This Dictionary is a result of a project, initiated in 1988, to generate an annotated English translation of the Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen, a seminal text on the theory and clinical application of ancient Chinese medicine. For the first time in the history of Western interest in the early origins of Chinese life sciences academic and non-academic users may resort now to a philologically legitimated dictionary focussing on the terminology of a single text corpus of ancient Chinese medicine reflecting the conceptual developments during a period reaching from the third century BCE to the eighth century CE.
Given the many relationships between medicine, philosophy, political ideology, as well as social and economic structures in Chinese antiquity as well as in the following centuries to the very present, this Dictionary will be an indispensable research tool for accessing these overlapping arenas of Chinese civilization. Even the terminology of today’s Traditional Chinese Medicine, as distant as it may appear from its conceptual and literary precursors of the Han through Tang dynasties, continues the legacy of the ancient past and requires, for a well-informed usage, profound knowledge of the terminology and conceptual beginnings in the Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen.
The translation of ancient Chinese medical terms into English as evidenced in the present Dictionary may in some cases give rise to controversies. Explanations of our choices are provided in the introductory remarks to the translation volumes and in the notes.
The realization of this Dictionary was made possible by a long-term financial support of the Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen project through the Volkswagen Stiftung. The foremost role in the preparation of this dictionary was played by Hermann Tessenow. He designed its overall structure, as well as the basic software required for the realization of the individual entries, and was responsible for the semantic differentiation of meanings underlying each entry. Ursula Holler and Guje Kroh provided indispensable assistance.