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Chronology of Chinese alchemy.

Extracted from an article by William Jerome Wilson in Ciba Symposia for 1940.


c. 3rd century B.C. Lao Tzu, founder of philosophical Taoism.

249-206 B.C. CH'IN DYNASTY, uniting China for the first time.
249-210 B.C. Shih Huang Ti, emperor, legendary founder of alchemy.
219 B.C. Hsu Shih, reputed leader of an expedition to Japan in 219 B.C.

206-220 B.C. HAN DYNASTY.
156-87 B.C. Wu Ti, emperor, patron of alchemy and allied arts.
145-87 B.C. Ssu-ma Ch'ien, historian, first mentioning alchemy.
Died 122 B.C. Liu An, patron of the group of Taoist authors who wrote the called Huai-nan-tzu.
c. 100-150 A.D. Wei Po-yang, called the 'Father of Alchemy', author of earliest treatise devoted wholly to alchemy.

220-589 A.D. SIX DYNASTIES, a period of disorganization.
c. 281-361 A.D. Ko Hung, the foremost Chinese alchemist.
451-536 A.D. T'ao Hung-ching, physician and alchemist.

589-618 A.D. SUI DYNASTY, reuniting China.

618-907 A.D. T'ANG DYNASTY, restoring the full glory of the empire.

907-960 A.D. FIVE DYNASTIES, a period of disorganization.

960-1280 A.D. SUNG DYNASTY, an intellectual renaissance.
983-1082 A.D. Chang Po-tuan, alchemical poet.
Between 1041-1049 Pi Sheng, alchemist, invents movable type from clay.
c. 1100 A.D. Su Tung P'o, exponent of a mystical type of alchemy.
1162-1227. Chingiz Khan in 1222 A.D. summoned Ch'ang Ch'un, renowned mystical alchemist, to an audience.

1280-1368 A.D. YUAN (MONGOL) DYNASTY, bringing China and Europe into direct contact nearly a century,

1368-1644 A.D. MING DYNASTY, an era of nationalism and isolation.