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Medieval Islamic Medicine Paperback – 6 Mar 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Paperback, 6 Mar 2007
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Georgetown University Press; 1 edition (6 Mar. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589011619
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589011618
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,134,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"An outstanding contribution to an 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"

"Without question, this volume can be considered the best and most critical introduction to the field and a guide for future research.... Anyone interested in the history of Islamic science will find this a useful book to own." -- "American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences"

"[T]he authors take a fresh approach and offer imaginative conclusions." -- "ISIS"

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 is the author of The Oriental Tradition of Paul of Aegina's 'Pragmateia' and Al-Kindi's Philosophical Works. 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. She is the author of Magic and Divination in Early Islam and Science, Tools, and Magic.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
An excellent book though woefully short. The authors do state that this more an overview than an in depth discussion but one if left desperately wishing that they had been more comprehensive, especially as it is a subject where there are few good books available. The book tackles various topics by themes and details not only the technological and medical advancements but also the social history that medicine had on the Islamic world. It talks about the hospitals, the education, the attempted regulation and the practise of Islamic medicine. Curiously Ibn Sina is mentioned far less than one would expect, he is considered the greatest physician (though arguably and certainly in my view Razi makes a strong challenge) but his works are not gone into in any detail. A fantastic and scholarly read for anyone interested in the subject. The authors list numerous books and sources for further reading at the end of each chapter though these are often hard to come by.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Two authoritative academics have combined their individual ideas on the world of Medieval Islamic Medicine. It is primarily a reference book but for me, it was also an easy informative read. As an OU student, I found it is easy to find quotations and themes and to reference them accordingly. This book was instrumental in my getting a distinction in my assignment.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An informative academic research into the origins of Medieval Islamic Medicine which has shaped the world of medicine in the modern age.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9bb7269c) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bb6ea80) out of 5 stars Concise and thorough account of Islamic Medicine 18 Nov. 2008
By Lucy Cat - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I came across Pormann's Islamic Medicine while conducting a literature review for a thesis paper. I have a great deal of interest in the ancient and medieval medicine and the factors which contributed to the rise of early modern medicine.

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:
1. Introduction
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.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bb70f3c) out of 5 stars Not so dark ages 3 Dec. 2007
By ImageMD - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The authors weave a story about the medieval world (600-1500CE) and medieval medicine and bring their own research with the publications of other scholars. The story takes the reader on a journey to the medieval centers of Islamic knowledge: Cairo, Alexandria, Damascus and Baghdad. The major cultures and religions, Moslems, Christians and Jews, ebb and flow across time and political boundaries. The two principal themes are the transmission and elaboration of the ancient medical texts of Galen and Hippocrates and their translation from Greek into Arabic, Hebrew and Latin. As Europe emerged from the Dark Ages, its physicians drew upon this reservoir of medical observations as they developed their own empiricism.

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.
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ba9f234) out of 5 stars New understanding of Islam influence 27 July 2007
By Doris Conway - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book because even though a lay person, I have a great deal of interest in medicine and medical history as well as theology and philosophy, I'm working on learning and understanding more about Islam, and I am an old friend of one of the authors, Prof. Savage-Smith.

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.
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bad9a74) out of 5 stars Medieval islamic medicine 17 Oct. 2007
By Raphael Verburg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I had always a special interest for history of medicine but I was missing a clear comprehensive review of islamic medicine. Not any more. Well written, excellent documentation, not too much but enough.
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