The period which we have just tried to analyze, and then to reconstruct, was on the whole one
of comparative rest. There was no retrogression, but the advance of mankind,
which had been so vigorously accelerated during the ninth century through the
youthful energy of Islam, was then distinctly slowed up. It is not the
first time that we thus witness a momentary quieting down of human activity;
on the contrary, we have already had occasion to observe many such periods
of fallow. e. g., the first half of the second century B. C., the second
half of the fifth, the second half of the sixth, the second half of the
seventh, the first half of the eighth. But in each case the slowing up
was followed by a new acceleration.
In other words, when we study the creative activity of the mankind
as a whole, we find that humanity behaves very much as an individual man
would do, that period of unusual achievements are generally followed by
depressions, and periods of rest and fallow by new efforts. The intellectual
progress of mankind would not be correctly represented by a constantly
increasing function, but rather by a sort of sinusoidal curve moving steadily
upward. But how do we account for human tiredness, considering that the
burden is periodically taken up by new generations? Leaving out of the
question political and other external factors which must necessarily influence
human energy, we may explain the periodical slowing up in two ways. In
the first place, the original flame of enthusiasm, which stimulates intellectual
advance, is bound to die out gradually unless new men of genius appear
from time to time to keep it alive; of course, there are no means of predicting
when and where such men will appear. In the second place, the very progress
of knowledge is certain to fill the more conservative minds with a growing
anxiety, and finally to determine an orthodox reaction. For example, in
the first half of the tenth century an intellectual reaction was led, very
successfully, by al-Ash'ari. Man kind does not go forward as a united body;
on the contrary, each advance has to be paid a protracted struggle between
those who long for more light and those who are afraid of it. The latter
are far more numerous than the former, but less intelligent, and thus bound
to be beaten in the end, this accounts at once for the sinusoidal advance
and its upward tendency, or, in other words, for the slowness, but also
for the continuity of human progress.
To come back to the second half of the tenth century, we shall see
presently that it was a period of renewed activity in almost every field;
the partial fallowness of the first half of the century was thus amply
rewarded by more abundant crops and mankind was able to make a few more
Cultural background: Mohammed
ibn Ahmed al-Khwarizmi wrote "The Key of the Sciences."
Muslim Mathematics and astronomy:
All of the creative
work was done in Islam. Muslim mathematicians were so numerous that, for
the sake of clarity, I must divide them into three groups - arithmeticians,
algebraists, and geometers; astronomers and trigonometricians; astrologers.
Arithmeticians, algebraists, and geometers:
It is well to begin this section with a brief account of the progress of
the Hindu numerals. By the middle of the tenth century a special form of
them, the so called dust (ghubar) numerals, was already used in Muslim
Spain. The eastern Arabic form was represented in an Egyptian grafitto,
dated 960-61. Mutahhar ibn Taher wrote a number of 10 figures by their
means. The earliest Latin example of these numerals is found in a manuscript
written in 976 near Logrono, in the Christian part of Spain.
Abu Ja'far al-Khazin wrote commentaries on the tenth book of Euclid
and other works and solved al-Mahani's cubic equation. Al-Shaghani investigated
the trisection of the angle. Nazif ibn Yumn translated the tenth book of
Euclid. The great astronomer Abu-l-Wafa wrote commentaries on Euclid, Diophantos,
and al-Khwarizmi, arithmetical and geometrical treatises, and solved a
number of geometrical and algebraical problems. Abu-l-Fath improved the
Arabic translation of Apollonios's Conics and commented upon the first
five books. Al-Kuhi was especially interested in the Archimedian and Apollonian
problems leading up to higher equations and discovered some elegant solutions.
which he discussed. Al-Sijzi worked along the same lines; he made a special
study of the intersections of conics and found a geometrical means of trisecting
angles. Al-Khujandi, better known as an astronomer, proved that the sum
of two cubic numbers can not be a cubic number. Maslama ibn Ahmed composed
a commercial arithmetic and studied an amicable number. (This would confirm
that he was acquainted to the writings of the Brethren of Purity, for these
were very much interested in the theory of numbers - a natural consequence
of their Neoplatonic tendencies.)
