Medieval Islamic Medicine (New Edinburgh Islamic Surveys) (The New Edinburgh Islamic Surveys) Paperback – 26 Jan 2007
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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
About the Author
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).
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Medieval Islamic Medicine is a concise yet thorough account of the medical tradition which hailed from the Islamic empire between 600-1200 CE. The vast number of references following each chapter are particularly useful for those looking to read further beyond this treatise.
The text itself is divided into the following major chapters:
2. The Emergence of Islamic Medicine
3. Islamic Medical Theory
4. Islamic Physicians in Society
5. Surgical Advances, Hospitals and other technologies
6. The Afterlife
There are a number of beautiful and interesting illustrations though regrettably they are printed in black and white. The author's prose is straightforward and quite easily digested by non-historians and the average layperson (such as myself). Though it provides just a glimpse into the medieval era of medicine as a whole, it does contain a number of fascinating tidbits and was a enjoyable read overall.
This comprehensive book will be of great interest to readers who are new to the subject as well as those who wish to enhance their knowledge. The few illustrations are well chosen.
This book is fascinating in terms of the methodology used by the authors to learn about and come to conclusions about this history, including a tracing of roots, as well as the methods used in medieval times for medical practices. Lots of details and yet lots of main themes to give perspective. Even though very specialized, I think it is quite interesting.