Islamic Medical and Scientific Tradition
Edited by Peter Pormann
Routledge – 2010 – 1,528 pages
Islam developed over the course of its history one of the world’s most innovative and interesting scientific and medical traditions. In this context, the term Islam should not simply be understood as referring to the religion of the prophet Muhammad, but rather to a civilization which was once surprisingly open to foreign influences, and eager to engage with the proverbial Other. Yet Islam is often perceived as being opposed to (Western) science and methodology.
Islamic Medical and Scientific Tradition presents a selection of works that illustrate the intellectual curiosity and theoretical vigour with which Arabs and non-Arabs living in the medieval Muslim world pursued scientific endeavours. The focus is firmly on scholarship published within the last twenty years, during which period the discipline has enjoyed a new bloom.
Starting with the theoretical framework of the sciences in Islamic philosophy and theology, this new collection from Routledge elucidates the position of mathematics, physics, and medicine within the hierarchy of the sciences. Another topic discussed is Ancient (or Greek) versus traditional (or Muslim) sciences; and Islamic theological views on the pure pursuit of knowledge. The life sciences of Biology, Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine are examined, as are those of the physical sciences: Physics and Astronomy. The occult ‘sciences’ of Astrology, Alchemy, and Geomancy are also discussed. Close attention is paid to the mathematical sciences of Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Optics (including the introduction of zero, the invention of algebra, the squaring of the circle, conics, and the nature of vision). The practical sciences, Agriculture, Engineering, and Horticulture, are also examined in detail.
Fully indexed, and with a comprehensive introduction newly written by the editor, that places the collected material in its historical and intellectual context, this is an essential work destined to be valued by scholars, students, and researchers as a vital one-stop reference resource.
Part 1: The Theoretical Framework: The Sciences in Islamic Philosophy and Theology
1. Dimitri Gutas, ‘Medical Theory and Scientific Method in the Age of Avicenna’, in David C. Reisman (ed.), Before and After Avicenna: Proceedings of the First Conference of the Avicenna Study Group (Brill, 2003), pp. 145–62.
2. Hans Hinrich Biesterfeldt, ‘Medieval Arabic Encyclopedias of Science and Philosophy’, in Steven Harvey (ed.), The Medieval Hebrew Encyclopedias of Science and Philosophy: Proceedings of the Bar-Ilan University Conference (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000), pp. 77–98.
3. Peter Adamson, ‘Knowledge of Universals and Particulars in the Baghdad School’, Documenti e Studi sulla Tradizione Filosofica Medievale, 2007, 18, 141–64.
4. Roshdi Rashed, ‘Metaphysics and Mathematics in Classical Islamic Culture: Avicenna and his Successors’, in Ted Peters, Muzaffar Iqbal, and Syed Nomanul Haq (eds.), God, Life, and the Cosmos (Ashgate, 2002), pp. 151–71.
Part 2: The Life Sciences: Biology, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine
5. Michael D. Dols, ‘The Origins of the Islamic Hospital: Myth and Reality’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 1987, 61, , 367–90.
6. Peter E. Pormann, ‘Islamic Hospitals in the Time of al-Muqtadir’, in J. Nawas (ed.), Abbasid Studies II: Occasional Papers of the School of Abbasid Studies, Leuven, 28 June–1 July 2004 (Peeters, 2009), pp. 337–82.
7. Peter E. Pormann, ‘Medical Methodology and Hospital Practice: The Case of Tenth-century Baghdad’, in P. Adamson (ed.), In the Age of al-Farabi: Arabic Philosophy in the 4th/10th Century (Warburg Institute, 2008), pp. 95–118.
8. Albert Zaki Iskandar, ‘Ar-Razi, the Clinical Physician (Al-Razi al-tabib al-Ikliniki)’, Al-Masriq, 1962, 56, 217–82.
9. Cristina Álvarez-Millán, ‘Graeco-Roman Case Histories and their Influence on Medieval Islamic Clinical Accounts’, Social History of Medicine, 1999, 12, 19–33.
10.Cristina Álvarez-Millán, ‘Practice Versus Theory: Tenth-century Case Histories from the Islamic Middle East’, in P. Horden and E. Savage-Smith (eds.), The Year 1000: Medical Practice at the End of the First Millennium (Oxford University Press, 1997), pp. 293–306.
11.Emilie Savage-Smith, ‘Attitudes Toward Dissection in Medieval Islam’, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 1995, 50, 68–111.
12. J. Bray, ‘The Physical World and the Writer’s Eye: al-Tanukhi and Medicine’, in Bray (ed.), Writing and Representation in Medieval Islam: Muslim Horizons (Routledge, 2006), pp. 215–49.
