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What Is Medicine?Western and Eastern Approaches to Healing$
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Paul Unschuld

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520257658

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520257658.001.0001

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Constancy and Discontinuity of Structures

Constancy and Discontinuity of Structures

41 Constancy and Discontinuity of Structures
What Is Medicine?

Paul U. Unschuld

University of California Press

This chapter looks at how things continued in China after antiquity. The Han dynasty existed at almost the same time as the Roman Empire but it fell in the early third century. The Han Empire broke up in China but the resulting individual parts basically continued the same culture that had served as the foundation for the Han dynasty. It would continue until the beginning of the twentieth century. Northern people of the steppe, nomads, repeatedly managed to conquer a China that was no longer militarily fit and to set up their own dynasties. But each time, the foreign rulers eventually became even more Chinese than the Chinese themselves. Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism, in all their more or less profound reformulations and conceptual extensions, always oriented themselves toward their roots. The Mongolian rule from the thirteenth into the fourteenth century and the following Ming and Qing dynasties were markedly more autocratic than earlier eras.

Keywords:   Han dynasty, Roman Empire, Buddhism, Daoism, Mongolian rule, Qing dynasties

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