Syriac Christian medicine and Muslim patronage

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Truly fascinating reading, and an inspiration for today:
"Early in the 9th century, there was established in Baghdad a foundation called the House of Wisdom (Bayt al-Hikmah), which had its own library. Its purpose was to promote the translation of scientific texts. The most famous of the translators was Hunayn ibn Ishaq al-`Ibadi, a Syriac-speaking Christian originally from southern Iraq who also knew Greek and Arabic. He was the author of many medical tracts and a physician to the caliph al-Mutawakkil (ruled 847-861/232-247 H), but he is most often remembered as a translator, an activity he began at the age of seventeen. He produced a truly prodigious amount of work before his death in about 873 (260 AH), for he translated nearly all the Greek medical books known at that time, half of the Aristotelian writings as well as commentaries, various mathematical treatises, and even the Septuagint." For the full article see: and there's other linked pages.


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