13. L. I. Conrad, ‘Arabic Plague Chronologies and Treatises: Social and Historical Factors in the Formation of a Literary Genre’, Studia Islamica, 1981, 54, 51–93.
14. E. Savage-Smith, ‘Ibn al-Nafis’s Perfected Book on Ophthalmology and His Treatment of Trachoma and its Sequelae’, Journal for the History of Arabic Science, 1980, 4, 147–204.
15. D. Waines, ‘Dietetics in Medieval Islamic Culture’, Medical History, 1999, 43, 228–40.
16. L. Chipman, ‘How Effective Were Cough Remedies Known to Medieval Egyptians?’, Korot, 2002, 16, 135–57.
17. Peter E. Pormann, ‘Al-Razi (d. 925) on the Benefits of Sex: A Clinician Caught between Philosophy and Medicine’, in Arnoud Vrolijk and Jan P. Hogendijk (eds.), O Ye Gentlemen: Arabic Studies on Science and Literary Culture, in Honour of Remke Kruk (Brill, 2007), pp. 115–27.
18. H. H. Biesterfeldt, ‘Some Opinions on the Physician’s Remuneration in Medieval Islam’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 1984, 58, 16–27.
19. G. Leiser, ‘Medical Education in Islamic Lands from the Seventh to the Fourteenth Century’, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 1983, 38, 48–75.
20. E. Savage-Smith, ‘Anatomical Illustration in Arabic Manuscripts’, in A. Contadini (ed.), Arab Painting: Text and Image in Illustrated Arabic Manuscripts (Brill, 2007), pp. 147–60.
21. Peter E. Pormann, ‘The Physician and the Other: Images of the Charlatan in Medieval Islam’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 2005, 79, 2, 189–227.
22. Amnon Shiloah, ‘Jewish and Muslim Traditions of Music Therapy’, in Peregrine Horden (ed.), Music as Medicine: The History of Music Therapy Since Antiquity (Ashgate, 2000), pp. 69–83.
23. C. Burnett, ‘Spiritual Medicine in Music and Healing in Islam and its Influence on Western Medicine’, in P. Gouk (ed.), Musical Healing in Cultural Contexts (Ashgate, 2000), pp. 81–91.
24. L. I. Conrad, ‘Usama ibn Munqidh and Other Witnesses to Frankish and Islamic Medicine in the Era of the Crusades’, in Z. Amar et al. (eds.), Ha-Refu’ah bi-Yerushalayim le-doroteha (Medicine in Jerusalem Throughout the Ages) (ha-Mador le-toldot ha-refuah be-Erets-Yisrael, 1999), pp. xxvii–lii.
25. Peter E. Pormann, ‘La querelle des médecins arabistes et hellénistes et l’héritage oublié’, in Véronique Boudon-Millot and Guy Cobolet (eds.), Lire les médecins grecs à la Renaissance: Aux origines de l’édition médicale, Actes du colloque international de Paris (19–20 septembre 2003) (De Boccard Édition-Diffusion, 2004), pp. 113–41 (translated).
26. B. F. Musallam, ‘The Human Embryo in Arabic Scientific and Religious Thought’, in G. R. Dunstan (ed.), The Human Embryo: Aristotle and the Arabic and European Traditions (University of Exeter Press, 1990), pp. 32–46.
27. J. Bummel, ‘Human Biological Reproduction in the Medicine of the Prophet: The Question of the Provenance and Formation of the Semen’, in J. A. C. Greppin et al. (eds.), The Diffusion of Greco-Roman Medicine into the Middle East and the Caucasus (Caravan Books, 1999), pp. 169–84.
28. Remke Kruk, ‘Ibn abi-l-Ash’ath’s Kitab al-hayawan: A Scientific Approach to Anthropology, Dietetics and Zoological systematics’, Zeitschrift für Geschichte der arabisch-islamischen Wissenschaften, 2001, 14, 119–68.
29. Anna A. Akasoy, ‘The Influence of the Arabic Tradition of Falconry and Hunting on European Culture’, in James Montgomery Akasoy and Peter E. Pormann (eds.), Islamic Crosspollinations: Interactions in the Medieval Middle East (Oxbow, 2007), pp. 46–64.
30. Robert Hoyland, ‘Theomnestus of Magnesia, Hunayn ibn Ishaq, and the Beginnings of Islamic Veterinary Science’, in Robert G. Hoyland and Philip F. Kennedy (eds.), Islamic Reflections, Arabic Musings: Studies in Honour of Professor Alan Jones (Gibb Memorial Trust, 2004), pp. 150–69.
Part 3: The Physical Sciences: Physics, Astronomy, Geodesy
31. Syvlie Nony, ‘Two Arabic Theories of Impetus’, in O. Fayez Riyadh (ed.), Awraq Klasikiya (Cairo, 2009).
32. David A. King, ‘Islamic Astronomy’, in Christopher Walker (ed.), Astronomy before the Telescope (British Museum Press, 1996), pp. 143–74.
