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Ibn Abi Usaibia, History of Physicians (1971) pp.1-195


Ibn Abu Usaibi'ah


Translated from the Arabic by Dr. L. Kopf
with partial annotations by Dr. M. Plessner,
Institute of Asian and African Studies,
The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

Translated for the National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland,
under the Special Foreign Currency Program, carried out under a
National Science Foundation Contract with the Israel Program for
Scientific Translations, Jerusalem, Israel


Volume 1 — Manuscript
pages 1-195

NOTE. The references to sources given in footnotes are as follows:
GAL — Brockelmann. Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur;
S — Supplement.
I.Q. — Ibn al Qiftī. Tarīkh al-Hukamā (History of Philosophers)


In the name of Allāh, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Praise is due to Allāh, Who has dispersed the nations throughout the world and Who will revive the dead;1 the creator of the spirit of life and the healer of sickness, who bestows abundant favors 2 upon him whom He prefers3 and threatens painful punishment and affliction to him who disobeys Him; He Who, by His wondrous deeds, caused creatures to come into being from the void and Who, by His most perfect acts and with gravest wisdom, decrees maladies and reveals the remedy.

And I bear sincere witness, accepting full responsibility for the truth of my words and eschewing the sins of idle talk and peroration,4 that there is no God but Allāh; and I also bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, who was commissioned [to spread the word of God] by meaningful sayings5 and who was sent to all Arabs and non-Arabs,6 who illuminated the deepest darkness with the blaze of his mission,7 destroyed8 the haughty and wrongdoers with the sword of his miracle, and curbed and eradicated the disease of polytheism merely by pronouncing his prophecy; Allāh bless him for ever, as long as lightning flashes and rain pours down, him and his noble and honorable family, his companions, who made his law their goal, and his wives, the mothers of the faithful, who are free of all blemish.9 Exalt, and honor him.

Now since the medical art is one of the noblest, a most goodly one 10 and its praise is sung in the divine books and in religious treatises,11 the lore of the body has been set on a par with the lore of religion. [p.2]

Said the savants: [human] aspirations are two: [heavenly] bliss and [sensual] pleasure. And these two aims cannot be attained by man except in a state of health, for the pleasure to be derived from this world and the bliss hoped for in that to come can only be gained through permanent good health and bodily vigor; these, moreover, can be secured only thanks to the art of medicine, which nurtures existing health and restores the lost state. As the medical art thus occupies a lofty position in this place [on earth] 12 and is generally required at every moment of every day, it is fitting that the greatest interest be taken in it and that the desire to become acquainted with both its general and particular rules be most steadfast and serious. Reports have come down to us of many persons who have applied themselves to this art, from its very birth down to our times, and who were anxious to investigate and study its fundamental rules, among them some of the greatest authorities and most outstanding theoreticians and experts in this field, whose excellence, high rank and merit are attested to both by information transmitted through various channels and by their own writings. Nevertheless, I have not found that any one of the masters of this art or of those who seriously devote themselves to its study has written a book containing a continuous account of the different generations of physicians and the circumstances of their lives. I therefore decided to note down here the most interesting and essential details concerning the various categories of celebrated physicians, both ancient and modern, and their successive generations. I also present examples of their sayings, of stories and anecdotes told about them and of their disagreements, and I mention the titles of some of their works, in order that the reader may draw his conclusions as to the great knowledge by which Allāh distinguished them and the excellent talent and understanding which He bestowed upon them. To many of them, although they lived long ago and at different times, we still owe a debt — as a pupil does to his teacher or a recipient of favors to his benefactor — for the comforts [p.3] and gifts stemming from the knowledge of this art which they recorded and assembled in their writings: I also mention some savants and philosophers who studied and practiced medicine, giving some general information about their lives, interesting personal details and the titles of their works. To each I assign the place most suited to him, according to his generation and his category. The philosophers, mathematicians and students of the other sciences will be treated by me exhaustively, if Allāh the Exalted wills, in the book "Outstanding Personalities [lit. milestones] 13 among the Nations and Reports on the Masters of Wisdom."

As for the present book, the idea of which I conceived at that time,14 I have divided it into fifteen chapters and called it "Essential Information 15 Concerning the Classes of Physicians." With it I am rendering a contribution to the library of my lord and master, the learned and righteous vizier, the accomplished chief, the lord of viziers, the king of savants, the leader of scholars, the sun of religion, Amīn al-Dawlah Kamāl al-Dīn Shārāf al-Milla Abū al-Hasān ibn Ghazal ibn Abī Sa`id 16 — may Allāh perpetuate his happiness and grant him his desires in this world and in the hereafter. Of Allāh the Exalted I ask success and aid, for He is the guardian of these and able to grant them.

The chapters of the book are as follows:

I) On the Origin and Appearance of the Art of Medicine.

II) On the Classes of Physicians Who Gained Knowledge of Certain Aspects of the Art of Medicine and Who Were the First to Practice It.

III) On the Classes of Greek Physicians Who Were Descendants of Asclepius.

IV) On the Classes of Greek Physicians, among Whom Hippocrates Propagated the Art of Medicine.

V ) On the Classes of Physicians Who Lived around and after the Time of Galen.17 [p.4]

VI) On the Classes of Alexandrian Physicians and their Contemporaries, Christian and Other.

VII) On the Classes of Physicians, Arab and Other, Who Lived at the Dawn of Islam.

VIII) On the Classes of Syrian Physicians Who Lived in the Early Days of the Abbasid Dynasty.

IX) On the Classes of Physicians Who Translated Medical and Other Books from Greek into Arabic, with an Indication of Those for Whom They Were Translated.

X) On the Classes of Physicians of Irāq, al-Jasīra and Diyar Bekr.

XI) On the Classes of Persian Physicians.

XII) On the Classes of Physicians Who Originated in India.

XIII) On the Classes of Physicians Who Originated in or Took Up Residence in the Maghrib.18

XIV) On the Classes of Famous Egyptian Physicians.

XV) On the Classes of Famous Syrian Physicians.



On the Origin and Appearance of the Art of Medicine

An investigation into this subject is complicated by several factors. First, it is remote in time, and everything relating to the distant past, especially if it concerns a matter of this nature, is very difficult to study. Secondly, we do not find in the writings of the ancients, the distinguished, or the men of sound views any concerted opinion which we could rely upon. Thirdly, those who have discoursed on this subject belonged to various factions and their opinions differed widely, according to what is known of each of them, wherefore it is hard to decide which of their statements is true. Even Galen says in his commentary on the "Book of Oaths"19 by Hippocrates that the search among the ancients to discover the inventor of medicine was not an easy one. Let us begin, therefore, with an account of what Galen says, supplementing it with remarks of my own, with a view to comprehending all these divergent views.

The statements as to how the art of medicine came into being fall into two primary categories. Some claim that it has existed from eternity, others that it was created. Those who believe in the creation of bodies maintain that medicine was created, just as the bodies to which it is applied were, while those who believe in pre-existence hold that medicine has existed from eternity, from the beginning of time,  [p.6] it being one of the primeval phenomena that have always existed.20

The protagonists of the creation theory are also divided. Some say that medicine was created along with man, since it is one of the things on which human well being depends, while others — and they are the majority — claim that it was invented later. The latter, once more, are split into groups, some of them claiming that it was God who revealed medicine to man (these are in agreement with Galen, Hippocrates, all Dogmatists [lit. Analogists] 21 and the Greek poets), others holding that the art was invented by man himself (these comprise the Empiricists, Methodists, Thessalus,22 the Sophists and Philinus).23

The latter disagree as to where and by what means medicine came into being. Some claim that the Egyptians invented it, basing their assertion on the drug called helenanin and which is the elecampane.24 Others contend that Hermes initiated all the arts, philosophy, and medicine.25 According to a third opinion it was the inhabitants of Qūlūs [Cos?],26 who founded it on the basis of drugs which the midwife had composed for the wife of a king and by which she was restored to health. Still another view is that the people of Mysia and Phrygia invented medicine, since it was they who invented the flute, and would soothe the anguish of the soul by means of tunes and rhythms, in exactly the same way they would heal the body.27 It is also maintained that those who invented medicine were the savants of Cos, the island on which Hippocrates and his ancestors, the descendants of Aselepius,28 lived. Indeed, many of the ancients asserted that medicine came into existence on three islands in the center of the fourth climate, one of them being Rhodes, another Cnidus and the third Cos, from which Hippocrates originated.

There are still other opinions variously ascribing the invention of medicine to the Chaldeans, the magicians of Yemen, Babylonia or Persia, the Indians, the Slavs, the Cretans, to whom the Epithymon is referred,29 or the people of Mount Sinai.30 [p.7]

Among those maintaining the divine origin of medicine there are those who say that it was revealed in dreams. They base their assertion on the fact that some people saw certain drugs in their dreams which they subsequently used when awake and by which they were cured of serious ailments, as was anyone else who used these drugs.

Others say that God revealed medicine to men by practical experience, which increased progressively and became strengthened. Their proof is that a woman in Egypt was once very sad and grieved, afflicted with deep sorrow and troubles and stricken with a weakness of the stomach. Her chest was full of bad humors and her menstruation was retained. Feeling an intense craving for elecampane, she partook of it repeatedly, whereupon all her troubles ceased and she was restored to health. Furthermore, everyone afflicted with one of the ailments from which she had been suffering became well after employing that drug. People then started to experiment.

Those maintaining that God, the Exalted, created medicine argue that it would have been impossible for the human mind to invent so lofty a science. This is the opinion of Galen, which he expressed as follows in his commentary on the Hippocratic Oath: "As for myself, I maintain that it would be most proper and most plausible to say that God, the Blessed and Exalted, created the art of medicine and revealed it to man, because it is unthinkable that the human mind should have been able to conceive so sublime a science. Only God, the Blessed and Exalted, is the Creator Who is truly capable of this. For we do not find that medicine is inferior to philosophy, which is generally believed to have taken its origin from God, the Blessed and Exalted, Who revealed it to mankind."  31

In a book by Shaikh Muwaffaq al-Dīn As`ad ibn Elyas ibn al-Maṭrān, entitled "The Garden of Physicians and the Meadow of the Intelligent," 32 I found a passage transmitted in the name of Abū Jābir al-Maghribi.33 It reads as follows: "This art came about by divine revelation and inspiration. Proof of this is that it is designed to cater to human individuals, either in order to restore them to health when sick or to [p.8] preserve their health; and it is impossible that the art should deal with individuals by itself without being linked to a knowledge of what these individuals are to whom the care is destined. īt is evident that individuals have a beginning, for they are countable, and everything countable starts from one, which then becomes many. It is impossible that human beings be infinite, for it is inconceivable that something infinite come into being." Ibn al-Maṭrān said:34 "What is not subject to limitation is not always infinite; it may well have an end, which, however, we are at a loss to determine." Abū Jābir continues: "If the human individuals of whom alone this art takes care, necessarily have a beginning, the same applies to the art, and it is evident that the individual who was the first of the many was in need of the art as much as the others. It is also obvious that the knowledge of this art was not established by invention from the first individual who ever existed, seeing the short span of life and the immense scope of the art. 35 It is likewise impossible that in the beginning, when a number of individuals already existed, they should have joined together to invent medicine collectively. It is an accurate and solidly based art, and something accurate cannot be contrived via dispute but only through agreement. It is unthinkable that the individuals who were the first of many should have agreed on something accurate since everyone is not like everyone else in all respects, and since the opinions of each did not harmonize, it is impossible that they should have reached agreement with regard to anything solid." Ibn al-Maṭrān said: "This leads to the conclusion that the other sciences and arts also came into existence by divine inspiration, for they too are accurate. Also, the claim that the [first] individuals could not possibly have joined forces to invent something accurate is sheer nonsense; on the contrary, if they had united to do anything it would be precisely with regard to something accurate. Disagreement occurs only if there is no precision." [p.9]

Abū Jābir said: "It has by now become evident that human individuals could not have invented that art, neither when they started to multiply nor when their number had reached the utmost limit for they vary greatly from one another, split into many factions and hold different opinions. I further say that a sceptic may raise doubts and ask: 'Do you think it possible that any one human being or a number of people may know, from their own experience, the places of growth of herbs and drugs; the deposits of minerals and their properties and the properties and noxious and beneficial effects of the parts of all animals; all maladies; all countries with the different tempers of their inhabitants according to their various abodes; the power resulting from the composition of drugs; which drug counteracts the influence of which other; which one is suitable for each of the various tempers and which one is opposed to it; and all the other topics of the medical art?' If that person declares it easy and minimizes the problem, he lies; and if he concedes that it is difficult to know all that from experience, I say that to invent that [knowledge] is wholly impossible. Thus, if the origin of the medical art can only be ascribed to human invention or to divine revelation and inspiration, and if there is no way to attribute it to the former, only one solution remains, that it owes its existence to divine revelation and inspiration."

Ibn al-Maṭrān said:36 "This reasoning is altogether disrupted and confused. Even though Galen, in his commentary on the Covenant 37 maintains that this art is revelational and inspirational, and Plato in his "Republic" says that Asclepius was a man divinely favored and heaven-inspired,38 it would be an error to maintain that the invention of this art by the human mind is improbable. It would also detract from the genius of those who discovered more illustrious arts than medicine. We may take it that the first single human being was as much in need of medicine as the multitude nowadays. He experienced a heaviness [p.10] of the body, his eyes reddened, and he showed signs of hyperemia and did not know what to do. Then, as a result of high blood pressure, a nosebleed occurred and he was relieved of his complaint. He took note of this and when, on another occasion, the same happened again, he immediately put his hand to his nose and scratched it, so that blood poured forth and his troubles were ended. He remembered this device and taught it to all of his offspring whom he lived to see. The methods of the art were improved upon, and finally, thanks to subtleness of mind and refined sense, the vein was opened.

As to venesection, we may also be justified in assuming that another human being, afflicted with the same complaints, was wounded or scratched so that he bled, and felt relieved as mentioned before. Thus, the human intellect conceived of bloodletting, which became a feature of medicine.

Another person stuffed himself with food, so that his system resorted to one of the two means of evacuation, viz., vomiting or diarrhea, after nausea, pain, anxiety, retching, colic-rumbling in the bowels and flatulence. After evacuation, all his troubles disappeared. Another person idly handled some spurge and chewed it, whereupon it caused violent diarrhea and vomiting. So he learnt that this herb induces the processes which relieve and banish those disturbances. He told the former person and advised him to use a little of that herb whenever he became afflicted with those troubles and vomiting and diarrhea were delayed; for it would produce the desired effect and relieve him.

A further refinement of the art and subtlety of its methods came about when other herbs, similar to the one referred to, were examined in order to ascertain which of them had the same effect and which had not, which acted violently and which mildly. Some keen-witted person examined the drug which had that effect for its taste and the sensation it caused to the tongue both at first and subsequently. He made this his [p.11] criterion 39 and started drawing conclusions; experience helped him to verify his assumptions, refuting his errors and confirming his correct guesses, so that he was satisfied.

Let us now imagine that a person suffering from diarrhea who did not know which drugs and foods would be beneficial and which harmful mixed by chance some sumac with his food and found it beneficial; he continued to take it and recovered. He now wanted to know by what property it had healed him. He tasted it, found it sour and astringent and concluded that it was either its sour taste or its astringent quality which benefited him. He then tasted a different herb of those which are only sour and used it on another person suffering from the same complaint. Seeing that it had not the wholesome effect of the former, he resorted to another herb, which tasted only astringent, and administered it to the same person. From the fact that it had a greater effect on the patient than the herb which was only sour, he concluded that this taste was beneficial in the condition concerned. So he called it constipating and the disease diarrhea and claimed that the astringent herb was beneficial for the complaint.

The art of medicine developed further 40 so that wonders were discovered and marvelous things invented. A later generation, perceiving that its predecessors had discovered something and then
tried it out and found it valid, assimilated that knowledge, enlarged it by analogy and completed it, until the art reached the stage of perfection.

Even though there may have been disagreement, we find, on the other hand, a large measure of consent and if an early medical adept made a mistake, a later one put it right; and if one of the ancients was deficient, a more recent one made up for it. The same applies to the other arts. This is what I consider most likely.41

His report continues as follows: "Ḥubaysh al-A`sam 42 said: A man bought some fresh liver from a butcher and went home. Being [p.12] compelled to go about some other business, he placed the liver on the leaves of a certain plant that were spread out on the ground. When he later returned to pick up the liver, he found it dissolved into a flowing mass of blood. Knowing that plant, he took the leaves and from then on sold them as a drug promoting decay, until his doings became known and he was sentenced to death."

The author 43 says: This happened in the days of Galen, who reports that this event caused the man to be apprehended and brought before the judge, who sentenced him to death. Galen says: "When he was led to the place of execution, I advised that he be blindfolded, lest he look at that plant or make signs to someone else who would thus learn about it from him." Galen reports this in his book on purgative drugs. 44

Jamāl al-Dīn al-Naqqāsh al-Is`irdi 45 told me: "Many herbs grow at the foot of the mountain on the other side of which is Is`ird,46 near the Maidān quarter.47 Once a poor old man, an inhabitant of the town, came to that place and lay down to sleep on some plant. He slept until a group of people passed by and, seeing blood under him which came from his nose and the region of his anus, awakened him. They wondered at his condition, until they found that it was due to the plant on which he had been lying." He informed me that he had been to that place and had seen the plant. Describing it, he mentioned that it was similar in shape to the endive, except that its sides were more elevated and that it had a bitter taste. He said: "I have seen many people hold it to their noses and repeatedly sniff it, for it causes immediate nosebleeding." Thus he said, but I have not been able to ascertain whether it is the plant mentioned by Galen or another one.

