Chinese Medicine Doctors: Song Ci (AD 1186-1249)

Song Ci was a forensic medical expert active during the Southern Song Dynasty who wrote a groundbreaking book titled Collected Cases of Injustice Rectified (Xi Yuan Ji Lu). He is often considered to be the Founding Father of Forensic Science in China.

song ciSong Ci was born into a bureaucratic family in Fujian Province and a Confucian learner when young. He served as a presiding judge in the Chinese high courts for many terms. During his post at a criminal court in Hunan Province, Song Ci would personally examine the crime scene each time he encountered a difficult case of homicide or physical assault.

In all his life he dealt with numerous cases. Two years before he passed away (1247), he composed and published the five-volume Xi Yuan Ji Lu, which was his lifetime experience and thoughts on forensic medicine and the first of its kind in the world. It was completed more than 350 years earlier than the first European forensic work written by the Italian Forturiatus Flaelis in 1602.

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