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“The medical books I have read so far”. A research into the books read by Maimonides (1138-1204) for his medical education

Author(s): Jaime Elías Bortz

Journal: Eä : Revista de Humanidades Médicas & Estudios Sociales de la Ciencia y la Tecnología
ISSN 1852-4680

Volume: 3;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Maimonides | medieval medicine | medical education

This research work is aimed at identifying the books mentioned by Maimonides (Cordoba, 1138 - Fustat, 1204) in his extensive medical bibliography as a source of his knowledge on health, disease, diagnosis and treatment. To that extent, a thorough investigation was carried on over ten of his medical texts: Treatise on Asthma, Treatise on Poisons and their Antidotes, Treatise on Hemorrhoids, Treatise on Cohabitation, Commentary on the Aphorisms of Hippocrates, Glossary on Drug Names, Medical Aphorisms, Extract from Galen, Regimen on Health and On the Causes of Symptoms. We were able to establish that his sources of medical education were 4 books of Aristotle, 2 of Al Rhazi, 2 of Ibn Sina, 1 of Ptolemy, 9 of Hippocrates, 3 of Al Farabi, 96 of Galen (which will be subject of another paper), 5 books attributed to this latter author but apocryphal, 1 of Aharun, 2 of Ibn Zuhr, 1 of Ibn Messue, 1 of Al-Tamimi and 1 of Asklepiades. We characterize these texts, some them less known to medical historians, in order to understand the composition of the syllabus for medical education in the Arabic-speaking world during the second half of the 12th century. This paper is part of a wider project intended to understand where did Maimonides learn medicine, a question first posed in 1903 by Yellin and Abrahams which we are trying to answer.
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