Astronomical and trigonometricians:
At the very beginning of this period we meet one of the best Muslim astronomers:
Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi, who compiled an illustrated catalogue of stars,
based upon his own observations. Ibn al-A'lam was also a famous observer
and published astronomical tables. Al-Shaghani invented and constructed
astronomical instruments. The Buwayhid rulers, especially Sharaf al-dawla,
were deeply interested in astronomy; Sharaf built a new observatory in
Bagdad. The instruments were probably made by al-Shaghani, and the great
mathematician, al-Kuhi, was the leader of the astronomers.
The foremost of the astronomers employed by Sharaf was the Persian
Abu-l-Wafa. It is true he was once believed to be; he did not discover
the variation of the moon, but he continued in a masterly way the elaboration
of trigonometry. Taken all in all, the fame of Abu-l-Wafa is more solidly
based upon his mathematical than upon his astronomical contributions, but
I placed him here because, in those days, trigonometry was considered a
branch of astronomy.
Al-Khujandi made astronomical observations in Ray. Abu Nasr improved
the Arabic text of Menelaos's Spherics and dealt with trigonometrical subjects.
Maslama ibn Ahmed edited and revised al-Khwarizmi's astronomical tables,
and wrote a commentary on Ptolemy's Planisphere.
The main astrologers
were al-Qabisi in Syria and Rabi ibn Zaid in Spain; the latter was a Christian,
Bishop of Cordova under al-Hakam II.
Muslim Alchemy and Technology
The earliest scientific
treatise in modern Persian (hitherto the Muslim Persians had written in
Arabic) happens to be one of the most chemical works written by a Muslim
until that time. It is really a treatise on materia medica, but it contains
abundant information upon the preparation and properties of mineral substances.
It is obvious that its author; Abu Mansour Muwaffak, was unusually stepped
in chemistry. More may be learned about the chemical knowledge of those
days, in the Eastern Caliphate, in the encyclopaedic works dealt with in
As to the Muslim West, the medical treatise of Abu-l-Qasim contains
also various items of chemical interest; it explains the preparation of
drugs by sublimation and distillation. two important alchemic writings
have been ascribed to Maslama ibn Ahmed, but they are possibly a little
The subtitle of
this section is a little misleading, for the many adjectives tend to be
the fact that everything was done by the Muslims alone.
Muslim physicians were so numerous that it is necessary to divide
them into groups, and the most expedient division is, this time, a regional
one. Thus I shall deal successively with the physician who flourished in
the Eastern Caliphate (reserving a separate place for one of them who wrote
in Persian), in Egypt, in Spain, and in North Africa.
The first group is the most
numerous, as we would expect it. Ahmed al-Tabari wrote a medical treatise
called Hippocratic treatments. Ali ibn Abbas (Hally Abbas), who flourished
a little later, was one of the greatest physicians of Islam. He compiled
a medical encyclopedia, "The Royal Book", which was very valuable but superseded
by Avicenna's Qanun. It contains a number of original observations, under
the patronage of Adud-al-Dawla, a new hospital was established in Bagdad
in 979. Al-Husain ibn Ibrahim improved the Arabic text of Dioscorides.
Abu Sahl al-Masihi, who was, as his name indicates, a Christian, wrote
a number of medical treatises. He shares with al-Qumri the fame of having
been one of the teacher of Avicenna, the prince of mediaeval physicians.
It is even possible that one of Abu Sahl's treatises gave Avicenna the
first idea of composing his Qanun.
Note that all of those were Persians, but all wrote, as far as we
know, in Arabic. Another Persian, Abu Masour Muwaffak, had the idea of
compiling a great medical treatise in Persian. That treatise dealt with
materia medica and contains a general outline of pharmacological theory.
Its intrinsic value is great, but it has also a considerable extrinsic
importance, because it is the oldest prose work in modern Persian.