32. F. Jamil Ragep, ‘Freeing Astronomy from Philosophy: An Aspect of Islamic Influence on Science’, Osiris, 2001, 16, 49–71.
33. A. I. Sabra, ‘Configuring the Universe: Aporetic, Problem Solving, and Kinematic Modeling as Themes of Arabic Astronomy’, Perspectives on Science, 1998, 6, 288–330.
34. George Saliba, ‘Arabic versus Greek Astronomy: A Debate over the Foundations of Science’, Perspectives on Science, 2000, 8, 328–41.
35. Y. Tzvi Langermann, ‘The Book of Bodies and Distances of Habash al-Hasib’, Centaurus, 1985, 28, 108–28.
36. Christian Houzel, ‘The New Astronomy of Ibn al-Haytham’, Arabic Sciences and Philosophy, 2009, 19, 1–41.
Part 4: The Occult Sciences: Astrology, Alchemy, Geomancy
37. Remke Kruk, ‘Harry Potter in the Gulf: Contemporary Islam and the Occult’, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 2005, 32, 47–74.
38. P. Adamson, ‘Abu Masar, al-Kindi and the Philosophical Defense of Astrology’, Recherches de théologie et philosophie médiévales, 2002, 69, 245–70.
39. David A. King, ‘A Hellenistic Astrological Table Deemed Worthy of Being Penned in Gold Ink: The Arabic Tradition of Vettius Valens’ Auxiliary Function for Finding the Length of Life’, in Charles Burnett et al. (eds.), Studies in the History of the Exact Sciences in Honour of David Pingree (Brill, 2004), pp. 666–714.
40. A. Y. al-Hassan, ‘The Arabic Original of Liber de compositione alchemiae: The Epistle of Maryanus, the Hermit and Philosopher, to Prince Khalid bin Yazid’, Arabic Sciences and Philosophy, 2004, 14, 213–31.
41. Paul Kunitzsch, ‘Origin and History of Liber de stellis beibeniis’, in P. Lucentini et al. (eds.), Hermetism from Late Antiquity to Humanism (Brepols, 2003), pp. 449–60.
42. B. C. Hallum, ‘The Tome of Images: An Arabic Compilation of Texts by Zosimos of Panopolis and a Source of the Turba Philosophorum’, Ambix, 2009, 56, 76–88.
43. Karin C. Ryding, ‘Islamic Alchemy According to al-Khwarizmi’, Ambix, 1994, 121–34.
44. E. Savage-Smith and M. B. Smith, ‘Islamic Geomancy and a Thirteenth-Century Divinatory Device: Another Look’ in E. Savage-Smith (ed.), Magic and Divination in Early Islam (Ashgate, 2004), pp. 211–76.
Part 5: The Mathematical Sciences: Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Optics
45. D. Gutas, ‘Geometry and the Rebirth of Philosophy in Arabic’, Words, Texts, and Concepts Cruising the Mediterranean Sea: Studies on the Sources, Contents and Influences of Islamic Civilization and Arabic Philosophy and Science Dedicated to Gerhard Endress on His Sixty-fifth Birthday (Peeters, 2004), pp. 195–209.
46. Peter Adamson, ‘Vision, Light, and Color in al-Kindi, Ptolemy and the Ancient Commentators’, ASPh, 2006, 16, 207–36.
47. Charles Burnett, ‘Indian Numerals in the Mediterranean Basin in the Twelfth Century, with Special Reference to the "Eastern Forms"’, in Y. Dold-Samplonius et al. (eds.), From China to Paris: 2000 Years’ Transmission of Mathematical Ideas (Steiner, 2002), pp. 237–88.
48. Jan Hogendijk, ‘Applied Mathematics in Eleventh Century Al-Andalus: Ibn Muadh al-Jayyani and His Computation of Astrological Houses and Aspects’, Centaurus, 2005, 47, 87–114.
Part 6: The Practical Sciences: Agriculture, Cartography, Engineering
49. Donald R. Hill, ‘Arabic Mechanical Engineering: Survey of the Historical Sources’, ASPh, 1991, 1, 167–86.
50. Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila, ‘The "Nabatean Agriculture": Authenticity, Textual History and Analysis’, Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften, 2002–3, 15, 249–80.
51. Angelo Alves Carrara, ‘Geoponica and Nabatean Agriculture: A New Approach into their Sources and Authorship’, ASPh, 2006, 16, 103–32.
52. Jeremy Johns and Emilie Savage-Smith, ‘The Book of Curiosities: A Newly Discovered Series of Islamic Maps’, Imago Mundi, 2003, 55, 7–24.