An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Simu anji ji 司牧安驥集

Feb 1, 2022 © Ulrich Theobald

Anjiji 安驥集, full title Simu anji ji 司牧安驥集 "The overseer of the pastures' book on curing bloodstock" is the earliest Chinese book on equine medicine. It was compiled during the Tang period 唐 (618-907) by Li Shi 李石 (783-845), who was Right Vice Director of the Imperial Secretariat (shangshu you puye 尚書右僕射) and Counsellor-in-chief (zaixiang 宰相). Around 838, Li was adjutant on campaign (xingjun sima 行軍司馬), and during that time acquired knowledge about equine medicine which he wrote down in a book of 4 juan of length.

The original text, consisting of 3 fascicles of general statements (Simu anji ji) and 1 fascicle of precepts (Simu anji fang 司牧安驥方) is lost. It was revised in 1134 by Feng Changning 馮長寧 and Lu Yuanbin 盧元賓. The part on the precepts was during the Song period 宋 (960-1279) circulating as a book of its own, with the title Anji yaofang 安驥藥方. During the Jin 金 (1115-1234) and Yuan 元 (1279-1368) periods, the text was enlarged to a length of 8 juan. This version included, among many others, Wang Yu's 王愈 Fanmu zuanyan fang 蕃牧纂驗方 from the Northern Song period 北宋 (960-1126), and the collections Huangdi bashiyi wen 黃帝八十一問 "Eighty-one questions to the Yellow Emperor" and Xintian ma qishi'er ehan bingyuan ge 新添馬七十二惡汗病源歌 "Newly added songs of the origins of seventy-two types of evil sweat". The most important Yuan-period editor was Zhang Muzhong 張穆仲, while Yang Sui'an 楊邃庵 and Che Ting 車霆 (jinshi degree 1481) were responsible for revisions of Ming-period 明 (1368-1644) editions. The best edition (shanben 善本) is the 1504 version.

The book was also transmitted to Japan, with the titles Bo Le zhen jing 伯楽針経, Simu anji ji-fang 司牧安驥集方, and Jiaming anji ji 仮名安驥集 (1604 edition with Furigana reading notes).

The book quotes from a treasury of older books on veterinary medicine, but brings their findings on the diagnosis and treatment of equine diseases into a more systematic pattern. Regarding the assessment of horses by inspection (xiangma 相馬), the book recommends a check of the pedigree, instead of relying exclusively on the physical determinants of the proband horse. The author discerns between 60 different races of horses, mainly determined by the structure of their coat.

The chapter Bo Le zhen jing 伯樂針經 is China's oldest text on the application of acupuncture for horses. Authorship is attributed to Bo Le (Sun Yang 孫陽), a famous horse tamer of the state of Qin 秦 during the Spring and Autumn period 春秋 (770-5th cent. BCE). The 77 acupuncture points (xuewei 穴位) listed are still used today in clinical veterinary medicine. The four chapters dealing with the five "hollow" zang viscera (wuzang 五臟, i.e. heart, liver, spleen, lung, and kidneys) contain elementary knowledge about the theory of the zang and "full" fu 腑 viscera and of the theory of meridians (jingluo 經絡) in animal medicine, and are therefore quoted by all later books on veterinary medicine. The author describes how to tell the age of a horse by the shape of its teeth (ch. Kouchilun 口齒論), and presents effective measures against tenosyvitis, an inflammation of tendon sheaths.