Two distinguished physicians of that time flourished in Egypt, al-Tamimi
and al-Baladi. The former is chiefly known because of his medical guide
(Murshid), the latter wrote a treatise on the hygiene of pregnancy and
Medical activity in Muslim Spain, was almost of the same level as
that which obtained in the Eastern Caliphate; in some respects it was even
superior. One of the most distinguished of the Spanish physicians, however,
was not a Muslim, but a Jew, the great Hasdia ibn Shaprut. He translated
Dioscorides into Arabic with the aid of the Greek monk Nicholas. Arib ibn
Sa'd wrote a treatise on gynecology, obstetrics, and pediatrics. Abu-lQasim
(Abulcasis) was the greatest Muslim surgeon; he exerted a very deep influence
upon he development of the European surgery down to the Renaissance. Ibn
Juljul wrote a commentary on Dioscorides and added a supplement to it,
and he compiled a history of the Hispano-Muslim physicians of his time.
The last Muslim country to be considered, Tunis, nutured also a
great physician, Ibn al-Jazzar (Algizar), author of a medical vade-mecum
which obtained considerable success throughout the Middle Ages.
Muslim Mathematics and Astronomy
MUTAHHAR IBN TAHIR
Mutahhar ibn Tahir
al-Maqdisi (or al-Muqaddasi), i. e., the native or inhabitant of the Holy
City. From Jerusalem, flourished in Bust, Sijistan, c. 966. Encylcopaedist.
Author of the book of the Creation and of History (Kitab al-bad'wal-tarikh),
a summary of the knowledge of his day based not simply on Muslim, but also
on Iranian and jewish sources. He quoted as a curiosity a very large number,
4,320,000,000 (representing the duration of the world in years according
to the Hindus), in Hindu or Devanagari numerals. Cl. Haurt: Leveritable auteur
du Libre de la creation et de lhistoire (Journal Asiatique (9), vol. 18,
16-21, 1901. Concludind that Mutahhar was the author); Arabic literature
(284, 291, London, 1903).
ABU JA'FAR AL-KHAZIN
Alkhazin means the
treasurer or the librarian. Born in Khurasan, died between 961 and 971.
Mathematician, astronomer. Author of a commentary on the Tenth book of
Euclid and of other mathematical and astronomical writings. He solved by
means of conic sections the cubic equation which had baffled al-Mahani's
efforts, the so-called al-Mahani's equation (q. v., second half of the
ninth century.) Fihrist (p. 266, 282); Suter's
translation (p. 17, 39).
NAZIF IBN YUMN
Nazif ibn Yumn (or
Yaman?) al-Qass means the priest (particularly, the Christian priest).
Flourished under the Buwayhid sultan Adud al-dawla; died c. 990. Mathematician
and translator from Greek into Arabic. He thus translated the Tenth book
H. Suter: Mathematiker (68,
ibn Mohammed ibn Qasim ibn Fadl al-Isfahani. From Ispahan, flourished probably
c. 982. Persian mathematician. He gave a better Arabic edition of the Conics
of Apollonios and commented on the first books.
The Conics had been translated a century before by Hilal al-Himsi
(books 1-4) and Thabit ibn Qurra (books 5-7) (see second half of ninth
century). H. Suter: Die Mathematiker und Astronomen der Araber (98, 1900).
Abu Sahl Wijan (or
Waijan) ibn Rustam al-Kuhi. Of Kuh, Tabaristan, flourished in Bagdad c.
988. Mathematician, astronomer. Many mathematical and astronomical writings
are ascribed to him. He was the leader of the astronomers working in 988
at the observatory built of the Buwayhid Sharaf al-dawla. He devoted his
attention to those Archimedian and Apollonian problems leading to equations
of a higher degree than the second; He solved some of them and discussed
the conditions of solvability. These investigations are among the best
of Muslim geometry. M. Steinschnieder: Lettere
intorno ad Alcuhi a D. Bald. Boncompagni (Roma, 1863). Suter: Die Mathematiker
und Astronomen der Araber (75-76, 1900).
Abu Sa'id Ahmed ibn
Mohammed ibn Abd al-Jalil al-Sijzi (short for al-Sijistani). Lived from
c. 951 to c. 1024. Mathematician who made a special study of the intersections
of conic sections and circles. He replaced the old kinematical trisection
of an angle by a purely geometric solution (intersection of a circle and
an equilateral hyperbola.) Suter: Die Mathematiker und
Astronomen der Araber (80-81, 224, 1900).
