Encyclopedia: Xu Deng

Xu Deng; Hsü Têng

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Xu Deng

Lived: Unlisted

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Served: Miscellaneous

Claimed to have been born female. Devoted himself to healing as an expert in Shamanism.

Officer Details

Wade-Giles: Hsü Têng
Simplified Chinese: Undefined

Birthplace: Minzhong

Family and Relationships

Zhao Bing (Fellow Healer)


Historic (Confirmed)

Xu Deng hailed from Minzhong, on the edge of the empire in present-day Fujian. Xu Deng was an expert in the art of shamanism. He claimed to have been born a woman, but to have changed his sex.

During the time of war and pestilence in the late second century, Xu Deng, along with Zhao Bing, devoted himself to curing illnesses. They sealed their bond with a display of spells in the tradition of local Yue magic. Xu Deng halted the flow of a rive,r and Zhao Bing made a dead tre sprout again.

Xu Deng was older than Zhao Bing, who therefore treated him as his master. they lived extremely simple, so that even their offerings to the spirits were no more than rive water and mulberry bar, and they only used chants and spells to treat disease. They were nonetheless very Successful. (1)

Source: Rafe de Crespigny; HHS 82/72B:2741–42*; Ngo 76:127–128, DeWoskin 83: 76–77.



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April 10, 2023