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Lecture 6

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History of Science
History of Science 2220

October 23, 2013 HIS 2220: Lecture 6 Medieval Islamic Medicine Lecture Summary: • History of the rise and spread of Islam • Development of Islamic Medicine • Practitioners of Islamic Med • Islamic Innovation • Transmission to Europe • The Decline of Innovation The Rise of Islam (not on exam) • Muhammad 570-632CE • Hijra 622 –the year the calendar starts • Pre-Islamic World: suffered from the Justinian Plague—form of Bubonic plague that hit in 6 C – Nomadic people were less affected • Islam existed for a long period of time because it was versatile and adapted the structures o Adoption and adaption • The Golden Age of Islam: The Abbasid Caliphate Islamic History • Lots of texts • Few historians • Language barriers • Orientalism – Edward Said, 1978 o Obsessed with comparing middle east to Europe o Biased because most history academia comes from Europe Historians October 23, 2013 Medicine under Island • Translation and synthesis o When Islam spread, it encompassed huge territories (own cultures, laws, tradition etc) o Each of these territories were synthesised into one o Islamic Synthesis –Medicine  Pre-Islamic Bedouin Tradition • What we know is based on poerty and archaeology • Based on superstition, animism • Practiced cauterization, cupping, herbal remedies, camel urine • Main practitioners of medicine were women  Sassanian Medicine: • Zoroastrian belief system • Greek texts from Alexander, 323BC (invaded the sassanian empire) and brought Greek medicine with him (humoral theory, balance) • Greek Texts from Nestorians, 451CE • Indian and Chinese medicine: came about through the trade routes –with the trade, came ideas o Substances, herbal remedies o Yin and Yang, Qi (balance – disease explained through balance or imbalance of principle forces)  Caliph = religious leader at the time o How did they do the Synthesis?  Abbasid Dynasty 750-1258 CE/ 132-656H (first none Arabic dynasty) October 23, 2013 • Moved capital to Baghdad – cultural society and Hellenised  Translation Movement:  Began with Caliph al-mansur (d.775) • Caliph Ma’mun (813-833) – mutazilit o Founded the House of Wisdom –an unrivaled centre for the study of humanities and science (medicine, astronomy etc.) –this drew of Greek, Indian and Persian texts  Scholars here built on their knowledge through their own discoveries  It was an academy – main objective was translation, reading, writing, scribing, discourse, dialogue and discussion • Al-Mutawakkil (847-861) – Orthodox Islam (end of translation movement) o Part of group that hated Mutazilits o If it doesn’t come from Arabic culture, there’s no point in having it –cut funding of translation • Translation done by: Nestorians –Syriac, Greek, Persian and Arabic speaking o Wanted entire meaning, greater idea to be translated o Philological and stylistic accuracy • Practice o Hospitals: Bimristan (name of Hospitals then)– “Gundeshapur” =teaching hospital, 3 century but believed to be fake (officially started to arise in the th Golden Age –probably 8 century)  Didn’t exist until mid 19 century in Europe  Middle East Hospitals = similar to what we have today o Complex code of ethics October 23, 2013 o Exams, licensing, clinical internships o Funded by charity o Treated people and educated more doctors o Wards for men and women o Treated disorders of the eye o Orthopedic cases, surgical wards available and special areas for contagious people o also organized Military hospitals o treatment was always for Muslims and Non-Muslims • Practitioners o Physicians  Received a salary, wages quite substantial and also had private practice – as employees of the hospitals: their jobs were to give lectures, make rounds for the patients, wrote prescriptions, assigned treatments –also visited prisons on daily basis  Private practice: make house calls or might have practice in market  Doctors had complex code of ethics (similar the Hippocratic Oath)  A lot of respect for doctors o Specialist – surgeons, oculists, bonesetters  Oculist (eyes)  Not so respected publically – mainly because Galetic perspective and specialist would do surgery and success rate was low o Apothecaries – fill prescriptions written o Barbers – cut hair, shave beard and will blood let o Folk –medicine practitioners –traditional style medicine, camel urine  Rural areas October 23, 2013  Usually women  Generally to the poor o Practitioners of Islamic Medicine  Medicine is secular – interested in all aspects of higher learning  Al-Razi (Rhazes) 855-925CE • Persian • Differentiated smallpox from measles
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