ABD AL-RAHMAN AL-SUFI
Abu-l-Husan Abd al-Rahman
ibn Omar al-Fufi al-Razi. Born in Ray 903, died 986. One of the greatest
Muslim astronomers. Friend and teacher of the Buwayhid sultan Adud al-dawla.
His main work is the "Book of the Fixed Stars" illustrated with figures
"Kitab al-kawakib al-thabita al-musawwar", one of the three masterpieces
of Muslim observational astronomy (the two others being due to Ibn Yunus,
first half of the eleventh century, and Ulugh Beg, first half of the fifteenth
century). Fihrist (284). Suter: Die
Mathematiker und Astronomen der Araber (62, 1900).
Abu-l-Qasim Ali ibn
al-Husain al-Alawi, al-Sharif al-Hisaini. Flourished at the Buwayhid court
under Adud al-dawla (q. v.,); died at Bagdad in 985. Muslim astronomer.
The accuracy of his observations was praised; he compiled astronomical
tables which obtained much favor during at least two centuries. H. Suter: Die Mathematiker
der Araber (62, 1900).
Abu Hamid Ahmed ibn
Mohammed al-Saghani al-Asturlabi, i. e., the astrolabe maker of Saghan,
near Merv, flourished in Bagdad, died 990. Mathematician, astronomer, inventor
and maker of instruments. He worked in Sharaf al-dawla's observatory and,
perhaps, constructed the instruments which were used there. Trisection
of the angle. Suter: Die Mathematiker und
Astronomen der Araber (p. 65, 1900).
ibn Mohammed ibn Yahya ibn Isma'il ibn al-Abbas al-Buzjani. Born in Buzjan,
Quhistan, in 940, flourished in Bagdad, where he died at 997 or 998. Astronomer
and one of the greatest Muslim mathematicians. One of the last Arabic translators
and commentators of Greek works. He wrote commentaries on Euclid, Diophantos,
and al-Khwarizimi (all lost); astronomical tables (zij al-wadih) of which
we have possibly a later adaptation; a practical arithmetic; "the complete
book" (Kitab al-kamil), probably a simplified version of the Almagest.
The book of applied geometry (Kitab al handasa) is probably in its present
form, the work of a disciple.
His astronomical knowledge was hardly superior to Ptolemy's. He
did not discover the variation, the third inequality of the moon. He simply
spoke of the second eviction, the Ptolematic, essentially different from
the variation discovered by Tycho Brahe.
Solution of the geometrical problems with one opening of the compass.
Construction of a square equivalent to other squares. Regular polyhedra
(based on Pappos). Approximative construction of regular heptagon (taking
for its side half the side of the equilateral triangle inscribed in the
same circle). Constructions of parabola by points. Geometrical solution
x4 = a and x4
+ ax4 = b.
Abu-l-Wafa contributed considerably to the development
of trigonometry. He was probably the first to show the generality of the
sine theorem relative to spherical triangles. He gave a new method for
constructing sine tables, the value of sin 30` being correct to the eighth
decimal place. He knew relations equivalent to ours for sin (a +
b) (though in an awkward form) and to
= 1 - cos a
sin a = 2 sin a/2 cos a/2.
He made a special study of the tangent; calculated
a table of tangents; introduced the secant and cosecant; knew those simple
relations between the sic trigonometric lines, which are now often used
to define them. Fihrist (I, 266, 283, Suter's
translation, p. 39).
Abu Muhamid Hamid
ibn al-Khidr al-Khujandi. Of Khujanda, on the jax artes, or Sir Daria,
Transoxania, died c. 1000. Astronomer, mathematicain. He made astronomical
observations, including a determination of the obliquity of the ecliptic,
in Ray in 994. He proved (impefectly) that the sum of two cubic numbers
cannot be a cubic number> He may be the discoverer of the sine theorem relative
to spherical triangles. Suter : Die Mathematiker und
Astronomen der Araber (74, 213, 1900).
Abu Nasr Mansur ibn
Ali ibn Iraq. Teacher of al-Bairuni; still active in 1007. Muslim mathematician
and astronomer; one of three to whom the discovery of the sine theorem
relative to spherical triangles is ascribed. He gave in 1007-8 an improved
edition of Menelaos's Spherica. Various other writings on trigonometry
are ascribed to him. H. Suter : Die Mathematiker
und Astronomen der Araber (81, 255, Leipzig, 1900).
