Jia Sixie (Chia Ssu-Hsieh)

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b. sixth century AD China
d. sixth century AD China
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Chinese writer on agricultural practice.
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Jia Sixie was the author of the Qi Min Yao Shu (Chhi Min Yao Shu), the earliest complete Chinese agricultural treatise to have survived. The survey quotes from over 160 other texts and the author himself relates how he collected from a wide range of sources, including folk songs and the anecdotes of old men. Little is known of Jia Sixie. It is assumed that he was a middle-ranking official and that his agricultural experience derives from his own work in the Shantung region. In addition to husbandry information, the treatise deals with the problems of running an agricultural estate. Details of experiments are also given, indicating that the text may have been aimed more at the estate owner than the peasant farmer. Culinary matters are also commented upon. Discussions of the range of crops available to the Chinese farmer, and of the-rotational practices implemented to make best use of those crops, give a clear indication that a much higher productivity was being achieved than in Europe at that time or for almost another thousand years. Crop diversity and rotations, as well as technologies such as green manuring and implements such as rollers and seed-drills, were combined to achieve these substantial yields.
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Further Reading
F.Bray, vol. VI.2 of J.Needham (ed.), Science and Civilisation in China (provides a comprehensive discussion on Chinese agricultural practice, and an early chapter gives details of her sources).
AP

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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  • Chia Ssu-Hsieh — See: Jia Sixie …   Biographical history of technology

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