Outline of Western Theories of the Human Body


The text of Taixi ren shen shuo gai (Outline of Western theories of the human body) was originally dictated by Deng Yuhan (Chinese name of the German Jesuit missionary Johann Schreck, also known as Johannes Terentius, 1576−1630), who translated and compiled the work. It was later edited by Bi Gongchen (died in 1644). Schreck was the earliest Western scientist to introduce Western works on physiology and anatomy into China. This is a manuscript edition in two juan, and was based on Theatrum anatomicum by Caspar Bauhin (1560−1624), a professor at Basel University, who specialized in many fields, including anatomy, internal medicine, and Classical Greek. Juan one is arranged by medical nomenclature, such as bones, cartilages, muscles, skin, tendons, lymph, fat, vessels, pulse, fine sinews, external skin, flesh, flesh lumps, and blood. Juan two, in question-and-answer format, discusses perception and includes Matteo Ricci’s mnemonic principles and sections on eyes, ears, nose, tongues, sensation in the four limbs, and speech.

Last updated: July 31, 2014