MASLAMA IBN AHMED
ibn Ahmed al-Majriti. Of Madrid, flourished in Cordova, died in or before
1007. Astronomer, mathematician, occulist. The earliest Hispano-Muslim
scientist of any importance. He edited and corrected the astronomical tables
of al-Khwarizmi, replacing the Persian by the Arabic chronology. He wrote
a treatise on the astrolabe (translated into Latin by Joan. Hispalensis);
a commentary on Ptolemy's Planisphaerium translated by Rudolph of Bruges
(q. v., first half of twelfth century); a commercial arithmetic (al-mu'amalat);
a book on the generation of animals (?). He may have introduced into Spain
the writings of the Prethren Purity, or else this was done later by one
of his disciples, al-Karmani. He spoke of the erotic power of amicable
numbers (220, 284). Two alchemic writings, the "Sage's step" (Rutbat al-hakim)
and the "Aim of the Wise", (Ghayat al-hakim), are ascribed to him. The
second is well known in the Latin translation made in 1252 by order of
King Alfonso under the title Picatrix; the original Arabic text dates probably
from the middle of the eleventh century. Ibn Khaldun: Prolegmenes.
F. Wustenfeld: Geschichte der arabischen Aerzte (61, 1840).
Abu-l-Saqr Abd al-Aziz
ibn Uthman ibn Ali al-Qabisi. Pupil of al-Imrani (q. v. , first half
of tenth century) in Mosul; after the latter's death in 955-56 he was patronized
by the Hamdanid sultan Sayf al-dawla, who died in 966-67. Famous Muslim
astrologer. His main writings are his introduction to the art of astrology
(al-madkhal ila sina'at (ahkam) al-nujum) and treatise on the conjunctions
of planets; both were translated into Latin by Joannes Hispalensis (first
half of twelfth century). He, or his patron Sayf al-dawla, wrote a poem
on the rainbow. H. Suter : Die Mathematiker
und Astronomen der Araber (60, 1900; Nachtrag, 165, 1902).
RABI IBN ZAID
Rabi ibn Zaid al-Usquf.
Meaning the bishop (from the Greek). He was Bishop of Cordova and Elvira
under al-Hakam II. Flourished at Cordova c. 961. Spanish Christian writing
n Arabic. He coposed various astronological treatises and dedicated to
Hakam II a calendar (Kitab al-anwa', liber anoe) entitled "The Division
of times and the Good of bodies." Suter : Mathematiker (96,
Muslim Alchemy and Technology
See notes on Abu-l-Qasim
ibn Mohammed al-Tabari. Of Tabaristan; was physician to the Buwwayhid
Rukn al-dawla, c. 970. Persian Physician. Author of compendium of medicine,
called Hippocratic treatments, in ten books. Was it written in Persian
or in Arabic? It is extant only in Arabic, Kitab al-mu'alaja al-buqratiya. F. Wustenfeld: Arabschen Aerzte
ALI IBN ABBAS
Ali ibn Abbas al-Majusi,
that is, the Magian, which means that he, or his father was of the Zoroastrian
faith. Latin name: Ali Abbas or Hall Abbas. Born in Ahwaz, southwestern
Persia; flourished under thw Buwayhid Adud al-dawla; died in 994. One of
the three greatest physicians of the Eastern Caliphate. He wrote for Adud
aldawla a medical encyclopedia called "the Royal Book" (Kitab al-Maliki,
Liber regius, regalis dispositio; also called Kamil al-sana 'a al-tibbiya),
which is more systematic and consice than Razi's Hawi, but more practical
than Avicenna'a Qanun, by which it was superseded. The Maliki is divided
into 20 discourses, of which the first half deal with theory and the other
with the practice of medicine. the best parts of it are those devoted to
dietetics and to materia medica. Rudimentary conception of the capillary
system. Interesting clinical observations. Proof of the motions of the
womb during parturition (the child does not come out; it is pushed out). Wustenfeld: Geschichte der
arabischen Aerzte (59, 1840).