The diagnosis and prevention of equine diseases are the core of the book. For each disease, the text describes symptoms and characteristics. The details are found in the chapters Zao Fu bashiyi nanjing 造父八十一難經 "Zao Fu's book of 81 difficult diagnoses" (general discrimination of diseases), Kanma wuzang biandong xingxinang qishi'er dabing 看馬五臟變動形相七十二大病 "Seventy-two diseases by which the five organs change their appearance" (specific diagnosis and treatment), and the two above-mentioned chapters. There are four chapters specializing on causes of abdominal pain and of sore and toxic wounds. They are Sanshiliu qiwo bingyuan tuge 三十六起臥病源圖歌 "Illustrated songs of the origins of diseases of standing and lying", Qiwo rushou lun 起臥入手論 "Inserting the main [into the bowels]" (examining bowels, abdomen and faeces), Sanshiliu huang 三十六黃 "Thirty-six yellow sore spots (jaundice?)", Ershisi huang 二十四黃 "Twenty-four types of sore spots", and Chuangzhong bingyuan lun 瘡腫病源論 "On the causes of ulcers, carbuncles and tumours; venoms".

Figures 1. Names of acupoints for horses in the Simu anji ji 司牧安驥集
1593 edition of the Chongkan Anjiji 重刊安驥集 by Zhang Shize 張世則. The edition consists of the parts Xinkan jiaozheng Anjij 新刊校正安驥集, Jianben zengguang buzhu Anjiji 監本增廣補注安驥集 3, Zengguang jianben buque zhujie Anjiji 增廣監本補闕注解 5-6, Xinkan zengbu Anjiji yaofang 新刊增補安驥集藥方 7, and Fanmu zuanyanfang 番牧纂驗方 1-2.

The sections Anji yaofang 安驥藥方 and Fanmu zuanyan fang 蕃牧纂驗方 are texts on medical prescriptions dating from the Tang and Song periods many of which are used continuously. The part includes 25 treatment methods and 143 medical prescriptions.

The book retained its immense importance for the care of horses in the Chinese military and administration until the 18th century, when it was repaced by the book Niu-ma-tuo jing quanji 牛馬駝經全集. During the Song, Yuan, and Ming periods the book belonged to the basic teaching material for veterinary medicine, and was many times reprinted. Important annotated editions of the Ming period were published by the Directorate of Education (guozijian 國子監), the so-called Directorate editions (jianben 監本, zengguang jianben 增廣監本, and chongke zengguang jianben 重刻增廣監本), but only a few fragments of fascicles have survived. In 1957, the Zhonghua Shuju Press 中華書局 published the fragmentary 5-juan edition, and two years later, the Nongye Press 農業出版社 published a modern, annotated edition of 8 juan. The textual quality of the various editions differs widely, as editors heavily interferred into the selection of material.

