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Ge Hong as depicted by Gan Bozong, woodcut print, Tang dynasty (618–907)
Ge Hong as depicted by Gan Bozong, woodcut print, Tang dynasty (618–907)

Ge Hong (Chinese: 葛洪; b. 283[1][2] – d. 343[1] or 364[2]), courtesy name Zhichuan (稚川), was a Chinese linguist, Taoist practitioner, philosopher, physician, politician, and writer during the Eastern Jin dynasty. He was the author of Essays on Chinese Characters, the Baopuzi, the Emergency Formulae at an Elbow's Length,[3] among others. He was the originator of first aid in traditional Chinese medicine and influenced later generations.

Early life

Ge Hong was born as the third son into a well-established family, his father died when he was 13.


In his public service role as an official, he was often asked to appraise his friends and acquaintances as possible candidates for government office positions and was also chosen to perform military service. However, he was unhappy with his life as an official. Although he never rejected Confucianism, he grew interested in Taoist cultivation and using drugs so he could achieve the spiritual freedoms of Taoist Immortality.

He wrote an autobiography of his life that was the last part of his collected writings[4]

His grandfather served as Minister of Personnel and his father as governor. By Ge Hong's time, although the family was declining, he was once made Marquis (noble title) of the area within the past relying on his meritorious military service.

See also


  1. ^ a b Wells, Matthew (18 July 2013). "Self as Historical Artifact: Ge Hong and Early Chinese Autobiographical Writing". Early Medieval China. 2003 (1): 71–103. doi:10.1179/152991003788138465. S2CID 161623586.
  2. ^ a b Liu, Peng (12 October 2016). ""Conceal my Body so that I can Protect the State": The Making of the Mysterious Woman in Daoism and Water Margin". Ming Studies. 2016 (74): 48–71. doi:10.1080/0147037X.2016.1228876. S2CID 164447144.
  3. ^ "Daoism Series 31: Prepared Emergency Formulae Behind the Elbow". Purple Cloud. 2020-12-09. Retrieved 2022-05-05.
  4. ^ Ebrey, Patricia Buckley (1993). Chinese civilization : a sourcebook (2nd ed.). New York: The Free Press. pp. 91. ISBN 002908752X. OCLC 27226697.

Further reading