AL-HUSAIN IBN IBRAHIM
Al Husain ibn Ibrahim
ibn al-Hasan ibn Khurshid al-Tabari al-Natili. Flourished c. 900-91. Translator
from Greek into Arabic. He dedicated, in 990-91, an improved translation
of Dioscorides to the Prince Abu Ali al-Samjuri. C. Brockelmann: Arabische
Litteratur (189, 207).
Abu Masur al-Hasan
ibn Nuh al-Qumri. From Qum in Jibal. Flourished probably at Bagdad, about
the end of the tenth century, and the begining of the eleventh. Muslim
Physician. Teacher of Avicenna. He wrote a treatise on medicine, largely
based upon al-Razi, called the book of life and death (Kitab Ghina wa mana'),
divided into three parts (internal diseases, external diseases, fevers). C. Brockelmann: Arabische
Litteratur (vol. 1, 239, 1808).
ABU SAHL AL-MASIHI
Abu Sahl Isa ibn Yahya
al-Masihi al-Jurjani, i. e., the Christian, from Jurjan, east of the Caspian
Sea; died at the age of fourty in 999-1000. Christian physician writing
in Arabic. Teacher of Avicenna. He wrote an encyclopaedic treatise on medicine
in a hundred chapters (al-Kutub al-mi'a fi-l-sana'a al-tibbiya), which
is one of the earliest Arabic works of its kind and may have been in some
respects the model of the Qanun. He wrote a various smaller treatises:
on measles, on the plague, on the pulse, demonstration of God's wisdom
as evidenced in the creation of man, etc. C. Brockelmann: Arabische
Litteratur (vol. 1, 138, 1898).
ABU MANSUR MUWAFFAK
Abu Mansur Muwaffak
ibn Ali al-Harawi. Flourished in Herat under the Samanid prince Mansur
I ibn Nuh, who ruled from 961 to 976. Persian pharmacologist. He was apparently
the first to think of compiling a treatise on materia medica in Persian;
he travelled extensively in Persia and India to obtain necessary information.
He wrote between 968 and 977, the "Book of the Remedies" (Kitab al-abnyia
'an Haqa'iq al-adwiya), which is the oldest pose work in modern Persian.
It deals with 585 remedies (of which 466 are derived from plants, 75 from
minerals, 44 from animals), classified into four groups according to their
action. Outline of a general pharmacological theory. Abu mansur distinguished
between sodium carbonate (natrun) and potassium carbonate (qli); he had
some knowledge abot arsenious oxide, cupric oxide, silicic acid, antimony;
he knew the toxilogical effects of copper and lead compounds, the depilatory
vertue of quicklime, the composition of plaster of Paris and its surgical
use. E. G. Browne: Arabian Medicine
(92, Cambridge, 1921).
Abu Abdallah Muhammed
ibn Ahmed ibn Sa'id al-Tamimi al-Muqaddasi (meaning, the native or the
inhabitant of the Holly City). Born in Jerusalen; he moved, c. 970, to
Egypt and was still living there in 980. Palastinian physician. He made
pharmaceutical experiments and wrote various medical works, chiefly on
materia medica. His main work is a guide (Murshid) on materia medica, which
contains valuable information on plants, minerals, etc. Kitab al-murshid
ila jawahir al-aghdhiya wa quwa-lmufradat; guide toward (the understanding
of) the substances of food-stuffs and (of) the simple drugs. C. Brockelmann: Arabische
Litteratur (vol. 1, 237, 1898).
Ahmed ibn Mohammed
ibn Yahya al-Baladi. Flourished in Egypt under the Wazir Ya'qub ibn Kils,
who died in 990-91. Egyptian physician. Author of a treatise on the hygiene
of pregnant women and the babies (Kitab Tadbir al-habala wal-atfal). C. Brockelmann: Arabische
Litteratur (vol. 1, 237, 1898).
HASDAI IBN SHAPRUT
Alias shaprut, Shafrut,
Bashrut, Shaprot. Abu Yusuf Isaac ibn Izra. Born c. 915 at Jaen, Andalus;
flourished at Cordova at the court of Abd al-Rahman III; died in 970 or
990 at Cordova. Hispano-Jewish physician, translator of Greek into Arabic,
Patron of science. Physician to the caliph. He discovered a panacea called
al-faruq (the best).