Ibn al-Maṭrān said: "I maintain that at that juncture,48 an illustrious mind, endowed by the best of intentions, pondered the matter and came to the conclusion that since a certain drug had such and such an effect, there must of necessity have been created another drug which is [p.13] beneficial to the organ concerned and counteracts the first-mentioned drug. So he set to discover by experiment. Every day, indeed, every hour, he incessantly looked for an animal and gave him the first drug and then another one, and if the latter neutralized the noxious effect of the former, he had reached his goal; if not, he would look for other drugs until he found the right one. The best proof of my thesis is the production of the theriac. Originally, theriac consisted only of laurel seeds and honey 49 and its development into a complicated and most beneficial medicine was due not to divine revelation and inspiration, but to logical thinking 50 by keen intellects over long periods. And if you ask: 'How did that person know that every drug necessarily has its opposite?' I say that having observed the Qatil al-Bīsh [killer of aconite], a plant which grows upward but which, when falling upon the aconite, causes this to dry up and spoil, people concluded that the same would happen with other plants too, and made investigations accordingly. A clever man is able to discover any knowable thing if he studies it by logical reasoning which has been laid down for that purpose. Galen, who wrote a book on the discovery of all sciences,51 says nothing more in it than what I have said."

Ibn Abū Usaybi`ah remarks: I have transmitted these opinions in all their diversity, since it is my desire to mention the essence of the views held by each faction. As the disagreements and differences are so great, it is very hard to determine the origin of medicine. Yet, an intelligent person, on considering the matter according to his intellectual capacity, will conclude that medicine probably originated from the above-mentioned sources or from the majority of them. I therefore maintain that the art of medicine is indispensable to human beings and is with them wherever they are and at all times. However, it may vary depending on the locality, the quantity of nutrition available and the capacity of judgment of the population; and one nation may be in greater need of it than another. The reason for this is that since the people of some regions are [p.14] frequently affected by certain maladies, especially if they take a great variety of food and continually eat fruit, they are prone to illness so that perhaps none of them escape certain ailments all their life. Such people are in greater need of medicine than those who live in regions with a more salubrious climate, but eat less diversified food and, in addition, make sparing use of what food they have. Moreover, since human beings differ in intellectual capacity, he who possesses the most perfect intellect and the keenest and the soundest mind is best able to assimilate and store the knowledge gained by experience and  otherwise to fight ailments with drugs that are alone capable of curing them. If the population of a region is frequently affected by maladies or includes a number of people of the kind I have just described, these persons will, by their powers of perception, their outstanding talents and the traditional knowledge derived from experience and other sources control the method of curative treatment and, in the course of time, accumulate an abundance of information on the art of medicine.

I will now, as far as possible, give details of the origin of this art.

1. Medicine may have in part been bestowed on man through the prophets and [God's] elects, peace be on them, since God, the Exalted, favored them with His support. Ibn Abbās 52 transmits the following saying of the Prophet, may Allāh bless him and give him peace: "Solomon, the son of David, peace be upon them, while praying, would see a tree growing in front, of him and ask it its name. When it served for ornament, it was planted, and when it served for healing its name was set down."[?]

Some Jews claim that God, the Mighty and Exalted, sent the Book of Healings down from heaven to Moses, peace be upon him.

The Sabians assert that the art of healing derived from their temples having been disclosed to their priests and pious men, partly in dreams and partly through divine inspiration. Some of them to claim that it was found written in the temples without anybody's knowing who wrote it. [p.15]

Others maintain that a white hand appeared, on which the teachings of medicine were inscribed. They also have a tradition that it was Seth who revealed medicine, having inherited it from Adam, blessings and peace upon both of them.53

As for the Magi, they report that Zoroaster, who they claim was their prophet, brought books on four sciences in twelve thousand volumes of buffalo hide, one thousand of them relating to medicine.

Regarding the Nabateans of Iraq, the Syrians, Chaldeans, Kasdeans 54 and other branches of the ancient Nabateans, it is held that they were the founders of medicine and that, Hermes al-Harāmisa, 55 the threefold in wisdom [Trimegistus] was .... [lacuna in all mss]. He knew their sciences, went to Egypt and there disseminated the sciences and arts among the population. He also built the pyramids and the Egyptian temples [barabi].56 Later, this knowledge was transmitted from the Egyptians to the Greeks.

The Emir Abū al-Wafā' al-Mubashshir ibn Fātik,57 in his book "Choice Maxims and Best Sayings," says: "When Alexander conquered the kingdom of Dārā [Darius] and took possession of Persia, he burnt the religious books of the Magian religion, but was drawn to the books on astrology, medicine and philosophy; he had them translated into Greek and sent the rendered versions to his country. The originals he destroyed." The Shaikh Abū Sulaymān al-Mantiqī 58 says: "Ibn Adī 59 informed me that the Indians possessed considerable knowledge of the philosophical disciplines and that he had heard that science reached the Greeks from there. I do not know whence he gained that information."

One of the Israelite savants claims that the discoverer of medicine was Jubal, the son of Lamech, the son of Methuselah. 60

2. Medicine may partly have come to mankind through actual dreams.61  An example is provided by Galen's report in his book on phlebotomy concerning an order he received to perform a bloodletting on an artery. He says: "In a dream I was twice ordered to open the artery between [p.16] the index and the thumb of the right hand. When I awoke I opened that artery and let the blood flow until it stopped of itself; for so I had been commanded in my dream. The amount of blood withdrawn was less than one liter, but in that way I was immediately relieved of a pain I had
long been suffering from at the spot where the liver touches the diaphragm. At the time I was first afflicted with that pain I was a youngster." He goes on to say: "A man I know, in the city of Pergamum, was cured by God, the Exalted, of a chronic pain in his side through bloodletting on the artery in the palm of his hand. What induced him to undergo that bloodletting was a dream he had had."62

In the fourteenth chapter of his book "The Stratagem of Healing" Galen says: "I once saw a tongue so enlarged and swollen that the mouth could not contain it. The man affected with this complaint had never undergone a bloodletting. He was sixty years old. The time I first saw him was the tenth hour of the day [i. e., our 4th hour after noon],63 I felt I should purge his bowels with the pills usually employed in such cases; they are composed of aloe scammony and the pulp of coloquintida. I administered the drug toward evening and enjoined the patient to place something cooling on the diseased organ. I said to him: 'Do so in order that I may be able to observe the effect and to determine the treatment accordingly.' Another physician whom he had asked to come did not agree with me on that and for this reason, after the patient had taken the pills, the deliberation as to the method of treating the organ itself was deferred to the following day. All of us had been hoping that the substance employed for treatment would show its beneficial effect, and so we would try it out on him, because the entire body would by then have been purged and the substance which had been pouring forth to the organ would have flowed downward.

During that night, in a dream, the patient was visited by a clear and unequivocal vision, in consequence of which he lauded my advice and took what I had recommended to him as stuff for that remedy. Namely, [p.17] in his dream, he saw a person who ordered him to keep some sap of lettuce in his mouth. He did as he was ordered and recovered completely, requiring no other treatment." 64

In his commentary on Hippocrates' "Oaths" Galen says: "The great majority of people bear witness that it was God, the Blessed and Exalted, who through dreams and visions inspired them with medical knowledge which rescued them from severe diseases. We find, for example, countless people who were healed by God, the Blessed and Exalted — some with the aid of Serapis, others with the aid of Asclepius. In the cities of Epidaurus, Cos and Pergamum, the last being my native town,65 in short, in all the temples of the Greeks and of other nations there are cases of serious diseases cured through dreams and visions." Oribasis in his Great Collection 66 reports that a man had a large stone in his bladder. He says: "I treated him with every drug believed to be effective in crushing stones, but it was of no avail — the man was on the point of death. Then, in a dream, he saw someone approaching him, holding a small bird in his hand. This person said to him: 'Take this bird, which is called the wren 67 and which lives in swamps and thickets, burn it and eat of its ashes so that you may be relieved of your sickness.' Upon waking, the man did as had been told and thereby caused the stone to come out of his bladder, crumbling like ashes. His recovery was complete."

Another instance of a cure brought about by a true dream is the following: One of the caliphs of the Maghrib 68 was suffering from a protracted disease. He underwent numerous treatments but found no relief. In a dream one night he saw the Prophet, may Allāh bless him and give him peace, and complained to him of his suffering. Thereupon the Prophet, may Allāh bless him and give him peace, said to him: Anoint yourself with "not" [la] and eat "not" and you will recover." On waking he puzzled over that pronouncement and could not fathom its meaning. He consulted interpreters of dreams, but none was able to reveal its [p.18] significance except Alī ibn `Abis Tālib of Qairawān,69 who said: "O Emir of the faithful, the Prophet, may Allāh bless him and give him peace, ordered you to anoint yourself with olive oil and eat some; then you will recover." Asked how he knew this, he replied: "Through the word of Allāh, the Almighty and Exalted: "From a blessed tree, the olive, not of the East and not of the West, whose oil would almost give light, even though no fire did touch it."70 When the Caliph used it, it proved beneficial and he was cured completely.

From a copy, written by the author's own hand, of Alī ibn Ridwān's commentary on Galen's book "On the Sects in Medicine"[De sectis]71 I have copied the following: "For many years I had been suffering from a severe headache due to an overfilling of the blood vessels of the head. I performed a venesection, but the pain did not cease; I repeated it several times but the pain continued as before. Then I saw Galen in a dream. He ordered me to read to him his 'Stratagem of Healing,' and I read seven chapters of that work. When I reached the end of the seventh chapter,72 he said: 'Have you now forgotten the headache you are suffering from?'73 And he ordered me to rub the occipital protuberance. After that I woke up, rubbed it and was cured of my headache on the spot.74

`Abd al-Malik ibn Zuhr, in his book Al-Taysīr,75 says: ''My eyesight had been weakened by blood-red vomiting,76 causing me great anguish. Suddenly a dilatation of the pupils occurred, which troubled me greatly. Then, in a dream, I saw a man who in his lifetime had occupied himself with practical medicine. He told me to treat my eyes with rose syrup while asleep. At that time, I was still a student and was proficient in the art of medicine but lacked practical experience. I therefore informed my father, who pondered the matter a long while and then said to me: 'Do as you were told in your dream.' And I used the syrup with success and have never up to the time of writing ceased employing it for strengthening the eyesight.77 [p.19]

I say: Similar instances occasioned by true dreams are frequent. Sometimes people in their dreams see prescriptions of drugs — to wit, persons prescribing them to them through which they are healed; later, the use of these prescriptions becomes general.

3. Some medical knowledge may have reached man accidentally, e.g., the second Andromachus 78 chanced to learn about putting the meat of vipers in theriac. Three fortuitous occurrences induced him to adopt this practice and directed his mind to this composition. Here is what he says: The first experience was as follows: On one of my farmlands, in the locality known as Panarmus,79 I employed plowmen to prepare the soil for sowing. The distance between my domicile and that place was about two parasangs. Every morning I went to there to see what the men were doing and returned when they finished work. On the beast carrying my servant I would take with me food and drink for them, so that they might be in good spirits and gain strength for their work. This was a regular habit. One day, I brought the usual, food and a green bustūga 80 containing wine, the head of which was sealed with clay and which had never been opened. After eating, they took the pot and opened it, and when one of them put in his hand with a little jug to extract the liquid, the found in it a viper torn to pieces. The men refrained from drinking and said: 'There is a leper in this village who wishes to die on account of his severe affliction. We shall give him this liquor to drink so that he may die; we shall be rewarded for it [in the world to come], for we shall have relieved him of his suffering.'

"So they brought the leper food and gave him that liquor to drink, convinced that he would not outlive the day. Yet, when night approached, his body swelled enormously and remained so until the morning. Then his outer skin fell off and his inner, reddish skin appeared. In the course of time his skin hardened and he recovered. He lived much longer, without complaining of any illness, until he died a natural death, which is the extinction of the innate heat. [p.20]

"This proves that the flesh of vipers is beneficial in severe, inveterate diseases.

"The second experience was as follows: My brother Apollonius 81 was a land surveyor to the king and often had to visit farms in rough weather, summer and winter. One day, when on his way to a village seven parasangs off, he alighted from his horse to take rest at the foot of a tree. It was extremely hot and he had fallen asleep when a viper passed by and bit his hand, which, out of great fatigue, he had rested on the ground. He awoke full of fear, knowing that he had been injured. He lacked the strength to get up and kill the viper and, overwhelmed with grief and lethargy,82 he wrote a will, stating his name, lineage, place of residence and rank, and fixed it to the tree. He hoped that if he died, some passerby would see the slip, take it and read it and inform his family. He then gave himself up to death. Nearby was a body of water, some of which had overflowed into a hole at the root of the tree to which he had fixed the slip. Feeling very thirsty, he drank a great quantity of water and as soon as it reached his interior was relieved of his pains and of the effect of the viper's bite. He recovered and was mystified. Not knowing what was in the water, he broke off a branch of the tree and began to probe the water with it. He was afraid to touch it with his hand, lest it contain something that might harm him. He found in it two vipers which had struggled and fallen into the water together and decomposed. My brother returned to our home healthy and immune for life. He gave up his former work and restricted himself to acting as my associate. This incident furnishes additional proof that the flesh of vipers is beneficial for the bite of vipers, snakes and beasts of prey.

"The third experience: King Nero [?] 83 had a servant who was wicked, evil-tongued and abject, a scoundrel in every respect. But he held an important position with the king, who, on that account, was very fond of him. He had already offended most when the viziers, army commanders and chiefs conspired to kill him. However, they were unable to carry [p.21] out their design because of his favor with the king. Then one of them suggested a cunning scheme: 'Let us grind down some opium — two dirhams weight — and have him take it with his beverage; for sudden deaths are common. And when he is dead, let us bear him to the king while he shows no wound or disease.' So they invited him to a garden [party], and as they could not contrive to put the opium in his food, they introduced it into his drink. It was not long before he died. Then they said: 'Let us place him in some building and seal it. We shall order the attendants to watch the door, so that we may go to the king and inform him that he died suddenly. The king then may send his confidants to inspect him.' When they were on their way to the monarch, the attendants noticed a viper coming out from among the trees and entering the building where the servant was. They were unable to go after it and kill it, since the door was sealed. After a short while they heard the servant shouting in their direction: 'Why did you lock me up? Help, a viper has bitten me.' He heaved at the door from within, and the keepers of the garden helped him from the outside. They broke down the door and he came out, freed of all disease. This, too, is proof that the meat of vipers is effective against deadly drugs." 84

This is a full account of what Andromachus said.

A similar story — I mean a mere chance experience — is that of a man in al-Baṣrah who was suffering from dropsy and of whose recovery his family had despaired. Having treated him with numerous medicines prescribed by physicians, they had eventually lost hope and said: "There is no means of curing him." Hearing them speak thus, he begged: "Let me now enjoy the good things of this world. Let me eat anything I fancy, and do not kill me with your diet!" They replied: "Eat whatever you like." So he would sit down at the entrance of the house, buying of whatever came and eating. When a man selling cooked locusts passed by, he bought a large quantity, and after he had eaten them, his belly in three days discharged so much of the yellow liquid that he [p.22] almost died. When the discharge stopped, all the illness that had ravaged his insides vanished, his strength returned and he was restored to health. Going out on some job, he met a physician who wondered at his condition and asked for an explanation. On being told what had happened, the physician said: "It is not in the power of locusts to bring about such an effect. Let me know who sold you the locusts." The man told him, and the physician asked the locust vendor: "Where do you catch your locusts?" The vendor led him to the place, and the physician noticed that the locusts occurred in an area overgrown for the most part, with Daphne mezereum, which is a drug for treating dropsy. If one dirham of it is administered to a sick person, it causes a rapid evacuation that is almost impossible to curb. Its application is dangerous, which is why physicians prescribe it but rarely. The locusts had fed on that herb and digested it, and when they were subsequently cooked, its effect was weakened. So when the patient ate the locusts, he recovered thanks to that herb.85

A similar example of knowledge gained by pure chance is the following: A. . . . ,86 a descendant of Asclepius,87 had a "hot" and very painful swelling on his arm. Feeling miserable,88 he desired to go to the bank of a river. His servant took him to a place where a plant called houseleek [Sempervivum] grew. He placed his arm on this to seek coolness, and the pain was assuaged He kept his arm on the plant a long time and, after repeating this procedure the following morning, the swelling disappeared without trace. Those who observed his speedy recovery realized that it was due entirely to that drug. It is said that this was the first drug ever to become known.

Instances similar to the aforementioned are numerous.

4. Some medical knowledge may have been gained through observation of animals whose behavior was taken as a model. An instance is reported by al-Rāzī in his "Book of Properties":89 "The swallow, when its young are affected with jaundice, goes and fetches the icterus stone, a small white object which it is able to recognize. It puts the stone in the nest. [p.23] and the young recover.90 If a person wants such a stone he smears the young of a swallow with saffron and the parent bird, thinking that its young are affected with jaundice, goes and fetches the stone. The latter is thereupon attached to a person affected with jaundice and proves beneficial to him.

Similar is the habit of the female eagle. If the eggs and the laying of them cause her trouble, and she is suffering so much as to be on the verge of death, the male, on noticing this, flies away to fetch a stone that is called qalqal because, when it is shaken, a rattling noise is produced [taqalqala] inside it. If one smashes it into pieces, nothing is found inside, but each piece, when shaken, produces the same rattling noise as the whole stone. Most people know it by the name of "eagle's stone." The male eagle puts it [under the female], whereby her laying is facilitated. Human beings employ it to ease difficult births,91 having learnt this device from the eagle.

Another similar instance. In winter the eyesight of snakes become dim from hiding underground. Emerging from their hiding places when the weather becomes warm, the snakes seek the fennel plant and rub their eyes against it, whereby their affliction is cured.92 People who noticed this tried it out and discovered that fennel has the property of eliminating feeble eyesight if the eyes are treated with the sap.

