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SOME SCHOLARLY VIEWS ON THE ORIGIN OF THE SU WEN 0




Third, Huangfu Mi, in the preface to his Jia yi jing, explicitly identified
the Su wen and the Jiu juan as two different texts: “The Su wen offers the essential
and the subtle in a discourse on diseases; the Jiu juan is based on the
conduit vessels.” In today’s Ling shu, sixty of the eighty-one chapters discuss
“the conduit vessels”; one chapter bears the title Jing mai gfl, “The Conduit
Vessels.” Finally, all passages quoted by Huangfu Mi as originating from
the Jiu juan appear in today’s Ling shu. While Huangfu Mi quoted from the
Jiu juan, in his preface he spoke of a Zhen jing wg (Needle Classic) in addition
to the Su wen. Presumably, Zhen jing and Jiu juan are two references
to an identical text. By the time of Huangfu Mi, it may have become increasingly
inadequate to refer to a text simply by the number of its volumes.
All of this, then, lends strong support, first, to a separate reading of Su
wen and Jiu juan in the preface to the Shang han lun and, second, to an equation
of the Jiu juan with the Zhen jing and the Ling shu.
6 bibliographic history of the su wen
The first author to speak of a Ling shu was Wang Bing ˝B of the eighth
century. Similar to Huangfu Mi’s identification of the Western Han Huang
Di nei jing as the combined Su wen and Zhen jing, Wang Bing wrote: “Ban Gu
mentioned in the Han shu, Yi wen zhi, a Huang Di nei jing, 18 juan. The Su
wen constitutes 9 juan of that classic, together with the Ling shu in 9 juan.
This is how this number [of 18 juan] came about.”24



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