Medieval Islamic Medicine

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This illuminating new analysis by two preeminent scholars of medical history takes a fresh approach to the study of medicine in the lands of Islam during the medieval period (c.... more on AUC Press

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This illuminating new analysis by two preeminent scholars of medical history takes a fresh approach to the study of medicine in the lands of Islam during the medieval period (c. 650–1500). Drawing on numerous sources, Peter E. Pormann and Emilie Savage-Smith highlight topics such as surgery, hospital institutions, the social standing of healers, doctor–patient relations, medical teaching, and the cultural interchange and mutual influence between the Islamic and Christian worlds. Contrary to commonly accepted perceptions, medieval Islamic medicine was not simply a conduit for Greek ideas, but was a locus for innovation and change. Taking a thematic rather than a chronological approach, Medieval Islamic Medicine explores the development of medical practices across the social spectrum, from the urban milieu of Abbasid Baghdad to rural Bedouin society, and from the upper social strata to the lower classes. The authors compare and contrast the medical theories and treatises of Ibn Sina and other authorities with evidence of actual practices, as well as folkloric and magical medicine traditions. They also highlight a relatively neglected aspect of Islamic culture—the scientific heritage it bequeathed to modern medicine.

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