 191, and 194) in eight volumes. The names of the engravers are given in this rare early printed copy.

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Imperial Medical College


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Physical Description

6 juan, 8 volumes ; 22.3 x 18.6 centimeters


  • Only juan 50 is included in the WDL presentation.

Last updated: January 3, 2018