A manuscript of Dioscorides having been presented in 948-49 to Abd
al-Rahman III by the emperor Constantinos VII, Hasdai undertook to translate
it with the assistance of the Greek monk Nicholas. This monk had been sent
to Cordova by the emperor upon the caliph's request, in 951.
He wrote a Hebrew letter to the King of the Khazars discribing Andalus.
He was a great patron of jewish science and it was partly due to his initiative
and activity that the intellectual center of Israel was finally transfered
from academies of Babylonia to Spain. Article by Rabbi Meyer Kayserling
in Jewish encyclopaedia, vol. 6, 248, 1904.
ARIB IBN SA'D
Arib ibn Sa'd al-Khatib
(the secretary) al-Qurtubi. Flourished at Cordova at the court of Abd al-Rahman
IIi and al-Hakim II, who died in 976. Hispano-Mislim historian and physician.
Originally Christian. He wrote a chronicle of Muslim Spain and Afric some
time between 961-976. This chronicle was extensively used by Ibn al-Idhari
(q. v., second half of thirteenth century). He wrote also a treatise on
gynaecology, hygiene of pregnant women and infants, and on obstetric (Khalq
al-janin, Creation of the embryo, in 964-65), and a calender (Kitab al-anwa'). C. Brockelmann: Arabische
Litteratur (vol. 1, 236, 1898).
Latin names: Abulcasis,
Albucasis, Alsaharavius. Khalaf ibn Abbas al-Zahrawi, from Zahra, near
Cordova, where he flourished and died c. 1013. The greatest Muslim surgeon.
Physician to al-Hakam II (961 to 976). His great medical encyclopedia in
30 sections, al-Tasrif (Vade-mecum) contains interesting methods of preparing
drugs by sublimation and distillation. but its most important part is the
surgical, in three books, largely based upon Paulos Aegineta. Great importance
attached to cauterization and styptics. Parts of the surgery are devoted
to obstetrics and to the surgical treatment of the eyes, ears, and teeth.
This work was illustrated with views of the surgical instruments. It was
early translated into Latin (by Gherardo Cremonese), Provencal and Hebrew.
Muslim prejudices against surgery stifled Abu-l-Qasim's fame in Islam,
but in the Christian world his prestigue was soon immense. Wustenfled: Geschichte der
Arabischen Aerschen (p. 85, 1840).
Abu Da'ud Suliman
ibn Hasan ibn Juljul. Physician to the Spanish Umayyad Hisham II, Mu'aiyad
billah, caliph from 976 to 1009. Hispano-Muslim physician. He wrote, at
Cordova, in 982, a commentary on Dioscorides, and later a supplement to
it, and a history of the physicians and philosophers of his time in Spain
(Ta'rikh al-atibba wal-falasifa), often quoted by Ibn abi Usaibi'a (q.
v., first half of the thirteenth century).
The aim of the commentary was to determine the drugs dealt with
by Dioscorides; the supplement was a list of drugs not mentioned by Dioscorides.
As to the origin of these Dioscoridian studies, see my notes on Hasidai
ibn Shaprut. It would seem that Ibn Juljul and others assisted in the translation of Dioscorides into Arabic. C. Brockelmann: Arabische
Litteratur (t. 1, 237, 1898).
In Latin: Algizar,
AlJazirah. Abu Ja'far Ahmed ibn Ibrahim Ibn Abi Khalid Ibn alJazzar. Flourished
in Qairawan, Tunis, died in 1009, being more than 80 years old. Physician.
Pupil of Ishaq al-Isra'ili (q. v., first half of the tenth century). Of
his many writings, the most important because of its enormous popularity,
was his "Traveller's Provision" (Zad al-Musafir) which was translated into
Latin by Constantinus Africanus, into Greek by Synesios, and into Hebrew
- the titles of these translations being: Viaticum pergrinantis; Zedat
al-Derachim. It contains remarkable descriptions of smallpox and measles.
He wrote also on the coryza, on the cuases of plague in Egypt, etc. C. Brockelmann: Arabische
Litteratur (vol. 1, 238, 1898).