Cao Xiaoyun 曹小雲 (2007). "Lun Simu anji ji zhong de mingci houzhui jia 論《司牧安驥集》中的名詞後綴——“家”", Shenyang Shifan Daxue xuebao (Shehu kexue ban) 瀋陽師範大學學報(社會科學版), 2007 (1): 134-136.
Gu Yimin 顧亦民 (1983). "Cong Yuan-Heng liaoma ji kan Simu anji ji zai zuguo shouyixue zhong de diwei 從《元亨療馬集》看《司牧安驥集》在祖國獸醫學中的地位", Zhong shou yixue zazhi 中獸醫學雜誌, 1983 (1): 24-25.
Guo Guangji 郭光紀 (1982). "Simu anji ji Ma Shihuang wuzang lun jiaoshi 《司牧安驥集·馬師傅皇五臟論》校釋", Zhong shouyi yiyao zazhi 中獸醫醫藥雜誌, 1982 (1): 57-64.
Guo Guangji 郭光紀 (1983). "Simu anji ji Wang Liang xianshi tiandi wuzang lun jiaoshi (1)《司牧安驥集·王良先師天地五臟論》校釋(一)", Zhong shouyi yiyao zazhi 中獸醫醫藥雜誌, 1983 (4): 61-65.
Guo Guangji 郭光紀 (1984). "Simu anji ji Wang Liang xianshi tiandi wuzang lun jiaoshi (2)《司牧安驥集·王良先師天地五臟論》校釋(二)", Zhong shouyi yiyao zazhi 中獸醫醫藥雜誌, 1984 (3): 58-63.
Li Jingwei 李經緯 et al., eds. (1995). Zhongyi da cidian 中醫大辭典 (Beijing: Renmin weisheng chubanshe), 473.
Lu Gang 陸鋼, Lin Tenshou 林仁壽 (1999). "Guanyu Simu anji ji liuyin liuyang tu zhi wo jian 關於《司牧安驥集》六陰六陽圖之我見", Nongye kaogu 農業考古, 1999 (3): 309-317.
Lu Gang 陸鋼, Lin Renshou 林仁壽 (2000). "Dui Simu anji ji liuyin liuyang zhi tu zhi xiuzheng 對《司牧安驥集·六陰六陽之圖》之修正", Zhong shouyi yiyao zazhi 中獸醫醫藥雜誌, 2000 (1): 25-28.
Luo Yongjiang 羅永江 et al. 81993). "Simu anji ji tongming yifang tongji yu qianxi 《司牧安驥集》同名異方統計與淺析", Zhong shou yixue zazhi 中獸醫學雜誌, 1993 (1): 39-42.
Min Zongdian 閔宗殿 (1997). "Simu anji ji 司牧安驥集", in Men Kui 門巋, Zhang Yanjin 張燕瑾, eds. Zhonghua guocui da cidian 中華國粹大辭典 (Xianggang: Guoji wenhua chuban gongsi), 339.
Nongye da cidian bianji weiyuanhui 《農業大詞典》 編輯委員會, ed. (1998). Nongye da cidian 農業大詞典 (Beijing: Zhongguo nongye chubanshe), 1572.
Song Jinbin 宋金斌 (1985). "Dui Simu anji ji yinan yao kaozhu zhong ji zhong yinanyao de shangque 對《司牧安驥集疑難藥考注》中幾種疑難藥的商榷", Zhong shouyi yiyao zazhi 中獸醫醫藥雜誌, 1985 (2): 26-31.
Wang Yonghou 王永厚 (1994). "Simu anji ji tiyao 《司牧安驥集》提要", in Ren Jiyu 任繼愈, ed. Zhongguo kexue jishu dianji tonghui 中國科學技術典籍通彙, part Nongxue 農學 (Zhengzhou: Henan jiaoyu chubanshe), Vol. 1, 233-234.
Wang Yuhu 王毓瑚, ed. (1964). Zhongguo nongxue shulu 中國農學書錄 (Beijing: Nongye chubanshe), 60.
Xu Qishan 許起山 (2013). "1949 nian yilai Sima anji ji yanjiu shuping 1949年以來《司牧安驥集》研究述評", Zhong shou yixue zazhi 中獸醫學雜誌, 2013 (5): 46-50.
Zou Jiezheng 鄒介正, Feng Hongqian 馮洪錢 (1982). "Simu anji ji yi nan yao kaozhu 《司牧安驥集》疑難藥考注", Zhongguo nongshi 中國農史, 1982 (2): 80-88.
Zou Jiezheng 鄒介正 (1990). "Simu anji ji 司牧安驥集", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, part Nongye 農業 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1140.
Zou Jiezheng 鄒介正 (1991). "Simu anji ji 司牧安驥集", in Zhongguo nongye baike quanshu 中國農業百科全書, Vol. Zhongshouyi 中獸醫卷 (Beijing: Nongye chubanshe), 254.
Zou Jiezheng 鄒介正 (1992). "Simu anji ji de xueshu chengjiu he yingxiang 《司牧安驥集》的學術成就和影響", Zhongguo nongshi 中國農史, 1992 (3): 116-119.
Zou Jiezheng 鄒介正 (1995). "Simu anji ji 司牧安驥集", in Zhongguo nongye baike quanshu 中國農業百科全書, Vol. Nongye lishi 農業歷史卷 (Beijing: Nongye chubanshe), 300.
Zou Jiezheng 鄒介正, Feng Hongqian 馮洪錢 (1982). "Simu anji ji yinanyao kaozhu 《司牧安驥集》疑難藥考注", Zhongguo nongshi 中國農史. 1982 (2): 80-88.