Galen, in his book "On Clysters," says on the authority of Herodotus that is was a bird called ibis which led to the knowledge of enemas. Galen states that this bird is voracious, leaving no flesh whatsoever that it would not eat. As a result, its bowels become constipated because noxious humors collect in them and increase in quantity. When suffering greatly in consequence, the bird repairs to the sea, picks up some water in its beak and introduces it into its anus. Through this water the humors chained in its belly are driven out. Thereafter, the bird reverts to its accustomed diet.93 [p.24]

5. Some medical lore may have been gained instinctively, as is the case with many animals. Of the falcon it is said that, when feeling pains in its belly, it hunts a certain bird — which the Greeks call Dryops [?],94 eats of its liver and is thereby immediately relieved. A similar habit may be observed with rats. In spring, they eat dry herbs, but when these are not available, they resort to palm leaves used as brooms. It is obvious that this is not their accustomed food, but they are induced to eat it by their instinct for that which Allāh, the Exalted, has deemed a means of preserving their bodily health. When eating it, they vomit various humors that have collected in their bodies, and they do not cease to feed on it until they feel as healthy as they are wont to do by nature. Only then do they desist. Also, if harmed by some noxious, poisonous animal, or having eaten some part of it, they will resort to lamps 95 and places where olive oil is stored, partake of such and are then cured of their affliction.

It is reported that beasts of burden, when eating oleander on their pasture ground, are harmed by it. They therefore quickly seek a certain herb that is an antidote of oleander, eat it and are thereby restored to health. This is corroborated by an incident which occurred recently. Bahā' al-Dīn ibn Nufādha the scribe reports that on his way to al-Karak 96 he came to al-Talīl, a halting place planted with many oleander trees, and he and others stopped near this spot. The servants [of the other travelers] tied up their beasts, which began to feed on what was around, also partaking of the oleander. As for his own beasts, his servants paid no heed to them, and so they roamed about, feeding in different spots, while the beasts of the others stayed where they were, unable to move. The following
morning, his beasts were in excellent health, whereas those of the others had all perished.

Dioscorides reports in his book that when arrows shot at them remain in their bodies the wild goats of Crete eat the plant called [p.25] diftany, which is a kind of mint;97 whereupon the arrows fall out without causing the animals any injury.98

Qādī Najm al-Dīn `Umar ibn Muhammad ibn al-Kuraidī 99 related the following to me: "The stork nests at the top of domes and in other lofty places. It has among the birds an enemy which constantly watches its movements, enters its nest and breaks its eggs. But there exists a herb with the property that its smell, if perceived by the stork's enemy, causes it to become blind. The stork therefore brings that herb into its nest and places it under its eggs, so that the foe cannot prevail upon them.100

Awhad al-Zamān, in his book "Al-Mu`tabar, " mentions that the hedgehog has doors at its habitation which it closes or opens depending on whether the wind that blows is adverse or favorable for it. 101

He also relates the following: "A man saw a bustard fighting with a viper. From time to time the bustard fled to some herbaceous plant, ate of it and returned to fight the viper. The man, watching this, went to the plant and, while the bustard was engaged in combat, cut it off. When the bustard returned to the same spot and missed the plant, it circled around but failed to locate it, whereupon it fell dead to the ground, for it had been treating itself with that plant." 102

He goes on to say: "The weasel gains the upper hand in a fight with a snake by eating wild rue.103 "Dogs which have worms in their belly eat nard, whereupon they vomit and evacuate. 104

"When storks are injured, they treat their wounds with mountain marjoram." 105

"The ox distinguishes between herbs of similar shape and knows which of them are good for it — these it eats — and which are not — these it avoids, although it is an insatiable, voracious and stupid animal." 106

Examples of this kind are numerous; and if animals, which possess no intellect, know instinctively what benefits them and promotes their welfare, human beings, who are endowed with reason, judgment [p.26] and a sense of responsibility, in short, the paragon of animals, should be much better equipped with such knowledge. This is the strongest argument of those who believe that medicine stems from the inspiration and guidance which God, glory be to Him, bestows on His creatures.

In short, the greater part of mankind's medical knowledge may have been obtained thus by experience and by mere chance. In time, this knowledge increased among the people and was consolidated by analogy, conformably to what they witnessed and to what their natural talents led. In these diversified ways men stored up a great many of those details which entered their consciousness. Later, meditating on all these, they discovered their causes and interrelationships, thus arriving at general rules and principles from which both learning and teaching originate, and finally attaining what men had primarily perceived thereof. For at the stage of perfection one proceeds, in teaching, from the general to the particular, while at the stage of research one goes from the particular to the general. 107

I may also point out that, as already hinted in the foregoing, we must not assume medicine to have first existed in a particular place or in a single nation, to the exclusion of all others. Such an assumption is admissible only in so far as the amount of knowledge or a certain specific treatment are concerned; thus, all men agree on certain drugs which they compose and apply. 108

In my opinion, the different views regarding the discovery of medicine by some nation or other result from the fact that its invention has been attributed to certain peoples on account of what they newly contrived and what became known as their discovery. For it is possible that medicine, after existing in some nation or region, was subsequently wiped out by heavenly or terrestrial causes, such as epidemics, famine leading to emigration, devastating wars, kings fighting for supremacy, and civil strife. 109 Becoming extinct in one nation and emerging in another, in the course of time its earlier [p.27] existence was forgotten and it was thereupon attributed entirely to the second nation. When it was said that medicine had existed for so many years, the reference was in fact to its existence in the context of a particular nation. This is quite plausible. According to reports of long-standing tradition, especially what is related by Galen and certain others, Hippocrates, on seeing that medicine was on the verge of extinction, that its mark was being erased from the descendants of Asclepius (among whom he himself was included), sought to revive it, by disclosing it to and propagating it among strangers and also by setting it down in books in order to establish it and make it widely known. For this reason, many people maintain that Hippocrates was the originator of the medical art and the first to set it down in writing. The truth is, as evidenced by authentic reports, that he was merely the first descendant of Asclepius to set it down in writing for the benefit of every one who was capable of learning it. It was his example that was followed by later physicians and that has remained valid to this day. Asclepius I was the first who discovered the different aspects of medicine, as will be shown in the following.[p.28]


On the Classes of Physicians Who Gained Knowledge of Certain Aspects of the Art of Medicine and Who Were the First to Practice It


Many ancient philosophers and physicians are agreed that Asclepius, as pointed out above, was the first physician mentioned by name and the first to discuss all medical topics on the basis of practical experience. He was a Greek [Yunāni], and the Greeks derive their origin from Yānān, an island [peninsula] on which Byzantine savants settled.

Abū Ma`suhar,110 in the second chapter of his "Book of the Thousands," 111 says that a certain locality in the West, which in ancient times was named Argos, its inhabitants being known as Argīwā, was later renamed Ayūniyā, wherefore its inhabitants called themselves Yūnāniyūn after the name of their city. Its king was one of the local rulers.112 It is reported that the name of the Greek king who first succeeded in gaining power over the town of Ayūniyā was Ayūliyūs, and he bore the title of Tyrant.113 He reigned for eighteen years, imposing upon the Yūnāniyūn a great number of rules and regulations, which, indeed, they followed.

The illustrious Shaikh, Abū Sulaymān Muhammad ibn Tāhir ibn Baḥrām al-Sigistāni al-Mantigi 114 says in his Annotations: 115 "Asclepius, the son of Zeus [?, but then it should read "grandson ],116 is reported to have been of spiritual birth. He was the father [imām] of medicine [p.29] and the ancestor of most philosophers. Euclid derived his descent from him, as did Plato, Aristotle, Hippocrates and most of the other Greek savants. Hippocrates was the sixteenth of his children [ i.e., apparently his descendant in the sixteenth generation ].117 Solon is Asclepius' brother and father of the lawgiver."  118

The author says: In Arabic "Asclepius" means "prevention of dryness 119 or else is derived from a Greek word meaning "splendor and light." 120

According to what is stated in the Syriac "History of the Heroes," 121 Asclepius was talented, sagacious and keenly devoted to the medical art. Good fortune helped him to become proficient in the art, and wonderful things relating to medical treatment were disclosed to him by divine revelation. It is reported that he discovered the medical science in a temple in Rome, which was called the Temple of Apollo and was consecrated to the Sun. 122 According to another report, Asclepius himself founded that temple which became known by his name. This is corroborated by the following statement by Galen in his "Pinax": "When God, Whose name is mighty, delivered me from a dangerous abscess in the belly that had befallen me, I made a pilgrimage to His sanctuary that is called the Temple of Asclepius. 123 Again, at the beginning of his book "De methodo medendi," Galen says: "Common people, when seeing what the Temple of Asclepius contains of divine medicine must needs become convinced of the truth of this science." 124

I say: The Temple of Asclepius is, according to Orosius, the author of the "Book of Histories," a shrine in the city of Rome which housed an idol that spoke to the people when they addressed questions to it. This idol had been contrived by Asclepius in ancient times. The magi [pagans] of Rome claimed that the said statue was set up [p.30] in conformity to certain planetary movements and contained the spirit of one of the seven planets. 125 The Christian religion was established in Rome before star-worship [was introduced]. Thus said Orosius. 126

Galen further repeats several times in his writings that Asclepius' medicine had a divine character. He remarks that his kind of medicine bears to our own the same type of resemblance that our medicine bears to that of quacks.

In the book "Encouragement of the Study of Medicine" [Protrepticus], Galen says with regard to Asclepius: "God, the Exalted, told Asclepius: 'I am more inclined to call you a god 127 than 128 a man.'" 129

Hippocrates says that God, the Exalted, made Asclepius ascend to His presence through the air in a pillar of fire. 130

Another writer tells that Asclepius was greatly revered by the Greeks, who sought to heal their sickness at his grave. It is also reported that a thousand candles were lit on his grave every night. There were kings among his descendants, and prophetic status was claimed for him.

Plato, in his "Book of Laws," reports certain details about Asclepius that he spoke of hidden things and that the help of God wrought miracles which were seen by the people to come true exactly as he had predicted. 131

In the third book of his "Republic" he says that Asclepius and his sons were well-versed in statesmanship and that his sons were fearless warriors and also learned in medicine. He further relates that Asclepius promised he would treat any person affected with a curable disease; but if the disease was fatal, he would refrain from treating him, since to prolong the patient's life would benefit neither him nor anyone else. 132

The Emir Abū al-Wafā' al-Mubashshir ibn Fātik, in his book "Choice Maxims and Best Sayings," tells: "This Asclepius was the disciple of Hermes, whom he accompanied on his travels. They [p.31] left India and arrived in Persia, whereupon Hermes left Asclepius behind in Babylon in order that he might govern the religious law of its inhabitants. 133

This Hermes is Hermes I, whoso name is pronounced Ermes, which is the name of Mercury. The Greeks call him Trismegistus, 134 the Arabs Idrīs and the Hebrews Henoch, who was the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam 135 — peace be upon all of them. His birthplace was Egypt, in the town of Memphis.136 His time on earth was eighty-two, 137 or according to another report, 365 years. 138

Al-Mubashshir ibn Fātik says: "He [Hermes] — peace be upon him was a man of swarthy complexion and perfect build, bald-headed, with a beautiful face, a bushy beard and handsome features; he was of perfect arm's length [i.e., sturdy],139 broad-shouldered, strong-boned and slender and had dark, brilliant eyes. He spoke slowly, very often remained silent and was chary of movement. When walking he mostly kept his eyes on the ground. He was frequently absorbed in thought; he was vehement and stern-looking; while speaking, he used to wag his index finger." 140

Another author reports: "Asclepius lived before the Great Flood. He was a disciple of Agathodaemon the Egyptian, who was one of the prophets of both the Greeks and Egyptians. His name means "he who has good luck." 141 This Asclepius was he who inaugurated the medical art among the Greeks. He taught it to his sons but forbade them to pass it on to a stranger. 142

Abū Ma`shar al-Balkhī the astrologer reports in his "Book of the Thousands" that this Asclepius was not the first to be deified in medicine nor did he inaugurate it but learnt it from others and followed in their footsteps. He also says that Asclepius was the disciple of Hermes the Egyptian and goes on to say: "there were three Hermes.143 Hermes the First, the one of threefold grace, lived before the Flood. [p.32]

Hermes is a title, like Qaisar [Caesar] and Kisrā [Chostoves]. The Persians, in their chronicles, call him Hōshang, 144 which means "the righteous one. It is he whose prophecy the Harrānians 145 [i.e., the Sābians of Harrān] mention. The Persians say that his grandfather was Kayōmarth, 146 who is Adam, while the Hebrews identify him with Enoch, who is called Idrīs in Arabic."

Abū Ma`shar reports: "He was the first to talk about lofty things, such as the movements of the stars, and his grandfather Kayōmarth, who is Adam, taught him [the hours of the] day and night. 148 He was also the first who built temples and praised God in them, and it was he who initiated the study of medicine and discoursed upon it. For his contemporaries he composed many books of rhythmic poems on terrestrial and celestial matters, rhymes that were habitual in their language. He was the first to give warning of the Flood, foreseeing that affliction, consisting of water and fire, would rain down on the earth from the heavens. The domicile which he chose for himself was Upper Egypt [Sā`id], where he built pyramids and towns of mud. 149 Fearing that knowledge might be destroyed by the Flood, he erected the temples 150 in Akhmim [Panopolis] and had their walls engraved with pictures of all the techniques and technicians and of all the tools employed by them. The sciences were also depicted in drawings for the benefit of future generations, since he was anxious to preserve them for posterity and feared that all trace of them might vanish from the earth.

"Tradition handed down from our forefathers has it that Idrīs was the first to study books and put his mind to the sciences. Allāh sent thirty leaves down to him from heaven. He was the first to sew clothes and wear them. Allāh raised him to a high place. 151

"Hermes the Second hailed from Babylonia. He inhabited the city of the Chaldeans, that is Babylon, and lived after the Flood, in the time of Nazīr Bālī, 152 who first built the city of Babylon after Nimrod, the son of Krush. 153 He excelled in medicine and philosophy and was well-versed in [p.33] the properties of numbers. Pythagoras the arithmetician was his disciple.

"In the domains of medicine, philosophy and arithmetic this Hermes revived what had been obliterated by the Flood in Babylonia. The said city of the Chaldeans was the city of Eastern philosophers, who first established laws 154 and fixed rules.

"Finally, Hermes the Third lived after the Flood and inhabited the city of Miṣr [Egypt]. The author of a book on injurious animals, he was a physician, a philosopher and a student of the properties 155 of deadly drugs and noxious beasts. He frequently roamed around the country, knowing the layout and natural features of cities and the character of their inhabitants. Fine and valuable sayings on alchemy are ascribed to him which also have a bearing on many of the arts, such as [the manufacture of] glass, pearls, earthenware and the like. He had a pupil known as Asclepius, who resided in Syria." 156

The discussion now reverts to Asclepius. There are reports that 157 he cured sick persons whose recovery had been thought impossible. As his deeds were observed by one and all, the masses believed that he was able to revive the dead, and Greek poets composed marvelous verses about him, mentioning that he could raise the dead and bring back to this world anyone who had died. 158 They maintained that Allāh the Exalted,159 as a mark of honor and distinction, had him ascend to His presence and placed him among the angels [gods].160 According to some reports he is identical with Idrīs — peace be upon him.

Yahyā the Grammarian [Johannes Philiponus] 161 says: "Asclepius lived for ninety years, spending fifty of them as a youth and man, prior to being filled with divine powers, and forty as a savant and teacher. 162 He left two sons,163 both skilled in the art of medicine, whom he enjoined to teach this lore only to their sons and his relatives, but not to strangers. 164 His instructions to his successors were the same, and these he ordered [p.34] to do two things in addition: first, to settle in the center of the inhabited holy places of the Greeks lands, namely on three islands, one of which was Cos, the island of Hippocrates, and secondly, not to divulge the medical art to strangers but to transmit it from father to son. The two sons of Asclepius accompanied Agamemnon when he set out to conquer Troy. 165 Agamemnon held them in great esteem and loved them solely because of their high rank in science."

Thābit ibn Qurra al-Harrānī wrote the following with his own hand, in discussing the Hippocratic school: "It is said that Asclepius had twelve thousand disciples scattered throughout the world. He taught medicine orally, and his descendants handed down the art from generation to generation 166 until supremacy fell upon Hippocrates.167 The latter, aware that his relatives and adherents had been reduced to a small number, so small that he feared the art might become extinct, began to write concise treatises." 

Galen, in his commentary on Hippocrates' Oath and Covenant, has the following to say about Asclepius: "Two versions of Asclepius' story have come down to us, one mythical 168 and the other natural. The myth purports that he is one of the forces of God, the Blessed and Exalted, and that the name given to him is on account of this force's action, namely the prevention of dryness."

Hunayn says: "Death occurs only when dryness and cold prevails, for these two in conjunction dry out the mortal body. Therefore, the profession that maintains life by preserving the warmth and moisture of living bodies was given a name that indicates absence of dryness.

Galen continues: "It is said that Asclepius was the son of Apollo and a descendant of Phlegyas and Coronis, his [Apollo's] spouse, 169 and that he was composed of both mortal and immortal elements. This suggests that he took an interest in human beings because they were of his kind and that he possessed an immortal nature which was superior to the human variety. It was from the effects of medicine that the poet 170 [p.35] derived this name, i.e., Asclepius. The report that Asclepius descended from Phlegyas originates from the fact that the latter name is derived from the word for flame [plegma], 171 that is to say, [he was] the son of that animal force which generates heat."

Hunayn says: "He [Phlegyas] was so named because life consists in the preservation of that innate warmth which is the heart and liver. To characterize this warmth a name was derived from the flame because it belongs to the category of fire."

