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On Literati’s Health in Ancient China

The literati, a highly respected group, were the first class in ancient China. They were mainly engaged in reading and writing, labored with mind more than with strength, and did more thinking than exercise. Because of this special life style, the literati’s health problem was also special. There are lots of materials of this problem available in ancient medical books, literature works, scholar’s notes and essays, etc.

However, so far this issue hasn’t been concerned specifically in the academic circle of medical history.S o it’s necessary to take a point of medicine to discuss the issue now. In article, this paper discussed the relation of the literati’s health problem with studying diligently, with versifying diligently and with the imperial examination system. For example, the imperial examination was a great event in ancient China, which strongly affected the literati’s physical and mental health. The rough accommodation of examination room, the intensity and duration of examination, and the huge mental impact from the result of examination, led to disease easily. How could this happen? It was analyzed in detail in chapter 3. In article, this paper touched on the literati’s constitution, their health cultivation, and the special formulas for them. For example, ancient practitioners invented many formulas especially for the literati. These formulas could smart their mind and strengthen their memory. The formulas and their intergradient were discussed in detail in chapter 6.

To sum up, the health problem mentioned in this paper are intimately related to literati’s reading and writing life style. A collection and analysis of materials about this issue will not only enrich the history details of literati’s life state,but also instruct contemporary intellectuals’ health care. That’s where practical implication of this paper lies in.




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