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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-12

The role of Ibn Sina (Avicenna)'s medical poem in the transmission of medical knowledge to medieval Europe

Emeritus Professor of Urology, Alfaisal University, Riyadh, KSA

Correspondence Address:
Rabie El-Said Abdel-Halim
90 Heathfield Road, Wavertree, Liverpool, Merseyside, L15 9HA, UK

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DOI: 10.4103/0974-7796.127010

PMID: 24669114

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The Medical Poem ("Al-Urjuzah Fi Al-Tibb") of Ibn Sina (Avicenna, 980-1037), is the subject of this primary-source study evaluating its scientific value, poetics and pedagogical significance as well as assessing its role in the transmission of medical knowledge to Medieval Europe. In addition to one original manuscript and two modern editions, the English translation by Krueger was also studied. Ibn Sina's poem on medicine consisting of meticulously classified 1326 verses, can be considered as a poetic summary of his encyclopedic textbook: The Canon of Medicine; hence its popularity in the East then the West as a tool in the process of transmitting medical knowledge from master to student. Since first translated by Gerard of Cremona (1114-1187) in the middle of the 12 th century, the Latinized poem was frequently published in Medieval Europe either independently or combined with the Latinized Canon of Medicine or with the Articella; the famous collection of Greco-Roman and Latinized Arabian medical treatises in use in the universities of Salerno, Montpelier, Bologna and Paris up to the 17 th century. The study of the Krueger's English edition revealed few places where the full meanings of the original Arabic text were not conveyed. A list of those places is given together with the suggested corrections.

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