Galen continues: "The report that he [Asclepius] was the son of Coronis has its origin in that this name is derived from a word meaning "satiation" 172 or "gaining health."

Hunayn says: He [Asclepius] 173 was called by that name in order to indicate that man can be satiated by food and drink 174 only with the aid of the art of medicine; for health is preserved or restored only through that profession."

Galen continues: "That he [Asclepius] was the son of Apollo is a record stemming from the belief that a physician should in a certain measure possess the faculty of foretelling the future; for it would be improper if a good physician were not to know certain things that are to happen later on.

"We have now reached the point where it is fitting to speak also of Asclepius' appearance, dress and talent; for the written accounts we find about his deification are better suited to fairy tales than to reality.  A well-known event in his life was his ascension to the gods in a pillar of fire, 175 as is also reported of Bacchus (Dionysus), Hercules and all those like them who strenuously devoted themselves to benefit mankind. In short, it can be said that God, the Blessed and Exalted, did so with Asclepius, etc., in order to annihilate his earthly, mortal aspect through the fire and to enhance thereafter his immortal aspect and raise his soul to heaven. " [p.36]

Hunayn says: "Galen here explains how the assimilation of man to God, the Blessed and Exalted, comes about.176 What he really means is that a man becomes similar to God, the Blessed and Exalted, if he mortifies his bodily desires by the fire of abstinence and afterward adorns his rational soul by replacing the desires with virtues; this is how his words "the ascension to heaven" 177 are to be interpreted."

Galen continues: "His portrayal was that of a bearded man adorned with long locks. As to why he was presented bearded and his father [Apollo] beardless, some say that he was sculpted thus because he was so when God made him ascend to his presence; others say the reason was that his profession calls for probity and a venerable age, while still others hold that it was because Asclepius surpassed his father in medical skill. If you look at him attentively you will find that he stands erect as if about to set to work, his garments tucked up, such an appearance indicating that it befits physicians to philosophize at every moment. 178 You also see that those parts of the body which are shameful to expose are covered and those required for exercising the art are bared. 179 He is represented holding in his hand a crooked staff with shoots 180 of the marsh-mallow tree [sic], 181 which is to indicate that a person who avails himself of the benefits of the art of medicine may attain such a great age that he will need a stick to lean upon, or else that a man upon whom God, the Blessed and Exalted, has bestowed certain favors is found deserving of being presented with a staff, just as one was given to Hephaestus, Zeus and Hermes. We find that with that staff Zeus gladdens 182 the people he holds dear and also arouses the sleeping. Asclepius' staff was represented as being of the marsh-mallow tree because it banishes any sickness."

Hunayn says: "The marsh-mallow plant, 183 being a medicament that generates moderate heat, is well adapted to serve as treatment both by itself and with other substances that are either warm or colder; this has been explained by Dioscorides and other authors who have discussed [p.37] this. For that reason we find that its Greek name is derived from the word meaning cures, 184 so that it is intimated that the marsh-mallow possesses many beneficial qualities."

Galen continues: "As to the crookedness and numerous shoots of the staff, these signify the multiple subdivisions of medicine. We also see that they did not leave the staff without ornamentation and elaboration, but carved it with the image of a long-lived animal, the serpent, 185 which coils around it. This animal is comparable to Asclepius in many respects e. g. it has keen eyesight, is very wakeful and in fact never sleeps; it becomes a man aspiring to the medical art, so that he be not detained from it by sleep and that he be most sagacious, so as to make good progress and inform his patients of the present situation and of what may come to pass. For Hippocrates exhorted thus: 'I hold it excellent that the physician exercise foresight. For if he knows in advance and informs the sick of their present, past and future condition . . . ' 186

"The serpent on Asclepius' staff has had yet another explanation, namely: that animal, the serpent, lives very long, so that it is said to be eternal; and those availing themselves of medicine may also enjoy a long life. We find, for example, that Democritus and Herodotus, 187 lived to a very great age by following the rules of medicine. In addition, just as that animal sloughs off its skin, which the Greeks call "old age" [geres] 188 so man, by exploiting the art of medicine, may rid himself of "old age," i. e., disease, and gain health.

"Portraits show Asclepius with a laurel wreath on his head, for this tree banishes grief. For the same reason, since it befits physicians to keep grief at bay, we find Hermes, when called the awe-inspiring, crowned with a similar garland. Since physicians are to keep grief away, Asclepius was supplied with such a wreath; or perhaps people felt that since a wreath served as a symbol of both medicine and divination,189 the one worn by physicians and diviners should be the same; another possible explanation is that this tree also has the faculty of healing diseases. You find, for example, that if laurel is put in a certain place, poisonous creeping things will flee from there.190 The same effect is produced by the plant called Conyta [fleabane]. The fruit of the laurel, which is called the grain, when rubbed over the body, produces an effect which is similar to that of castor. When depicting that serpent they put in Asclepius' hand an egg, thereby alluding to the fact that the entire world is in need of medicine, the egg symbolizing the universe. 191 [p.38]

"We should also speak of the slaughters performed in the name of Asclepius for the purpose of finding favor with God, the Blessed and Exalted, through him. We may say, however, that there has never been anyone who used a goat for making a sacrifice to God in the name of Asclepius, for the hair of that animal is not as easy to spin as wool, and he who frequently partakes of goat meat is apt to become afflicted with epilepsy. The reason is that the food prepared from this animal produces bad chyme, 192 has a drying effect, 193 is coarse and acrid-smelling and has properties similar to those of atrabilious blood, We find, rather, that people use cocks for making sacrifices to God, the Blessed and Exalted, in the name of Asclepius. They also have a tradition 194 that Socrates, too, offered him such sacrifice. Such was the condition of this divine man, who taught mankind that the medical art is a permanent possession much more valuable than the inventions of Dionysus and Demeter."

Hunayn says: "By Dionysus' invention Galen means wine, for the Greeks maintain that the inventor of wine was Dionysus. The poets use this name in referring both to the force which changes the sap in the grape and prepares it to become wine and to the joy resulting from the wine when drunk. As for Demeter's invention, it is bread and the various grains from which bread is made. For this reason we find that the Greeks designate those grains by that name; occasionally, the poets use the name to denote the soil that produces the grains.195 By Asclepius' invention is meant health, without which it is impossible to gain anything useful or pleasurable."

Galen continues: "The implication is that the inventions of those two are of no use unless Asclepius' invention is also present.

"The chair on which Asclepius sits represents the power through which health can be attained. It is 'the noblest of powers,' as one poet put it.196 As a matter of fact, we find that all poets extol that power. One says: 'Thou who surpasses in rank all the blessed,in[the enjoyment of] thy goodness I want to be for the rest of my life.' 197 Another declaims: 'Thou who surpasses in rank all the blessed, I pray that I may be found worthy of thy benefit 198 before all other benefits.'  [p.39]

"The interpretation of this is: the benefits, such as a 199 comfortable life, children or kingship,200 are, in the eyes of all men, equal in power. Is not all this helpful and pleasurable only by reason of health, which is a blessing truly deserving of that name? The reason is that health is a most perfect blessing which holds no intermediate position between good and bad, nor ranks second among the kinds of good, as was maintained by certain philosophers, namely those known as Peripatetics and Stoics. 201 All the noble virtues for which men strive so eagerly during their whole life depend 202 only upon health. For instance, if a person wishes to show courage, vigor and spirit in combat, defending his people by going to war on their behalf, he must make use of his bodily strength. A man who desires to be just, give everyone his due, do all that should be done, observe the law and be right 203 in his opinions and deeds, will not achieve these aims without being healthy. With regard to salvation, 204 too, it is held that perfection can be attained only through good health, for it is like something born from health. In short, if anyone wishes to say, out of deference to some belief or in order to convince others of an affected lie, that he does not aspire to health, such a statement would be mere talk. If he were to admit the truth he would say: Health, in reality, is the most perfect blessing.

"Now, this power was considered suited to the man who devised medicine. Furthermore, the name of this power was coined according to a mundane concept. In the Greek language it is derived from the noun humidity,205 for health depends on humidity, as a poet indicates somewhere, by using the expression 'the humid man.'

"When contemplating the picture of Asclepius, you will find him sitting and leaning upon other men who are depicted around him. This must indeed be so, for he should be represented as securely established, as not having lost contact with people. A serpent coiling about him is portrayed with him. I have already provided the explanation thereof in the foregoing." 206 [p.40]

Here are some of Asclepius' maxims and sayings, as transmitted by the Emir Abū al-Wafa' al-Mubashshir ibn Fātik in his book "Choice Maxims and Best Sayings": 207

1) He who knows the vicissitudes of time 208 will not neglect to prepare himself.

2) Each of you is between the grace of his creator and the sin of his deeds; for both states there is nothing better than to praise the donor of grace and to ask forgiveness of sin.

3) Many a time you curse, but later when you pass into another mood you praise the same; and many a thing is loathed at its beginning, but wailed over at its end.

4) He who worships God without knowledge is like a donkey of the mill, which goes round and round, ignorant of what it is doing.

5) To forgo the satisfaction of desire is better than to ask it from someone who is not the right person to give this satisfaction.

6) Giving presents to a libertine is an encouragment to him to keep up his licentious way of life; bestowing favors on an ungrateful person means to squander them; teaching an ignorant man increases his ignorance; and asking something of a miser is self-degradation.

7) I wonder at a person who shuns bad food for fear of being harmed but who does not abstain from sin for fear of the world to come.

8) Keep silent often, for it secures your freedom from hatred; and practice veracity, for it is the adornment of speech.

9) He was asked to describe this world, and he said: "Yesterday — a term expired, today — work, tomorrow — hope."

10) He who takes pity on you has a low opinion of you; he who disparages you is very angry with you; and he who hates you does not mean well with you.

11) A religious and virtuous person sacrifices himself and his property for his friend, shows cheerfulness and gentle behavior to his acquaintance, is just toward his enemy and avoids any situation that might bring shame upon him. 209  [p.41]


Sulaymān ibn Hasān, known as Ibn Juljul, says: "He was the first savant who discoursed on medicine in the Lands of Byzantium and Persia. 210 He invented the Greek script for King . . . 211 He not only held forth on medicine but also reasoned about it and practiced it. He lived after Moses — blessings and peace be upon him — at the time of Barak the Judge.212 Both admirable and hideous things are reported of him, and with regard to his many amazing achievements, he is put on a par with Asclepius."  [p.42]


On the Classes of Greek Physicians Who Were Descendants of Asclepius

As we have already mentioned, Asclepius gained his knowledge of medicine from experience, and when he started to teach his children and relatives those aspects of it that he had acquired, he bade them transmit the art to absolutely no one but their children and other descendants of his.

The members of Asclepius' family to whom he entrusted his succession were six,213 namely 214 Machaon, Isocrates, 215 Chrysippus, 216 Mihrarius [?], 217 Moridus [?] and Misaus[?]. About Mihrarius lying reports were spread and his genealogy was forged in ancient books, it being said that he lived at the time of Solomon, the son of David, which is idle gossip, for thousands of years separate the two. 218 Each of them adopted the approach of his master, namely, empiricism, by which medicine had disclosed itself to him.

These disciples in turn transmitted the science to those members of the family whom they instructed, and so on, until the rise of Ghurus [?]. 219 According to what Yahya the Grammarian 220 relates, Ghurus was the second of the famous medical authorities, the first being Asclepius. He says: 221

"As far as we know, the most renowned Greek physicians who were taken as models of the medical skill numbered eight, namely, [p.43] Asclepius I, Ghurus, Minas [Ameinias ?], Parmenides, 222 Plato the Physician, 223 Asclepius II, Hippocrates and Galen."

"Ghurus' life-span was 47 years, 17 of which he spent as a child and a student and 30 as a scholar and teacher. Eight hundred and fifty years elapsed from Asclepius I's death to Ghurus' appearance. In the time between Asclepius and Ghurus there lived the following physicians of note [all spelling hypothetical]:224 Sorandus, Manius, Sauthaus, Messisandes, Scoridus, Sycluse, Samarias, Antimachus, Calligamus, Aranius, Heracles and Astaurus the Physician. When Ghurus emerged, he took up and developed the empirical approach. He left seven disciples from among his children and relatives, namely Marcus, Gorgias, Melistus [?], Paulus, Mahalius [?], Erasistratus I and Scirus [?], all of whom followed in his footsteps. Medicine was handed down from them to those children and relatives whom they instructed, and so on, until Minas appeared.

"Minas was the third of the eight famous physicians mentioned above. His life-span was 84 years, of which he spent 64 as a student and 20 as a scholar and teacher. From the time of Ghurus' death to the time of Minas' appearance 560 years elapsed. In the time between Ghurus and Minas there lived the following physicians of note: Epicurus, Scoridus II, Achtiphon [?], Ascorius [?], Raius [?], Sophocles, Motimus, Plato I, the Physician 225 and Hippocrates I, the son of Gnosidious [grandfather of the great Hippocrates].226 When Minas appeared, he studied the treatises of his predecessors and, finding the empirical approach inadequate, added reasoning to it, saying: 'Experience without reasoning should not (be relied upon), for such is dangerous.' When Minas died, he left four disciples, namely Catritus [?], Aminus [?], Soranus and Mathinaus [?] the Elder. Their approach was reasoning combined with experience. Medicine was passed on from these disciples until Parmenides appeared.

"Parmenides was the fourth of the above-listed eight. He lived for 40 years, of which he spent 25 as a youth and student and 15 as an [p.44] accomplished scholar and teacher. Seven hundred and fifteen years elapsed from the time of Minas' death to the rise of Parmenides. In the interim came the following physicians of note [spelling hypothetical]: Samanus, Ghuanus, Epicurus, Stephanus, 227 Nicholas, Severus, Horatimus, Paulus, Suenidicus, Samus, Methinanus II,228 Phitaphlon, Sonachus, Suesius and Mamalus.

"When Parmenides appeared, he said: 'Experience both by itself and together with reasoning, is dangerous.' So he dropped experience and adopted reasoning alone. When he died, he left three disciples: Thessalus, Acron and Diocles,229 among whom controversies and dissension arose, leading to the formation of three factions. Acron advocated experience by itself, Diocles reasoning by itself, and Thessalus the use of ingenious methods, holding the view that medicine was nothing but ingenuity.230 This was the state of affairs among physicians in general until the rise of Plato the Physician.

"Plato the Physician was the fifth of the eight famous physicians mentioned. His life-span was 60 years, of which he spent 40 as a youth and student and 20 as a scholar and teacher. From the time of Parmenides' death to the rise of Plato 735 years elapsed. The notable physicians who lived during the intervening years were already split into three factions: Empiricists, such as Acron of Agrigentum, Pantocles [?], 231 Ancles [?], Philinus, 232 Gaphratimus [?] Hasadrus [?], Melissis [?]; 233 Methodists, such as Menachus, Misseus [?], 234 Gurianus [?], Gregorius, Conis [?]; and Dogmatists, such as Anaxagoras, Philotimus [?],235 Machachus [?], Scolus, Sophorus. When Plato appeared, he examined these different opinions and found that experience by itself was bad and dangerous and that reasoning by itself was unsound. So he embraced both trends together.

Yahyā the Grammarian says: "Plato burnt the books written by Thessalus and his adherents and by those following a single trend, experience or reasoning, and spared ancient books which combined the two approaches." [p.45]

I say: If what Yaḥyā the Grammarian says about these books and if the fact that they had really been written should be true, this would contradict the reports of those who claim that the medical art was first committed to writing and set down in books by Hippocrates; for the [alleged] authors of the works in question lived long before Hippocrates. 236

When 237 Plato died, he left six disciples from among his children and relatives, namely, Mironus, whom he had specialized in diagnostics; Phoronus — dietetics; Phorus — phlebotomy and cauterization; Theophrorus — the treatment of wounds: Sergius — ophthalmology; and Phanis — setting broken bones and restoring luxations.

Medicine continued to flourish among these disciples and their successors until the appearance of Asclepius II.

Asclepius II was the sixth of the eight. His life-span was 110 years, of which he spent 15 as a child and student and 95 as a scholar and teacher. During the latter period he was disabled for five years. From the time of Plato's death to the appearance of Asclepius II, 1,420 years elapsed, and in between there came the following physicians of note: Milo of Agrigentum; Themistius the Physician; Cathitinus [?]; Phradiclus [?]; Andromachus the Elder,238 who was the first to prepare theriacs and who lived for 40 years; Heraclides I,239 who lived for 60 years; Philagorus [?],240 who lived for 35 years; Machemus [?]; Nistis [?]; Sicorus; Gallus; Mabatias [?]; Heracles the Physician,241 who lived for 100 years; Manatis [?]; Pythagoras the Physician,242 who lived for 70 years, Marinus,244 who lived for 100 years. When Asclepius II appeared, he studied the ancient views and found that Plato's approach should be adopted, so he followed it. When he died, he left three disciples, who were members of his family, with no stranger among them and no other physicians than those. These were: Hippocrates, the son of Heraclides,245 Megarinus [?],246  and Archus [?].247 After a few months Megarinus died and Archus followed him. Thus, Hippocrates remained alone in his age, a physician of perfect virtues, who became proverbial, the [p.46] physician-philosopher. It thus came about that he was worshipped. It was he who raised the art of reasoning and experience to such a level that no opponent would be able to undermine or discredit them. He taught medicine to strangers, instructing them on the same level with his children, since he feared, as will be shown in the following chapter, that the art might perish and disappear from the world. [p.47]


On The Classes of Greek Physicians among Whom Hippocrates Propagated the Art of Medicine


Let us first talk about Hippocrates' life itself and the divine grace he enjoyed, and then give a concise account of the Greek physicians among whom Hippocrates propagated this art, even though they were not descendants of Asclepius.

