Bian Que

Reference work entry

Bian Que, one of the most famous medical men in ancient China, lived during the time of the Zhou dynasty, between 500 and 600 BCE. He was good at various subjects in medicine and skilled in diagnosis and treatment, especially in pulse‐taking and acupuncture.

Sima Qian (about 145–96 BCE), a well‐known historian, wrote a biography of Bian Que in his work Shi Ji(Historical Record). In it, he discussed Bian Que's practicing medicine, wandering from town to town and effecting miraculous cures, even bringing the dying back to life. In the end Bian Que was killed by a jealous commissioner of the Imperial Academy of Medicine. Sima Qian says: “Bian Que expounded medicine as the guiding principle of (medical) technique; the later generations followed it and could not change any more.” He was regarded as the founder of traditional Chinese medicine, but according to the historical materials in the biography, Bian Que lived and flourished for hundreds of years. That is because its author confused...

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  1. Liao Yuqun. Study of Bian Que's Sphygmology. Chinese Journal of Medical History 18.2 (1988): 65.Google Scholar
  2. Li Bocong. Study of Bian Que and His School. Shanxi: Science and Technology Press, 1990.Google Scholar
  3. Sima Qian. Biography of Bian Que. The Historical Record. Beijing: Zhonghua Press, 1959.Google Scholar
  4. Wang Shuhe. Mai Jing (Classic of the Pulse). Shanghai: Shang‐wei sheng chu pan she, 1957.Google Scholar

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