A bug’s life: change and transformation in early modern China

TitleA bug’s life: change and transformation in early modern China
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsNappi, C
JournalEndeavour
Volume31
Pagination124-128
ISBN Number0160-9327
KeywordsMULTIDISCIPLINARY SCIENCES, Naturopathy - history, Research Personnel - history
Abstract

Chanting wasps and shape-shifting worms were all in a day’s work for sixteenth-century Chinese naturalists such as Li Shizhen (1518-1593). In an effort to understand the metamorphoses of both nature and the human body, he and other early modern Chinese scholars looked towards tiny creatures like roundworms, lice and demon bugs. For them, such animals could reveal the most intimate secrets of the universe.