Hippocrates, as mentioned above,248 was the seventh of the great physicians of note, the first of whom was Asclepius. Hippocrates was in his family one of the most distinguished in rank and the noblest in descent. According to what I have found in some passages translated from the Greek, he was Hippocrates, son of Heracleides, son of Hippocrates, son of Gnosidicus, son of Nebrus, son of Sostratys, son of Theodorus, son of Cleomyttades,249 son of Crisamis the King. So, by nature, he was of most noble origin, being a descendant of King Crisamis in the ninth generation, of Asclepius in the eighteenth generation and of Zeus in the twentieth generation.250 His mother, Proithea was a daughter of Phaenarete,251 of the house of Heracles. So he originated from two noble families,252 his father being a descendant of Asclepius and his mother of Heracles. He studied medicine under his father Heracleides and his grandfather Hippocrates, both of whom initiated him in the fundamentals of this art.253 The life-span of Hippocrates was 95 years, of which he spent 16 as a youth and student [p.48] and 79 as a scholar and teacher. Six hundred and five years 255 elapsed from the time of Asclepius I's death to the appearance of Hippocrates.

On considering [the state of] the medical art, Hippocrates feared that it might become extinct, seeing as he did that it had already vanished in most places where Asclepius I had established its instruction. According to Galen, in his Commentary on Hippocrates "Oaths," the places in which medicine was studied were three: first, in the city of Rhodes; second, in the city of Cnidus; and third, in the city of Cos. In Rhodes the teaching of medicine rapidly died out, since its masters had no successors. In Cnidus it became extinct because those who inherited it formed but a small group. As for the city of Cos, in which Hippocrates lived, it did survive there, but only small remnants of it remained, since those who inherited it were few.

When Hippocrates looked into the situation and became convinced that, in view of the small number of Asclepiads who would transmit it as a heritage, it was on the brink of dying out, he decided to propagate it throughout the country, to pass it on to all people and to teach it to all those who were worthy of it, lest it perish. He said: "Benefits should be bestowed upon everyone deserving of them, whether he be a relative or a stranger." So he set to teaching that noble art to strangers and engaged them by the "Covenant," which he put down in writing and made them swear, by the oaths laid down in that document, that they would not violate the conditions imposed on them and that they would not impart this science to anyone without having first made him take the said pledge.256

Abū al-Hasan Alī ibn Ridwān 257 says: "Before Hippocrates, the medical art was a treasure, a precious possession which fathers hoarded for their sons. It was kept by the members of a single family which derived its descent from Asclepius. This name, i.e., Asclepius, is either that of an angel, whom God sent to teach medicine to mankind, or that of a divine force 258 which gave medicine to mankind. Be that as it may, Asclepius was the first to teach the art, and the first student was considered to be [p.49] his offspring, in accordance with the custom of the ancients of calling the teacher the father of the pupil. 259

"From the first disciple descended the family whose members related their origin to Asclepius, among them Greek kings and dignitaries. They did not allow others to study the medical art, but kept it as their exclusive concern, teaching their sons and grandsons only. Their way of teaching was oral communication: they did not set it down in books, and what they needed to codify they did enigmatically, so that no one else would be able to understand it. These enigmas were explained by father to son. Thus, medicine was practiced only by kings and ascetics whose aim it was to do good to people without material reward and without condition.

This was the situation until the rise of Hippocrates, a native of Cos, and Democritus,260 a native of Abdera, who were contemporaries. Democritus was an ascetic who renounced the headship of his city. Hippocrates, seeing that the members of his family were at variance in medical matters, feared that this might lead to the elimination of the art of medicine, and he therefore proceeded to set it down in books in obscure language. He had two talented sons, Thessalus and Draco, and a talented pupil, Polybus,261 all of whom he instructed in this art. Aware that it was about to spread beyond the circle of the Asclepiads, he drew up a covenant including an oath by which the student of medicine pledged himself to adhere to purity and virtue. In addition, he laid down a law in which he defined who was worthy of studying the medical art. Moreover, he wrote a testament, expounding all the personal requirements a physician must meet."

This is the text of the pledge drawn up by Hippocrates: "I swear by God, the master of life and death, the giver of health and the creator of healing and every cure, and I swear by Asclepius and by all those close to God, both men and women, 262 making them all my witnesses, that I will keep this oath and pledge, and will consider him who teaches me this art to be on [p.50] a par with my fathers; and I swear the following: to make him a partner in my livelihood; when he is in need of money to share with him and give him of my money; as to the family descending from him, to consider them as equals of my brothers and to teach them this art — if they wish to learn it — without fee and without imposing any condition; to impart precepts, teachings and anything else pertaining to this art to my sons, the sons of my teacher and to bona fide pupils who have been made to swear the oath according to the medical law [nomos], but not to do so to anybody else; to strive my utmost, by providing treatment, for the benefit of the sick and to abstain, to the best of my judgment, from whatever will hurt them or expose them to injury; to give no deadly medicine when asked, nor to suggest any such counsel; similarly, not to apply to women prescriptions for abortion. Both in my way of life and in my art I will observe righteousness and purity. I will not operate upon a person who has a stone in his bladder, but will leave this to such a one who is fitted to do so. Into whatever house I enter, I will enter for the benefit of the sick only, being averse to any voluntary and deliberate wrongdoing, harm and mischief of any kind — also with regard to sexual intercourse with woman or man,263 be they both free or slaves. Whatever I see or hear, either while treating patients or at any other time, of the doings of people that ought not to be divulged abroad, I will abstain [from revealing] as I hold that such things should not be spoken of.

"He who fully keeps this oath without violating any of its stipulations will be enabled to perfect his way of life and his practice in the best and finest way, praised by all in all time to come. But he who transgresses it will find himself in the opposite condition." 264

This is the text of Hippocrates' Law of Medicine: 265 "Medicine is the most noble of all the arts; but lack of understanding on the part of those who practice it has caused people to become deprived of it. 266 No fault has been found with it in any city except for the ignorance of those who claim to be masters but who do not deserve to be mentioned in connection [p.51] with it. They are like those imaginary figures invoked by storytellers to amuse the people — just as these are figures without shapes, so are these physicians — many in name 267 but very few in deed.

"Whoever wishes to study the medical art ought to have a good and compliant nature, matched by ardent desire and an exemplary studiousness. Now, most important of all is the natural ability; if it is appropriate, one should embark on study and not become impatient, so that [the knowledge] may impress itself on the mind 268 and reap good fruit, as can be observed in terrestrial plants: the natural ability is like the soil, the benefit of instruction like the seed and the cultivation of study 269 like a grain in fertile earth.270 When a careful study of the medical art proceeds as mentioned, physicians, when coming to the cities, will be physicians not only in name but in deed.271 The knowledge of medicine, for those who have acquired it, is an excellent treasure and a splendid store filled with secrets and open joy,272 whereas lack of it in those pretending to possess it turns it into a wicked art and a rotten store, barren of joy and always accompanied with fear and hastiness. Fear is the mark of inability and hastiness, of a want of competence in the art." 273

Following is the text of the Testament of Hippocrates, known as the "Disposition of Medicine." 274 Hippocrates says:

"A student of medicine should be of free birth, good nature, young age, medium stature, and well-proportioned limbs. He should also be of good understanding, a pleasant speech, sound judgment when consulted, chaste, brave, and not greedy for money, self-controlled in anger, but not repressing it completely, and not dull. He should sympathize with the patient, feel concern for him and be able to keep secrets; for many patients who tell us of their ailments do not want others to know about them. He should also be able to stand abuse, for some of those affected with pleurisy and fixed notions caused by melancholy assail us with it. We should be capable of tolerating them in such a condition, knowing that it does not come from then) but originates in a sickness which is extraneous [p.52] to their nature. Moreover, the physician should clip his hair to a medium, proportionate length, neither crop it close nor leave it like a topknot and should neither pare down his nails completely, nor allow them to grow above the fingertips. His garments should be white, clean and comfortable. In his gait he should never be hasty, for this is a sign of rashness, nor lagging, for this indicates inertia of the soul. When summoned to a patient he should sit down with legs crossed and ask him about his state of health calmly and sedately, without impatience or agitation. This outward demeanor, this garb and this deportment are to my mind more important than other things."

Galen, in the third chapter of his book on the characteristics of the soul [De moribus],275 says: "Besides his knowledge of medicine, Hippocrates was so well-versed in astrology that none of his contemporaries came near him. He was also familiar with the elements of which the bodies of living creatures are composed and from which generation and corruption of all bodies subject to generation and corruption derive. He was the first to demonstrate conclusively the things which we have mentioned and to demonstrate how sickness and health come about in all living creatures and in plants. It was he who discovered the various kinds of diseases and the methods for curing them."

As regards Hippocrates' treatment and his healing of diseases, he always took the utmost care to be of service to his patients and to heal them. It is reported that he was the first to introduce, create and establish the hospital. In a certain part of a garden which he owned, near his house, he prepared a special place for patients and installed servants to look after them. That place he named Xenodochium, i.e., a meeting place for patients. The same meaning attaches to the word bimaristan [in Arabic], which derives from Persian: bimar in Persian means "sick" and istan "place" — "the place of the sick." Throughout his life Hippocrates had, in that way, no preoccupation other than to study the medical craft and to establish its laws, treat the sick, bring them relief and rid them of their ailments. Many case-histories of his [p.53] patients are reported in his book known as "Epidemiae." Epidemiae means "arriving diseases."

Hippocrates felt no desire to serve any king, long after wealth or to earn more money than he needed for his most essential requirements. Regarding this Galen says: "Hippocrates did not answer the call of one of the most powerful kings of the Persians known to the Greeks as Artaxerxes, i.e., the Persian Ardāshir, the forefather of Darius, the son of Darius. During the reign of this king the Persians were visited by a plague. The King ordered his lieutenant in the city of Fawān [?] to pay Hippocrates one hundred qintars of gold to deliver them with great pomp and circumstance. This sum was to be only an advance payment and, in addition, he was to be allotted a fief of equal value. He also wrote to the king of the Greeks, asking for his assistance to bring Hippocrates to him. He guaranteed him an armistice for seven years, as soon as he did this. Yet Hippocrates refused to leave his country and go to the Persians, and when the king of the Greeks urged him to undertake the journey, Hippocrates said to him — "I do not give virtue away for money."

When King Perdiccas was befallen by various diseases Hippocrates did not stay with him all the time, but went away to attend to the poor and the needy in his town and others, however small they might be. He personally toured all the cities of the Greeks and finally composed for them a book on ''Airs, Waters, and Places."

Galen goes on to say: "He who is in such a position pays little regard not only to riches but also to leisure and relaxation, preferring toil and hardship hand in hand with virtue."

In one of the old chronicles [we read]: Hippocrates lived in the time of Bahman, the son of Ardāshir. When Bahman fell ill he sent to the people of Hippocrates' city asking for him to come and attend him. Yet the people refused to comply with, his wish, saying: "If Hippocrates is taken from our city we shall all turn out in a body, surrendering our lives for him." Thereupon Bahman felt sympathy for them and let Hippocrates stay with [p.54] them. Hippocrates appeared in the year 96 of Bukhtnaṣar, which is the year 14 after Bahman's accession.

Sulaymān ibn Hassan, known as Ibn Juljul, says: "I have seen an interesting story about Hippocrates, which I find pleasant to relate in order to point out thereby the virtuousness of that man. It is to the effect that Polemon, the author of the book on physiognomy, asserted in this work that he could deduce the psychological characteristics of a person from his physical constitution. Once the disciples of Hippocrates assembled and said to one another: 'Do you know anyone in our time who is superior to this excellent man. They replied: 'We know of no one! Then one of them said: 'Let us make him a test case for Polemon, with regard to his pretension as to his knowledge of physiognomies.' So they drew a portrait of Hippocrates, took it to Polemon and said to him: 'You eminent man, look at this person and judge his psychological traits from his physique.' He gazed at it, compared the limbs with one another, and gave his judgment as follows: 'This is a man who is fond of debauchery.' 'You are lying,' they said, 'This is the portrait of the wise Hippocrates.' 'It is impossible that my science should be wrong,' he replied. 'Ask him himself, for this man in not prone to lie.' So they went back to Hippocrates and told him the whole story and what Polemon had said to them. Hippocrates said: 'Polemon is right. I am fond of debauchery, but I restrain myself.' This proves Hippocrates' noble character, his self-control and self-discipline by virtuousness."

The same story is told of the philosopher Socrates and his disciples.

As to Hippocrates' name, it means horse-tamer or, according to other interpretations, either preserver of health or preserver of the spirits [pneumala], The original form of the name in Greek is Iphoqrates ['Ifūqrātīs in Arabic]. It is also said that it is Buqrāṭis, but since the Arabs are accustomed to simplifying names and epitomizing ideas, they have given this name, too, an easier way for saying 'Iqrāt or Buqrāt. Such phenomena are frequent in poetry. The name is sometimes pronounced with a simple t instead of an emphatic ṭ. [p.55]

Al-Mubashshir ibn Fātik, in his book "Choice Maxims and Best Sayings, says: "Hippocrates was of medium weight, white-complexioned, of handsome build, dark-eyed, strong-boned and sinewy. He had a moderate white beard, a bent back and a huge head. He was slow of movement. When he turned round he did so with his whole body. He often bowed his head in silence, spoke to the point and was deliberate in his speech. He would repeat his words for the benefit of the listener. When seated he always had his sandals in front of him. When spoken to, he would reply, and when the others were silent, he would ask questions. While sitting he kept his gaze on the ground. He had a sense of humor, fasted a great deal and ate sparingly. In his hand he always held either a scalpel or a little stick" [for applying collyrium to the eyelids].

Hunayn ibn Ishāq, in his book "Anecdotes of Philosophers and Savants," says: "The stone of Hippocrates' signet-ring bore the inscription: 'A patient who feels a desire has, in my opinion, better chances than a healthy person who feels no desire for anything."

It is reported that Hippocrates died of hemiplegia and that in his will he ordered an ivory box, the contents of which were unknown, to be interred with him. When Caesar the king passed by his grave he found it in a wretched state and gave orders for it to be renovated; for it was a habit of kings to take an interest in the condition of savants, both in their lifetime and after their death, since they held them to be the most important people and those nearest to them. So Caesar ordered the grave to be opened, and when this had been done, the box was taken out for his inspection. It was found to contain the twenty-five cases of death the causes of which were unknown to him, but which he had thereby judged to incur death within limited periods and given days. They are available in Arabic and it is reported that Galen commented on them. This I hold improbable, for if it were true and Galen's commentary existed, it would certainly have been translated into Arabic, as has been the case with all Hippocrates' other books on which Galen commented. [p.56]

Here are some of Hippocrates' philosophical dicta and medical apophthegms:

1) Medicine is both reasoning and experience.

2) If all men had been created of one "nature," no one would fall ill; for there would be nothing that would not lie in keeping with that nature and thus causing illness.

3) A habit, if inveterate, becomes second nature.

4) The more expert a man is in astrology, the better he knows the stars and their natures and the more proficient he is in imitating [them].

5) As long as a human being finds himself in the sensual world, he must inevitably accept a share — small or large — of sensual [affections].

6) Every disease whose cause is known has its remedy.

7) People, when in a state of health, ate the food of wild beasts, and that made them ill; when we gave them the food of birds they recovered.

8) We eat to live, we do not live to eat.

9) Do not eat for the sake of eating.

10) Every sick person should be treated with the medicines of his own country; for nature resorts to that to which it is accustomed.

11) Wine is the friend of the body; the apple is the friend of the soul.

12) When asked why it is that the body becomes stimulated most strongly when one has taken a medicine, Hippocrates said: "Because a house is most full of dust while it is being swept."

13) Do not take medicine unless you need it; for if you take it needlessly and it does not find an illness to act upon, it will act upon health and cause illness.

14) The sperm in the loins is like the water in a well; if you drain it, it gushes forth and if you leave it, it oozes away.

15) He who performs coitus [strikes] the water of life.

16) When asked how often a man should copulate, he said: "Once a year." — "And if he cannot [abide by this]?" — "Once a month." — "And if he cannot?" "Once a week." — "And if he cannot?" — "It is his soul, he may liberate it when he likes." [p.57]

17) The principal pleasures of this world are four: the pleasure of eating, the pleasure of drinking, the pleasure of sexual intercourse, and the pleasure of hearing. The first three pleasures cannot be attained, even in the smallest measure, without toil and labor, and are harmful if over-indulged in, whereas the pleasure of hearing, whether sparse or abundant, is free of toil and exempt from effort.

18) When treachery becomes nature with man, indiscriminate faith in men becomes a failure; and when the means of subsistence are distributed equitably, greed becomes senseless.

19) Having few dependents is one of the sources of prosperity.

20) Health is a hidden possession; only he who lacks it knows how to appreciate it.

21) Asked what kind of life was best, he said: "Safety with poverty is better than wealth with fear."

22) Seeing people burying a woman he said: "An excellent husband married you."

23) While teaching Hippocrates is said to have turned to a youngster among his pupils. When the adults reproached him for preferring the youth to them, he said: "Don't you know why I prefer him to you?" and they said that they did not. He said: "What is the most wondrous thing in this world?" One of them replied: The heaven, the spheres and the stars." Another said: "The earth and the animals and plants on it." A third said: "Man and his constitution." Each of them, in turn, said something, and in every instance Hippocrates said "No." Then he asked the youth: What is the most wondrous thing in this world?" and he answered: "O learned one, if everything in this world is wondrous, there is no wonder." Whereupon the savant said: "This is why I preferred him."

24) To fight passion is easier than to cure an illness.

25) To get rid of serious ailments is a great art.

26) Once, on visiting a patient, Hippocrates said to him: "I, the disease and you are three. If you help me to overcome it by taking my advice, [p.58] we shall be two and the disease will be isolated. Then we shall overpower it, for if two join hands against one, they will overcome him."

