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Medieval Islamic Medicine

Medieval Islamic Medicine

Paperback The New Edinburgh Islamic Surveys

By (author) Peter E. Pormann, By (author) Emilie Savage-Smith

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  • Publisher: EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Paperback | 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 234mm x 23mm | 364g
  • Publication date: 25 January 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Edinburgh
  • ISBN 10: 0748620672
  • ISBN 13: 9780748620678
  • Illustrations note: 22, b&w
  • Sales rank: 363,987

Product description

The medical tradition that developed in the lands of Islam during the medieval period (c. 650--1500) has, like few others, influenced the fates and fortunes of countless human beings. It is the story of contact and cultural exchange across countries and creeds, affecting caliphs, kings, courtiers, courtesans, and the common crowd. In addition to being fascinating in its own right, it formed the roots from which modern Western medicine arose. Contrary to the stereotypical picture, medieval Islamic medicine was not simply a conduit for Greek ideas, but was a locus for innovation and change. The book is organised around five topics: the emergence of medieval Islamic medicine and its intense cross-pollination with other cultures, the theoretical medical framework, the function of physicians within the larger society, the medical care as seen through preserved case histories, and the role of magic and devout religious invocations in scholarly as well as everyday medicine. A concluding chapter on the 'afterlife' concerns the impact of medieval Islamic medicine upon the European medical tradition and its continued practice today. The aim of this book is not to compress the entire history of medieval Islamic medicine into a single small volume. Rather, it presents an overview, highlighted with particular examples.

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Author information

Peter E. Pormann is a Wellcome Trust Lecturer in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Warwick. He studied in Paris (Sorbonne), Hamburg, Tubingen, and Leiden, and received a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford in 2002. He won The Hellenic Foundation's 2003 Award for the best doctoral thesis in the United Kingdom, in the Byzantine/Medieval History category, and is the author of The Oriental Tradition of Paul of Aegina's 'Pragmateia' (2004). Emilie Savage-Smith is Professor of the History of Islamic Science at the Oriental Institute and a senior research fellow of St. Cross College, both at the University of Oxford. Recent books include A Descriptive Catalogue of Oriental Manuscripts at St John's College, Oxford (Oxford University Press, 2005), Magic and Divination in Early Islam (Ashgate, 2004), Medieval Views of the Cosmos (Bodleian Library, 2004) and Science, Tools and Magic (Oxford University Press, 1997).

Review quote

An outstanding contribution to a very important field. While there has been a great deal of new research on premodern medical texts from the Islamic world, there are few surveys written for a broader public. This text will make a lasting contribution to the history of science in general, and to the study of premodern Islamic medicine in particular. -- Jonathan Brockopp, Pennsylvania State University 'A succinct and very useful introduction to the subject, and highly reommendable for everyone interested in the history of medicine.' -- Remke Kruk, Bibliotheca Orientalis 'Without question, this volume can be considered the best and most critical introduction to the field and a guide for future research.' -- Daniel Martin Varisco, AJISS 'Anyone interested in the history of Islamic science will find this a useful book to own.' -- Daniel Martin Varisco, AJISS This marvellous, informative book is superbly written, and has an eye for what will capture the reader's interest. Medieval Islamic medicine offers so much more than one might expect. An outstanding contribution to a very important field. While there has been a great deal of new research on premodern medical texts from the Islamic world, there are few surveys written for a broader public. This text will make a lasting contribution to the history of science in general, and to the study of premodern Islamic medicine in particular. 'A succinct and very useful introduction to the subject, and highly reommendable for everyone interested in the history of medicine.' 'Without question, this volume can be considered the best and most critical introduction to the field and a guide for future research.' 'Anyone interested in the history of Islamic science will find this a useful book to own.'

Table of contents

Acknowledgments Notes on Transliteration, Dates, and General Format List of Illustrations Introduction 1 The Emergence of Islamic Medicine 2 Medical Theory