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

Authors
Journal
Endeavour
0160-9327
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
31
Issue
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.endeavour.2007.09.001

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.

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