27) When he was on his deathbed, he said: "Learn from me the quintessence of the science: He who sleeps much, has a soft nature and a moist skin will live long."

Here are other sayings of his, that are quoted by Hunayn ibn Ishāq in his book "Anecdotes of Philosophers and Savants."

1) The heart is harmed by two things; grief and anxiety. Grief induces sleep, and anxiety sleeplessness. The reason is that anxiety involves fearful thoughts as to what is going to happen, and this leads to sleeplessness; grief, on the other hand, is free from brooding, for it is concerned with what is past and done.

2) The heart consists of solid blood, and grief activates the innate heat which dissolves solid blood. Therefore grief is loathed for fear of unwelcome happenings which activate the heat and warm the temperament, whereby the solid blood is dissolved and the constitution wrecked.

3) He who keeps the company of a ruler does not dread his harshness, just as a diver does not dread the salty taste of seawater.

4) He who desires life for his soul actually mortifies it.

5) Knowledge is vast and life is short; take, therefore, of science what, however little it be, will make you attain more of it.

6) Love may develop between two intelligent individuals as a result of their affinity in intelligence, but it will not occur between two stupid persons as a result of their affinity in stupidity. For intelligence keeps to a certain order, and so it may happen that, with regard to it, two individuals agree on one and the same way, whereas stupidity adheres to no order, whence it is not likely that through it agreement should take place between two individuals.

7) Here is a saying of his on love: Love is a desire that surges in the heart and leads to the formation therein of elements of fixation. The stronger it grows the more the person is affected by agitation, obsession, [p.59] intense anxiety and frequent sleeplessness. In this condition the blood is burnt and transformed into black bile, and the yellow bile becomes inflamed and turns into black bile. By an excess of black bile the thinking faculty is disturbed, and disturbed thinking leads to dullness, weakness of reason, vain hopes, and futile yearnings. The final stage is madness, in which case the lover sometimes kills himself or dies of grief; sometimes he may come into contact with his beloved and then dies either of joy or of sorrow, sometimes he heaves a sigh and loses consciousness for twenty-four hours, so that he is believed dead and is buried alive; at times he sighs very deeply and his breath is caught in his pericardium, where the heart shuts it off, so that it cannot escape until he dies; sometimes he is happy and longs to see his beloved — then on seeing her all of a sudden, he gives up the ghost at once. One can observe how, when a lover hears the name of his beloved, his blood recedes and his color change. He who is in such a condition may be relieved of it only by the grace of God — not by any device used by man, for an affliction arising from a single and independent cause may ingeniously be removed by removing its cause, but if there coincide two causes, each of which is the cause of the other, it is impossible to remove either. Now, black bile is the cause of uninterrupted brooding which, in turn, is the cause of a combustion of the blood and the yellow bile and their inclination to the black bile. The stronger the black bile grows, the more
it intensifies brooding, and the stronger the brooding grows, the more it intensifies the black bile. This is the incurable illness in the face of which physicians are at a loss.

Other sayings of his are:

1) Generally speaking, the body is treated in five ways: What is in the head by gargling; what is in the stomach, by vomiting; what is in the belly, by purging the bowels; what is between the two skins, by sweating; and what is in the depth and in the veins by bloodletting. [p.60]

2) The yellow bile has its seat in the gallbladder, and it controls the liver; the phlegm has its seat in the stomach, and it controls the chest; the black bile has its seat in the spleen, and it controls the heart; the blood has its seat in the heart, and it controls the head.

3) To a pupil of his he said: "The best way for you to approach people is to give them love, to care for their needs, and to be informed about their condition and be ready to help them.

The following sayings and maxims of Hippocrates are from the book "Choice Maxims and Best Sayings," by al-Mubashshir ibn Fātik:

1) Lasting health is gained by not being too lazy to work and by refraining from stuffing oneself with food and drink.

2) If you do what should be done the way it should be done and the result is not what it should be, do not change your course of action as long as your original intention remains unaltered.

3) Diminishing what is harmful is better than augmenting what is useful.

4) Intelligent people should be given wine to drink, whereas stupid people should be given hellebore.

5) I possess nothing of the virtue of knowledge except my knowing that I do not know.

6) Be content with simple food and rid yourselves of wants, so that you may draw close to God, the Mighty and Glorious; for God, blessed be He, does not want anything, and the more you want, the farther you are from Him. Flee from evil things, eschew sins, and seek the best of good things.

7) The owner of a thing is its master. But he who wishes to be free should not covet what does not belong to him; he should shun it, lest he become its slave.

8) Regarding his worldly belongings, a man should behave like one invited to a banquet; if the cup is handed to him he may take it, but if it passes him by, he must not watch it and prepare to ask for it. This is how he should act with regard to women, money and children. [p.61]

9) To one of his pupils he said: If you do not wish your desire to be futile, desire what you can attain.

10) When asked about; certain disgraceful things he kept silent, and when asked: "Why do you not reply?" he said: "The answer to that question consists in passing it over in silence."

11) This world does not last; so, if you can, do good, but if not, pretend to — and seek the best of reputations.

12) If there were no action one would not seek knowledge, and if there were no knowledge one would not care for action. To forgo justice out of ignorance is, in my opinion, preferable to forgoing it out of indifference.

13) Your friend's illness, however protracted, should not persist more with him than your frequent visits to him.

14) Knowledge is the soul and action the body. Knowledge is the root and action the branch. Knowledge is the procreator and action the offspring. Action originates in knowledge, not knowledge in action.

15) Action is the servant of knowledge, and knowledge is an end [in itself] . Knowledge is the pioneer and action its agent.

16) To give a patient something of what he has an appetite for is more beneficial than to force on him everything he dislikes.

The author says: Hippocrates, as mentioned before, was the first to codify the medical art and to propagate it. In composing his books he adopted three different ways of instruction, one enigmatic, another extremely concise and the third easy and perspicacious. Those of Hippocrates' books of which we have knowledge and which we have verified as authentic number about thirty; twelve of them, the most famous of all, are studied by all medical students whose aim is to proceed on a sound and rational basis. These are:

1) "The Book of Fetuses, in three treatises, the first comprising the theory of the formation of sperm, the second the theory of the formation of the embryo and the third the theory of the formation of the limbs.

2) "The Book of the Nature of Man." This consists of two treatises, [p.62] and treats of the characteristics of the body and its components.

3) "The Book of Airs, Waters and Places," also consisting of three treatises. In the first Hippocrates offers information on the climates of various lands and the local diseases they cause; in the second he treats of various lands and the local diseases they cause; in the second he treats of the characteristics of the drinking waters and of the seasons of the year and the local diseases they cause; in the third he discusses those things which by their very existence cause local diseases.

4) "The Book of Aphorisms," in seven chapters. In it he sets forth the generalia of medicine so that they may serve as laws for the physician's benefit — directives as to how to understand matters of medical practice with which he may be confronted. This book contains summaries of what he laid down in his other works. This is evident to anyone who examines it attentively, for the aphorisms are arranged as condensations of his "Prognostics," "On Airs, Waters and Places" and "On Acute Diseases," as well as highlights and leading points from his book "Epidemiae," which means "arriving diseases," and finally aphorisms from his book "On Female Complaints" and from all his other works.

5) "The Book of Prognostics," in three chapters. Here he sets forth the characteristics on the basis of which the physician can recognize the state of every disease in all the three phases — past, present and future. He also explains that if the patient is told of what happened in the past, he will trust his physician and willingly surrender to his treatment, so that he will be able to treat him according to the precepts of the art. If he recognizes the present condition he can then apply the proper medicines and devices; and if he knows the prospective developments of the disease he can prepare himself with all that may check them before they assail the [p.63] patient so vehemently that no time is left to counteract them appropriately.

6) "The Book of Acute Diseases," in three chapters: the first contains the theory of the regulation of diet and evacuation in acute diseases; the second deals with treatment by hot packs and bloodletting and with the composition of laxatives and the like; the third contains the theory of the medicinal use of wine, honey-water, oxymel, cold water and hot baths.

7) "The Book of Female Complaints," in two chapters. At first he sets forth the complaints caused by a retention or excessive flow of the menses, and then he mentions diseases common during and after pregnancy.

8) Epidemiae," in seven chapters. In it he explains the epidemic diseases and the regimen and treatment they call for. He says that they fall into two categories — the first involving a single disease and the other a deadly disease called the double-death, affecting both men and animals. [He makes this distinction] in order that the physician may deal with each category by the appropriate means. Here he gives excerpts from his diaries. Galen says: "I and other commentators know that the fourth, fifth and seventh chapters of this book are wrongly attributed to Hippocrates." He further points out that the first and third chapter treat of epidemic diseases and that the second and sixth contain Hippocrates' diaries — some of which he himself had written, while others were recorded by his son for his own use from what he had heard from his father; these contain some of his best thoughts and explanations. Galen asserts that people abandoned the study of the fourth, fifth and seventh chapters of the book, so that they became extinct.

9) "The Book of Humors," in three chapters. This book discloses the condition of the humors, namely, their quantity and quality, the prognosis by their inherent symptoms and the method and cautious approach demanded in treating each of them. [p.64]

10) "The Book of Diet," in four chapters. From this one can learn about the causes and means by which food accumulates in the body, makes it grow and replaces in it what becomes dissolved.

11) "The Book of the Physician's Workshop," [Kat' Ietrei/on] in three chapters. A description of the necessary medical operations that are carried out with the hands only, such as bandaging, constriction setting of broken bones, suturing, replacement of dislocations, fomentation, hot packs, etc. Galen says: "Hippocrates proceeded from the assumption that this book would be the first of his works to be read, a view followed by all the commentators, among whom I am included. He called it, "The Shop in Which the Physician Sits to Cure the Sick." A better rendering, however, would be "The Book of the Operations Performed in the Physician's Shop."

12) "The Book of Fractures and Dislocations, in three chapters. It contains everything a physician ought to know on this subject.

Hippocrates has other books — some of which are merely attributed to him. These include:

13) "On the Complaints of Virgins."

14) "On the Areas of the Body."

15) "On the Heart."

16) "On Dentition."

17) "On the Eye."

18) A letter to Thessalus.

19) "On the Flow of the Blood."

20) "On Inflations."

21) "On Burning Fever."

22) "On Glands."

23) An epistle to King Demetrius, known as "The Healing Treatise."

24) "On the Use of Humids.

25) "The Precepts." [p.65]

26) "The Covenant," also known as "The Book of Oaths." Hippocrates wrote this for his pupils and also for those they would treat, in order that they might be guided by it and not offend against the stipulation he therein imposed on them and in order to dispel by his statements the odium he incurred for transferring this art from hereditary transmission to free dissemination.

27) "The Law of Medicine."

28) "The Testament," known as "The Etiquette of Medicine," in which he outlines the rules to be followed by a physician with regard to outward appearance, style of dress and deportment.

29) "On Luxations."

30) "On Head Injuries."

31) "On Meats."

32) "On the Prognosis of Diseases Caused by a Change of Air."

33) "On the Natures of Animals."

34) "The Book of Symptoms" — expounding the symptoms of the twenty-five cases, which presage death.

35) "On the Indications of Crisis."

36) "On Superfetation."

37) "Introduction to Medicine."

38) "On Children Born in the Seventh Month.''

39) "On Wounds."

40) "On Weeks."

41) "On Madness."

42) "On Pustules."

43) "On Children Born in the Eighth Month."

44) "On Bloodletting and Scarification."

45) "On the Basilic Vein."

46) "A Little on Plato's Invectives against Eros."

47) "On Urine."

48) "On Colors." [p.66]

49) A letter to Antigonus on the preservation of health.

50) "On Diseases."

51) "On Juveniles."

52) "On the Divine Disease" [epilepsy]. In the first chapter of his commentary on the "Prognostics" Galen says with regard to this book that Hippocrates refutes here those supposing that God, the Blessed and Exalted, may be the cause of some diseases.

53) A letter to Caesar, King of the Romans, on the fortunes of men according to the temperament of the year.

54) "On Medicine by Inspiration"; it is reported that this book contains all that entered his heart and, when applied, the result was in accordance with his anticipations.

55) An epistle to Artaxerxes the Great, King of Persia, on the occasion of the plague which visited the Persians during his reign.

56) An epistle to a Group of the People of Abdera, the City of Democritus the savant, in reply to their epistle to him in which they invited him to come and treat Democritus.

57) "On the Difference of Seasons and the Proper Preparation of Foods."

58) "On Man's Constitution."

59) "On the Extraction of Arrowheads."

60) "On Predictions," Book I.

61) "On Predictions," Book II.

When Hippocrates died he left fourteen descendants and disciples, both descendants of Asclepius and others. His lineal descendants were four: Thessalus and Draco and their two sons, namely Hippocrates, son of Thessalus, son of Hippocrates, and Hippocrates, son of Draco, son of Hippocrates. So both his sons had a son whom they named Hippocrates after the grandfather. His pupils, both relatives and others, were ten: Laon, Masirgus [?], Miganus, Polybus (a member of his family, who was the most outstanding of his disciples and his successor Melanisson [? ], [p.67] Asthath [?], Saury, Gaurus [?], Simplicius, and Thales. This is the report of Yahyā the Grammarian.

Another author reports: Hippocrates had twelve pupils, to whom he never added anyone except after the death [of one of them], nor did he ever reduce their number. Thus they continued for a time in the land of the Greeks in the colonnade where he used to teach.

Somewhere I have found a report to the effect that Hippocrates had a daughter named M. . . . She had an excellent knowledge of medicine, and it is said that she even surpassed her two brothers. The physicians of note who lived in the time between Hippocrates and Galen, apart from Hippocrates' own pupils and his sons, were the following: S . . . , the commentator on Hippocrates' books; Ancilaus the physician, Erasistratus II, the dogmatist; Lyco, Milo II, Gallus, Mircaritus, the author of a book on medicaments, Scalus, a commentator on Hippocrates' works, Mantias, another commentator on Hippocrates' works, Gallus of Tarentum, Magnus of Emesa, the author of a book on urination, who lived 90 years; Andromachus, who lived 90 years: Abras [?] also known as the "Remote," Sounachos the Athenian, the author of a book on drugs and pharmacology, and Rufus the Great, who was from the city of Ephesus and was unrivaled his time in the medical art. Galen mentioned him in some of his books, holding him in high esteem, and copying from him. These are Rufus' books.

1) "On Melancholy," in two chapters; it is one of his best works.

2) The Book of the Forty Chapters.

3) "Nomenclature of the Parts of Man."

4) "On the Disease with Which Hydrophobia appears."

5) "On Jaundice and Afflictions of the Gallbladder."

6) "On the Diseases that Affect the Joints."

7) "On Emaciation."

8) "The Regimen of Him Who is not Attended by a Physician," in two chapters. [p.68]

9) "On Angina."

10) "On the Medicine of Hippocrates."

11) "On the Use of Wine."

12) "On the Treatment of Women Who Do not Conceive."

13) "On the Rules for the Preservation of Health."

14) "On Epilepsy."

15) "On Quartan Fever."

16) "On Pleurisy and Pneumonia."

17) "Regimen," in two chapters.

18) "On Sexual Potency," in one chapter.

19) "On Medicine."

20) A treatise on the work done in hospitals.

21) "On Milk."

22) "On the Agonies of Death."

23) "On Virgins."

24) "On Figs."

25) "On Foul Breath."

26) "On Vomiting."

27) "On Deadly Drugs."

28) "On the Medicines for Kidney and Bladder Diseases."

29) "On Whether Much Drinking of Water with Meals Is Beneficial."

30) "On Solid Tumors."

31) "On Memory."

32) "On Dionydes' Disease, Which is Suppuration."

33) "On Injuries."

34) "On Regimen in Old Age."

35) "On the Prescriptions of Physicians."

36) "On Clysters."

37) "On Parturition."

38) "On Luxations."

39) "On the Treatment of the Retention of the Menses." [p.69]

40) On Chronic Diseases according to the View of Hippocrates."

41) "On the Degrees of Drugs."

42) "On What the Physician Should Ask the Patient."

43) "On Bringing up Children."

44) "On Vertigo."

45) "On Urine."

46) "On the Drug called Licorice."

47) "On Catarrh of the Lungs."

48) "On Chronic Diseases of the Liver."

49) "On the Fact that Men May Become Affected with a Stoppage of Breathing."

50) "On Purchasing Slaves."

51) "On the Treatment of an Epileptic Boy."

52) "On the Regimen of Pregnant Women."

53) "On Indigestion."

54) "On the Wild Rue."

55) A treatise on perspiration.

56) "On Constipation."

Other notable physicians in the time between Hippocrates and Galen were Apollonius and Archigenes, the latter being the author of several works on the art of medicine. Those of his books which have been translated into Arabic are: 1) "On the Diseases of the Uterus and their Treatment; 2) "On the Nature of Man"; 3) "On Gout." Others amongst those physicians were Dioscorides I, the commentator on Hippocrates' works; Timaeus the Palestinian, another commentator on Hippocrates; Nibaditus, who was nicknamed "Gift of God," who wrote on electuaries, Mysiaeus, who was known as the "Classifier of Medicine," Marus the Methodist, who was named Thessalus after the name of Thessalus I, whom we mentioned among the Methodists. This happened because after the books of Thessalus I were burnt; one of the works of the Methodists fell into his hands. He adopted its teachings and said: "There is no art except [p.70] that of the Methodists, and this is the true medical art." It was his intention to demoralize the people and divert them from their belief in experiment and empiricism, and so he made use of that book for writing a great number of works on Methodism. These works remained in the hands of physicians, some of whom accepted them while some did not, until Galen appeared and refuted him, condemned his books, burnt those which fell into his hands and abolished the art of Methodism.

