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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(234mm x 156mm x 23mm)
Edinburgh University Press
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
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Author Biography - Peter E. Pormann
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).