Moreover, there were Crito, who was nicknamed "The Cosmetist," the author of the "Book of Cosmetics," from which Galen quoted some passages in his "Mayamir," Germaxinus [?], Artethius [?], Maritus, Papholonus [?], Marcus, Bargalus, Hermes the physician, Aeolys, Cachon and Chlamys [?]. These physicians, in view of their assistance to one another and their cooperation in the composition of drugs for the benefit of mankind, were known as "The Twelve Signs" [of the Zodiac], which are likewise connected with each other.

Further, there were Philo the Chalcedonian, who was nicknamed "the Mighty," because he dared to tackle the gravest diseases and cured them, proving his power — none of his treatments ever failed — Democrates II; Phrosis, Xenocrates; Aphrodes, Ptolemy the physician, Socrates the physician, Marcus, who was the "Lover of Sciences" Sorus, Phoris, the operator on cataracts, Niadritus, surnamed the wakeful, Porphyry the man of composition, the author of many works because, in addition to philosophy, he was eminent in medicine, outstanding and brilliant; therefore some called him the philosopher and some the physician.

Dioscorides of Anazarba, the man pure of soul, who brought great benefit to the people, the Arabized, the victorious, who toured the land, adopted the science of simple drugs from deserts, islands and seas; who described them, experimented with them and detailed their uses before being questioned about their effect, so that when experiments succeeded and he found that when put to the test they came out with the same results, he proved that and illustrated them according to the pattern. [p.71] He was the pioneer of all the simples, which were taken up by those who came after him. From him they learned about all they needed to know about these drugs. Blessed is that good soul which strove ceaselessly for the good of all mankind.

Hunayn ibn Ishaq said: "Dioscorides was called by his people by the name Azdash Niadish, which means 'defecter from us.' All this was because he did not mix with his people but kept to the mountains and forests, where he used to abide all the time. He never conformed to his people, never asked for their advice or judgment or accepted their rules. Because of that, his people called him by this name. 'Discori' means in Greek trees, 'Dos' means God, in other words, 'God inspired him with trees and wild flowers.' The author says: The fact that Dioscorides was in the habit of traveling from one country to another in search of wild flowers in order to observe them in their places of growth is proved by his own words at the opening of his book, when he addresses the person to whom he dedicated the work: "As for us, we have had since childhood, as you know, a boundless thirst to know the basics of treatment, for which purpose we have traveled to many countries. Our life has been that of one who did not stay in one place."

Dioscorides' book is divided into five treatises and two appendixes on animal poisons which are considered to be part of the book and constitute the sixth and seventh treatise.

Below are given the topics of these treatises:

The first treatise deals with a collection of medicines which have a good scent: potions, ointments, resins and big trees [sic].

The second speaks of animals, animal juices, seeds, pills, pulse seeds, edible seeds, hot seeds and hot medicines.

The third deals with the origin of plants, the cactus, seeds, resins and flowerless weeds.

The fourth details drugs, most of which are cold weeds, hot weeds, some of which are laxatives and some emetics. It concludes with a discussion of weeds useful for the treatment of poisons. [p.72]

The fifth speaks of the vine and the kinds of drinks and mineral drugs, Galen says about this book: "I have studied 14 volumes on simple drugs for many communities but I could not find a more complete book than the one by Dioscorides from Anazarba!"

Among the doctors mentioned during the period between Hippocrates and Galen were: Palladius, the interpreter of Hippocrates books; Cleopatra, a good beautiful young woman; Asclepiades; Soranus, called the Golden; Heraclides of Tarentum; Eudemos the ophthalmologist, nicknamed the King; Nessarus [?] the Palestinian; Gallus from Homs; Cassanocratus [? ]; Cato; Diogenes the Physician, known as the Pharani [?]; Asclepiades II; Hippocratus the Jawarishnian; Laon of Tarsus; Arius of Tarsus; Cayman the Harranian; Muscus the Athenian; Euclides, known as the "Guide to the Perplexed"; Heracles, known as "the Enlightener"; Petrus; Phrodus; Mantillius the corrupt; Theophrastus from Anazarba; Antipater the Masisian; Chrysippus, known as "the Young"; Arius, known as "the Objector"; Philo of Tarsus; Phassios the Egyptian; Tolus the Alexandrian; Aulinus; Scorus [?], nicknamed "the Obeyed," thus called because medicines used to "obey" when applied by him; Taymur the Harranian.

All these physicians used compound drugs and from them and from their predecessors whom we mentioned before, such as Aeolus and Archigenes, Galen drew the contents of his books on compound drugs.

Galen was also preceded by Tralinus [?], who is Alascandrus [?] the Physician. Some of his books are: "Eye Diseases and their Treatment," containing three treatises; "On the Infection of the Diaphragm"; "On Lizards, Tapeworms and Worms Generated in the Belly."

According to Ishāq ibn Hunayn, there was at that time a group of illustrious philosophers including Pythagoras, Diophilus, Thaon, Empedocles, Euclides, Saury, Timaeus, Anaximenes, Democritus, and Thales. Hunayn said: "The poets at that time included Homer, Cacillus [?], and Marcus. These were followed by the philosophers Zeno the Great [p.73] and Zeno the Small; Icratus [?], known as the Musician; Ramon the Logician; Aglocan [?] the Bandhinian; Socrates; Plato; Democritus; Aristotle; Theophrastus; his nephew Theomedon; Aethlius [?]; Chrysippus; Diogenes; Chelatus; Phimatus; Simplicius; Arminas, the teacher of Galen; Glaucon; Alexander the King; Alexander of Aphrodisias; Porphyry of Tsur [Sidon]; Heracleides the Platonic; Tallius [?] the Alexandrian; Moses the Alexandrian; Rodos the Platonic; Astiphanus the Egyptian; Sanjos; Ramo [?]. These were followed by the philosophers Themistius; Parphodes [?] the Egyptian; Yahya the Grammarian, of Alexandria; Darius; Anchillus, the one who summarized Aristotle's writings; Amunius [?]; Paulus; Aphrotochus [?]; Audimus the Alexandrian; Yagath [?] from Anazarba; Thiathus the Athenian, and Adi of of Tarsus."

Judge Abu-Kassim Sa`id ibn Ahmad ibn Sa`id says in the book "The Classes of Nations": "Greek philosophers are the noblest of people and the greatest of the learned because of the real interest they showed in the arts of wisdom, in the logical and mathematical sciences, natural and divine sciences and domestic and civilian policies. The ones that the Greeks most revered are five. Chronologically they are:

1. Pendacles [?];
2. Pythagoras;
3. Socrates;
4. Plato;
5. Aristotle, son of Nicomachus."

The author intends to give details about the lives of these five and others with the help of Allāh the Almighty.

Pendacles. Judge Sa`id said: "Pendacles lived at the time of the Prophet David, peace be on him, as was mentioned by the historians of the nations. He learned wisdom from Luqmān the Sage in Damascus. Then he went to Greece, where he discoursed on the creation of the universe in terms which suggested a denial of the Resurrection. As a result he was [p.74] abandoned by certain people. Some of the Batiniya [secretive] sect followed his teachings, claiming that he made up symbols which are difficult to decipher. Muhammad ibn `Abd Allah ibn Marra al-Jabali al-Batini of Granada was an adherent of his philosophy and studied it constantly.

"Pendacles was the first who united the meanings of the epithets of Allah the Almighty, saying that they all mean one thing, that if He is described as knowledge, magnanimity and power. He has no specific definition as characterized by these different names. He is the One in reality Who does not generate in any way, as compare with all other beings. Particles of the universe are subject to increase, either in part or in meaning or in kind, but the nature of the Creator transcends all this. Abu al-Hutheil Muhammad ibn al-Hutheil al-Alaff al Basri subscribed to this creed about qualities.

"The books that Pendacles wrote include: 'Metaphysics,' and the 'Mayamir.'"


Also called [in Arabic] Puthagoras and Pothagoria. Judge Sa`id said in "The Classes of Nations : "'Pythagoras came some time after Pendacles. He learned wisdom from the followers of Solomon the son of David, peace be upon them, when they came to Egypt from Damascus. Prior to that he learned geometry from the Egyptians. Then he returned to Greece, where he introduced the sciences of geometry, natural science, and theology. On his own initiative he founded the science of musicology and composition, in accordance with numerical measurements, claiming that he attained this by prophetic inspiration. [p.75]

"He devised strange symbols and far-reaching notions on the formation of the world and its order and on the properties of numbers and their degrees. Concerning the Resurrection he had theories which come close to those of Pendacles in that beyond the domain of nature there is a celestial, spiritual world whose beauty and wonder are unfathomable by the human mind and which pure souls yearn toward; moreover, every person who has succeeded in improving himself by avoiding vanity, tyranny, deceit, envy and other physical lusts will become eligible to enter the spiritual world and to discover what he wishes to reap from its pearls of heavenly wisdom. Then, what the soul longs for will penetrate him, just like musical tunes alighting on the ear, and he will not have to
make any effort to gain his desires. Pythagoras wrote books on the rules of arithmetic, music, etc." This is the end of this author's account.

Others said about Pythagoras that he favored travel and exhorted the avoidance of touching the murderer and the murdered. He ordered the sanctifying of the senses, that man learn to act with justice and all the virtues, that he desist from sin, and search for the genius so as to know the nature of everything. He called for good relationships with one's fellow men and good behavior so as to explain the divine sciences, to resist sinful temptation, to safeguard the purity of the soul, to learn how to strive, to fast devotedly, to sit quietly and steadfastly, to read continuously, men to teach men and women to teach women. He advised in favor of logic and the preachings of kings. He used to say that the soul is eternal, and that in the after-life it remains in a state either of forgiveness or of punishment, as the divine sages held.

When Pythagoras was put in charge of the temples and became the Chief Priest, he fed on food which did not cause hunger or thirst.

As for the food which did not cause hunger, he used to prepare it from the seeds of sesame, mikonion, the peel of onion, washed until its essence is extracted, intarikun, isfodalin, fitoon, chick-peas and barley. He would take a little of each of these and pound it into a dough with a kind of honey called amitio. [p.76]

The food which did not cause thirst he used to prepare from the seeds of marrow, milokhiya, asofa, and andrakhin, with a kind of bread called filtamos, made of flour from Awalis. All this he would mix with honey from Habuq.

The philosopher mentioned that Heracles learned these two things [re food and drink] from Demeter.

Pythagoras kept himself habitually well-balanced. He was not now healthy and now ailing, nor once fat and then thin. He had a most admirable nature. He would neither rejoice excessively nor succumb to undue grief. Never was he seen laughing or crying. He would always prefer his fellow men to himself.

It has been related that he was the first to say that the money of a friend should be free for all and undivided. He would preserve the health of the healthy and cure the ailments of the sick. He used to soothe anguished souls, either by prophesying or by divine melodies which would bring relief to all physical pain. He demanded loyalty in keeping entrusted money or other valuables.

Porphyry wrote in the first treatise of his book on "The Lives, Anecdotes and Opinions of Philosophers" strange stories about Pythagoras drawn from his prophecies and his fortune-telling. These he either heard from him or drew from other sources.

Pythagoras used to intimate his wisdom in riddles. Some of these are: Do not brag about the scales — i. e., avoid extravagance. Do not stir the fire with the knife, because it has once been heated in it — i. e., avoid the use of inciting words when speaking to angry and obnoxious men.

Do not sit on a qufaiz [a piece of land measuring 144 sq. yards] — i. e., do not lead an idle existence.

Do not walk through thickets of rambling plants — i. e., do not follow the opinions of the rebels.

Swallows do not build homes — i. e., do not listen to empty braggers and chatterboxes who do not know how to restrain their tongues.  [p.77]

The burden should not be removed from its bearer, but he should be helped to carry it — i. e., no one should neglect the virtues contained in commentaries.

Angels' images should not be worn on the stones of rings — i.e., one should not reveal one's religion and divulge the secrets of theology to the ignorant.

The Emir Mubashshir ibn Fātik said: "Pythagoras' father was Mnesarchus from Tsur. He had two brothers, the elder Eunomus and the younger Tyrrhenus. His mother, Butais [?], was the daughter of a man called Ajacius [?] from Samos. When Tsur was taken by the three tribes of Limnos, Macron and Sacron [?], who settled there and expelled its inhabitants, Pythagoras' father emigrated with the others and lived in the Buhaira. From there he travelled to Samos to seek a living. He stayed there and was welcomed. When he proceeded from there to Antioch, he took Pythagoras with him for sightseeing, because it was very beautiful and most fertile. It is said that Pythagoras returned to live there because of his initial impression of the place. When Mnesarchus emigrated from Tsur, he settled in Samos with his sons Eunomus, Tyrrhenus, and Pythagoras. Andracles, the Governor of Samos, adopted Pythagoras and sponsored him because he was the youngest of his brothers, and from his early years he. educated him in literature, language and music. When his beard started to grow, he sent him to the town of Miletus and placed him under the care of the philosopher Anaximander to be taught geometry, surveying, and astronomy. When he had completed his education in these disciplines, Pythagoras became devoted to the sciences and general knowledge, in the pursuit of which he traveled to many countries. He visited the Chaldeans, the Egyptians and others. He lived with priests, learning wisdom from them and qualifying in the language of the Egyptians, of which he learned the three types of calligraphy: that of the masses, that of the royal personages, which is the shortened manner of the priests, and that of kings. [p.78]

When he was in Arkilya [Irkli] he attached himself to its King. Reaching Babylon, he attached himself to the leaders of the Chaldeans and studied at the hands of Zarabata who enlightened him in the duties of saintly men, made him listen to the music of nature and taught him everything about the beginnings of the Creation. As a result of this, Pythagoras' wisdom reached a superior level and through him was found the way to enlighten the nations and redeem them from sin, because of the great knowledge he acquired from every nation and every place.

At first he came to Pherecydes, who lived on the island of Syros, in a town called Dilon, which Pherocydes left to settle on Samos. He was afflicted with a severe illness, and his body became plagued with lice. When his condition worsened and his house became neglected, his disciples bore him to Afses. When his condition deteriorated further he appealed to the people of Afses and made them swear to banish him from their town and take him to Maganecia [?]. His disciples tended him until he died, when they buried him and inscribed his story on his tomb.

Pythagoras returned to Samos and after Pherecydes he studied with Hermodamnitas [?], the saintly sage known on Samos as Creophylus' descendant. There he also met Hermodamas the sage, with whom he stayed for a while. Then the priesthood of Samos was given to Polycrates. Pythagoras longed to meet the priests of Egypt and entreated Polycrates to help him in this. Polycrates wrote a letter to Amasis, recommending him and informing him about Pythagoras' request and telling him that he was a friend of Amasis' friends. He asked him to be kind to him and respond to his wish. Amasis received him well and gave him a letter to the Chief Priest. He came to the people of the town of Shams, known in our time as Ein Shams, bearing their king's letters. They received him ill-favoredly and examined him for a time but could not find any fault with him. So they submitted him to the priests of Memphis to be examined further. They received him unwillingly and stiffened their examination but nor could they find anything to take him to task for. Therefore, they sent him to the [p.79] people of D .... [?] to test him. They could not find a way or an excuse which would enable them not to submit him to their King. They set him difficult tasks, which did not conform with the religious duties of the Greeks, so that he would refuse to perform them and thus they would be able to reject his request. But he agreed and performed them, to their increased admiration.

Pythagoras' virtuous behavior became known throughout Egypt until his fame reached Amasis, who put him in charge of the sacrifices to God the Almighty. This task had never been assigned to a stranger before. Then Pythagoras left Egypt and returned to his country. At Ionia he built a teaching center where the people of Samos would come and learn from him Outside the city he had a meeting place which he set aside to impart his wisdom and where he would meet with a few of his close friends and spend most of his time. When he was 40 years old and the priesthood of Polycrates continued, having been in that position for a long time and being weary of it, he gave the matter some thought and reached the conclusion that it was not good for the wise man to hold onto the priesthood and stay on in control. Thus he left for Italy, and from there proceeded to Crotona.

When the people there saw his fine appearance, his logical manner of speech, his noble character, wide knowledge, correct manners, wealth, perfection, and virtues, they followed him deliberately. He made them adhere to the ancestors, showed them the right path, and exhorted them to do good deeds. He ordered the leaders to write books for the young in literature and philosophy and to teach. Men and women would cluster around him to hear his preaching and benefit from his wisdom. His glory was thus magnified and he became highly influential. He made many of the people of that town professionals in the sciences. His fame spread so wide that the majority of the Berber kings came to listen to his wisdom and to draw from his knowledge. [p.80]

Pythagoras then toured Italy and Sicily, where oppression and revolt prevailed. The people of Tauromenium and others became his listeners and followers. He uprooted schisms from among them and from their offspring for many generations. His reasoning used to banish all evil deeds. When Samachus [?], the priest of C .... [?], listened to his philosophy and teachings he abandoned his property and left some of his riches to his brother and some to the people of his town.

It has been mentioned that Panadus [?] of the race of Farmas [?], was a bondsman of the King Photho [?], who was of the sons of Pythagoras; moreover, that when Pythagoras was in Crotona, he had a virgin daughter who used to instruct the virgins of the town in the teachings of religion, its laws, duties and in what is permitted and what is forbidden. His wife also used to teach the women. When Pythagoras died the faithful Demitodius [?] inherited the philosopher's house and turned it into a temple for the people of Crotona.

It is told that during the reign of Cyrus, Pythagoras was a youngster. Cyrus' rule last for 30 years. He was followed by Cambyses when Pythagoras was still alive. Pythagoras stayed in Samos for 60 years, and then traveled to Italy and from there to Metapontum, where he stayed for five years and where he died.

Pythagoras' midday meal consisted of honey and far, his supper of bread from Kakhajrun and raw or cooked vegetables. He would not eat meat except during his priesthood from the sacrifices made in honor of the Almighty. When he was in charge of the temples and became Chief Priest he fed on foods that did not cause hunger or thirst. When someone would come to hear him he would speak to him in one of two ways: either by argument and reasoning or by preaching and counselling. Thus he had two arts of teaching.

Once he had to travel and he wanted to be with his friends before leaving them. So they met at the residence of a man called Milo. While they were gathered there a man from Crotona called Cylon, who was of the [p.81] nobility and very wealthy, attacked them. Cylon used to exploit his position to cow the people and rebel against them while boasting of his tyranny. He came up to Pythagoras and began to brag. Pythagoras admonished him in front of the other guests, and advised him to seek redemption for himself. Cylon was infuriated and called his friends. He spoke ill of Pythagoras to them, accusing him of atheism. Together they planned to kill Pythagoras and his companions. In the attack, 40 of them were killed, while the rest escaped. Some were apprehended and killed but some managed to go into hiding. The search for them continued, and they feared that Pythagoras would be killed. They set a number of them for his protection and got him out of the town under cover of darkness. Some of them accompanied him until they brought him to Cylon and then to Lycarus [?]. His denouncement reached the townspeople, and they sent some of their elders, who said to him: "As for you Pythagoras, we can see that you are a wise man, and as for your denouncement, it is most ugly, but we do not find in our laws anything for which we could condemn you. We are a law-abiding people, therefore accept our good will and the money for your journey and depart from our town for your own safety. Pythagoras left and came to Tarentum, where he was surprised by people from Crotona, who almost strangled him and his friends. Thus he fled to Metapontum, where his presence caused an upheaval that was remembered for many years. He went to the Asnan Temple, known as The Mowsen Temple, and took refuge there with his followers. He stayed there for forty days without food. The people set fire to the temple, and when his followers heard that, they hastened to him. They surrounded him so as to protect him with their bodies against the fire. When the fire spread in the temple and grew fiercer, Pythagoras fainted from exposure and weakness
and he dropped dead. Then all the others were stricken with the same fate and were burned to death. So ended Pythagoras' life.

Here are some of Pythagoras' wise sayings and utterances, which I have taken from the book "Choice Maxims and Best Sayings" by the Emir Mahmud al-Dawlah Abī al-Wafa' ibn Fātik: [p.82]

1) Just as the beginning of our existence and creation flows from God Almighty, so must our souls flow to God the Almighty.

2) Thought belongs to God, and thus loving thinking is bonded to love for the Almighty; he who loves God the Almighty would act to please Him; he who acts to please Him comes closer to Him, and he who comes closer to Him is safe and victorious.

3) Honoring God the Sublime does not lie in sacrifices and ritual killings, but the faith in Him to which He is entitled suffices as a mark of our worship.

4) Too much talk about God the Sublime is a sign of a man's lack of knowledge about Him.

5) How good for man to utter fine and noble things, but if he is not able to do so, let him listen to those who are.

6) Beware of committing evil, either when alone or in company. Let the shame of your own self be greater than that of everyone else.

7) Aim at earning money righteously and at spending it likewise.

8) If you have heard a falsehood persuade yourself to bear it patiently.

9) You should not neglect the health of your body, and you must exercise temperance in eating, drinking, sexual intercourse and sport.

10) Do not be a spendthrift to the extent of one who does not know the value of what he has; do not be a miser to the extent that you lose your freedom. The best way is that of moderation.

11) Be alert in your day-to-day mental activities. Sluggish thinking is paramount to death.

12) What you must not do you must not let enter your thoughts either.

13) Do not defile your tongue with evil words and do not allow your ears to listen to such words.

14) It is hard for a man to be free if he has made a habit of evil deeds.

15) A man should not strive for high profits and grandiose buildings, because after his death they will be acquired according to their merits, and others will take them over. The profit to be sought is that which would benefit him after his passing away and after his involvement with it.  [p.83]

16) Decorated and Painted things become falsified in a very short time.

17) I believe that at the base of Godfearing lies Mercy.

18) Whenever you embark on doing something turn to your God in a prayer for success.

19) The man whom you have tested by trying him and found that you cannot make him your friend, beware of making him your enemy.

20) How good it is that a man should not err, and if he does err, how good it is that he should be aware of his error and try not to repeat it.

21) It is better to do what one ought to do and not what one wants to do.

22) One should know when to speak and when to remain silent.

23) The free man does not lose one particle of his soul for the sake of lust.


Al-Aādī Sā`id in his book "The Categories of Nations" says that Socrates was one of Pythagoras' disciples. From all the branches of philosophy, he devoted himself solely to the divine sciences, casting aside worldly pleasures. He openly opposed the Greek idolatry and confronted the rulers with dispute and arguments. The people rose up against him and forced his death upon their king. He, to ingratiate himself with them, threw him in prison and then, in spite of recorded discussions Socrates had held with the King, gave him poison in order to escape their malice. Credited to Socrates are noble precepts, virtuous sayings, famous maxims as well as opinions concerning the [divine] attributes which resemble those of Pythagoras and Empedocles, except for his views in respect to the other world, which are invalid, far removed from philosophical purity and different from recognized opinions. The Emir al-Mubashshir ibn Fātik says in "Choice Maxims and Best Sayings": "The meaning of the name Socrates in Greek is 'he who protects himself by justice.' The son of Sophroniscus, he was born, raised and died in Athens. He left three male children. When he was forced to get married [the Greek custom to oblige aristocrats to marry in order to prolong the lineage], he asked the hand of the most foolish and foul-tongued woman in town, in order to get accustomed to her ignorance and to tolerate her evil nature patiently, so as to be able to put up with the ignorance the common people and the upper classes."  [p.84]

Socrates' respect for wisdom reached a point which was harmful to later lovers of wisdom for, considering it too pure to be confined to pieces of paper, he never recorded it, saying "Wisdom is pure and sacred, unperishable and undefinable: therefore we should bequeath it only to living souls, keep it away from dead parchment and guard it against rebellious hearts." In consequence, he never wrote a book, nor dictated to any of his pupils, but used rather to teach them orally. This he had learnt from his master Timotheus, whom he had asked in his youth: "Why do you not let me record all I learn from you?" and Timotheus answered: "What makes you rely on the skins of dead beasts and abstain from living minds? Suppose a man meets you on the road asks you about something scientific; would it be proper then to make him come to your house and to look in your books? Well, if it is not proper, stick to learning by heart!" And Socrates did so.

Socrates was an ascetic who cared little for the affairs of this world. Now the Greek kings had a custom, when they went to war, to take their philosophers along on their campaigns. Socrates had to accompany his king once. While camping, Socrates used to take refuge from the cold in a broken jar, from which he would emerge after sunrise and sit on it, to warm himself in the sun. He was therefore called "Socrates with the pitcher." One day, when he was sitting on that jar, the king passed by and stopped to ask: "O Socrates, why do we not see you and what keeps you from coming to us?" "Work, O King." The latter inquired: "What work?" "That which maintains life." "So come to us, it will be guaranteed for you forever." "O my King, were I certain to find it with you, I would not leave this jar." The king then said: "I was informed of your saying that worshipping idols is useful for the king, but detrimental to Socrates: for the king promotes thereby the welfare of his people and draws his taxes, while Socrates knows that for him it is neither harmful nor useful, since he recognizes having a creator, who requites both his evil and good deeds." The king then asked:
"Do you wish to request anything?" "Yes indeed," replied Socrates, "please turn the reins of your mount away, for your armies are hiding the sun from me." The the king then ordered a magnificent robe of silk brocade and other clothes, jewelry and a large sum of money as a gift for the philosopher; [p.85] but Socrates said to him: "O my King, you promised what maintains life and have offered what maintains death. Socrates has no need of the stones of the earth, neither of straw of plants, nor of worms' spittle; what Socrates needs is with him wherever he goes."

Like Pythagoras, Socrates sometimes spoke in symbolic language. Here are some of his enigmas:

1) While I was searching for the cause of life, I found death; by facing death, I learned at last how I ought to live." In other words, he who wants to lead a divine life should modify his body (and deprive it) of all sensual acts, as far as he is able by the power which he was givin. Only then it will be possible for him to live the true life.

2) Talk at night when there are no nests of bats — i.e., you must talk to yourself, isolated, collect your thoughts and abstain from looking at any material thing.

3) Shut the five windows, in order that the site of illness will be lit —i. e. , prevent the five senses from roving in places of no use, in order for your soul to be illuminated.

4) Fill the vessel with perfumes — i.e., store in your mind explanations, understanding, and wisdom.

5) Clear the triple basin from empty jugs — i. e., remove from your heart all worries which occur in the three faculties of the soul, and which are the source of all evil.

6) Do not eat that which has a black tail — i. e., keep away from sin.

7) Do not neglect the scales — i.e., do not overlook justice.

8) When facing death, do not be an ant—i.e., while mortifying yourself, do not amass the treasures of the senses.

9) You must know that there is no time when spring is lost" — i. e., there is nothing that prevents you from acquiring virtues at any time.

10) Seek three paths, but if you do not find them, be satisfied to sleep with regard to them like a man who is drowned — i. e., search after the science of the bodies, the science of the bodiless, and the science of those things which, although they have no body, exist along with the [p.86] bodies. Whatever is too difficult for you, be content to abstain from it.

11) The nine is not more perfect than the one — i.e., the number ten is a compound number, and is more than nine; nine becomes perfect so as to be ten only by adding one. The same goes for the nine virtues, which become complete and perfect by adding the fear, love and dread of God, the Mighty and Exalted.

12) Acquire with the twelve [masculine] the twelve [feminine] — i.e., with the twelve organs by which one acquires innocence or damnation, acquire the virtues. The twelve organs are: the two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, the tongue, the two hands, two feet and the sexual organs. Or: during the twelve months of the year, acquire the kinds of laudable things which bring a man in this world perfection in his behavior and knowledge.

13) Sow with the black and reap with the white — i. e., sow with tears and reap with joy.

14) Never lift the crown so as to dishonor it — i.e., do not abandon the laudable habits, for they surround all nations like a crown that encircles the head.

When his contemporaries asked him concerning idolatry, he kept them away from it, abrogated it and forbade people to worship idols, while exhorting them to worship the unique and everlasting God, the creator and originator of the world and all that is in it, the omniscient and omnipotent, not the sculptured stone, which cannot talk, neither hear nor feel by any instrument. He incited the people to piety and benevolence, ordered them to do good and prohibited the vile and reprehensible all according to his belief in them, but he did not aim at the perfection of conduct for he knew that this would be unacceptable to them.

When the leaders in his time, namely the priests and archons came to know the goals of his propaganda, his views concerning idols and his efforts to turn the people away from them, they bore witness against him, which made the death sentence inevitable. Those who imposed death on him were the eleven judges of Athens and he was administered the poison [p.87] called konaion [hemlock]. When the king was informed of the judges' sentence, he was deeply grieved but could not act contrary to their verdict. So he said to Socrates: "Choose the kind of death you wish." He answered: "By poison," and he granted it. One of the reasons for delaying Socrates' execution for several months after the verdict was that the boat which was sent every year to Apollo's temple, loaded with the usual cargo, was seriously blocked because of the difficulty aroused by winds. They had a custom which prohibited the shedding of blood and any other execution until the return of that boat from the temple to Athens.

His friends visited him in prison during the whole of that period. One day, while they were with him, one of them, Crito, said to him: "The boat will be in tomorrow or the day after; we have arranged to pay these people off, so that you may steal out and go to Rome, where they will be unable to reach you." He replied: "But you know that I do not possess even 400 drachmas." Said Crito: "I have not said it thinking that you would pay anyone out because we know that you cannot afford the sum they have asked for; but we have enough money for this purpose and many times as much, and we shall gladly give it away for your salvation, so that we do not lose by losing you." "O Crito," exclaimed Socrates, "the town in which this was done to me is my town and the home of my family; in it, as you have witnessed, I met imprisonment and here was I condemned to death. I was not sentenced for what I deserved, but because I opposed injustice, attacked unjust deeds and their sponsors, namely their disbelief in the glorious creator and their worship of idols instead of him. The cause for which, in their opinion it became necessary to kill me stays with me wherever I turn, and I shall not give up defending the truth and attacking the lie and the liars wherever I am. The people of Rome are less apt to have mercy on me than the people of my town. As this my situation was caused by the truth, and the support of truth, wherever I go, is my duty, it is not safe for me anywhere." Crito pleaded: "Remember [p.88] your children and family and the ruin you must fear for them." He answered: "They will have the same fate in Rome as here, only you are here, and with you they are less likely to perish."

On the third day his disciples came in the morning as usual. Then the prison attendant appeared and opened the gate. The eleven judges arrived, entered and stayed for a long while; then having removed the irons from his feet, they went out. The attendant came and let the disciples in. Having greeted him, they sat down. Socrates got up from the bedstead and sat on the ground. He then uncovered his legs, and rubbed and scratched them, saying: "How wonderful are the works of divine providence, especially when it unites opposites. There is almost no pleasure which is not followed by pain, and no pain which is not followed by pleasure." This saying prompted a conversation among them, during the course of which Simmias and Phaedon asked him about something of the soul's activities. The discussion was protracted until he summed up the subject of the soul in his precise and profound way, while remaining in his usual mood of cheerful jocularity. The companions all wondered at his courage and contempt of death, in the face of which he did not waver in his search of truth, nor lose any of his characteristics and virtues natural to him in times of safety. They, on the other hand, found themselves in a state of profound sorrow because of his imminent departure.

Simmias then said to him: "Our exhaustive interrogation, under these circumstances, is indeed a heavy burden on us and disgrace to friendship, but to withhold this investigating discussion now will cause us deep regret tomorrow, when there would not be on earth anyone to solve our problems. Socrates answered: "Simmias, by no means abstain from your search to know, for this is what I enjoy; as for me, there is no connection between my being alive or dead, and my eagerness to investigate the truth. Although we are to miss our friends and noble laudable, praiseworthy and virtuous companions, we are instead to go to other brethen also virtuous, [p.89] noble and praiseworthy, all the men of virtuous sons who have passed away since we believed in and were sure of the word, which you heard from us all the time."

When the speech concerning the soul was over and they arrived at the desired conclusion, they asked him concerning the shape of the world, the movements of the spheres and the composition of the elements. He answered all their questions and then told them many stories about the divine sciences and secrets. Having finished, he said: "Now I think it is time for us to take a bath and pray as hard as we can; this way we shall trouble nobody with washing the corpse. Destiny has already called us: we are going to join Zeus and you your families." He got up, entered a room and bathed. He then prayed at length, while the people talked about the great disaster which would afflict him and them, saying that in him they would lose a wise man, a scholar and loving father, so that they
would be as orphans.

When he came out, he called for his wife and children, he had an older son and two young ones, took his leave of them, gave them his will and then dismissed them. Crito asked: "What do you command us to do concerning your wife, children and the rest of your affairs?" He answered: "I am not going to tell you anything new, but the same as I have been telling you all along: endeavor to perfect your souls for in doing that you would make me happy, as well as all those who are mine." He then remained silent for a long time and the whole group became silent with him. The servant of the eleven judges came in and said: "O Socrates, indeed you are brave, as I can see by your behavior, you know that I am not the cause of your death, but rather those eleven judges, by whom I am only ordered to do this. You are the best man of all who entered this place; drink this notion in tranquility and be patient with the unavoidable results. Tears fell from his eyes and he turned away. Socrates said: "We shall do it, and you are not to blame" He fell silent for a moment, then turned to Crito, saying: "Tell the man to bring me my death-potion." Crito told [p.90] the servant to summon the man. This was done and Socrates took it from him and drank it. When they saw that he had drunk it, they could not control their welling tears and their weeping rang out. Socrates turned to them in reproach saying: "We have dismissed the women in order to be spared this." So they stopped weeping, ashamed and striving to obey him, in spite of their great grief at the loss of such a man. Socrates began walking to and fro for a while, and then said to the servant: "My legs are getting heavy, let me lie down, which he did. The servant started feeling his pulse, asking him: "Do you feel me touching your hands?" He said: "No," then he touched them with force and asked: "Do you feel them now?" He still said "No," then he touched his legs, asking him again and again while he always replied in the negative. He was becoming more paralyzed each moment. The cold grew until it reached his loins, and the servant: said to us, "When the cold reaches his heart he is done for." Crito said to him: "O master of wisdom, I think our spirits are withdrawing from yours, so give us your will." Socrates said only: "it is as I told you before." He reached out his hand and took Crito's, and put it on his cheek, Crito said: "Tell me your wish," but Socrates did not answer. His gaze became fixed and he said, "I render my soul to the one who receives the souls of the wise." And he died. Crito closed his eyes and pressed his jaws. (Plato was not present, for he was ill.)

It is said that Socrates died leaving behind him twelve thousand pupils and pupils of his pupils. Al-Mubashshir ibn Fātik, said: "Socrates was a white-skinned man, blond and blue-eyed, with good bones, but short, with an ugly face, a disheveled beard and narrow shoulders; he was slow moving but quick to answer; when he was asked a question, he would bow his head for a while and then reply in persuasive words. He lived mostly in solitude, eating and drinking little, practiced devotion ardently and spoke of death quite frequently; he traveled little and was intent on physical exercise. His body was clad in sparse but dignified clothes. His speech [p.91] was eloquent and fluent. He died by poison when he was a hundred and some years old."

The author says: I have found in Plato's book called "The Protest of Socrates against the Athenians" that he quotes Socrates as saying: "I have never troubled myself with a court of justice before now, although I have reached an age of seventy years." And this dispute that was held between him and the people of Athens took place a short time before his death. According to Ishāq ibn Hunayn, Socrates lived about as many years as Plato. The same source says that Plato lived for eighty years, Hunayn ibn Ishāq, in hisbook "Aphorisms of Philosophers and Physicians," says that the seal of Socrates' ring was engraved with the words: Whoever lets his mind be carried away by his passion is dishonored.

Here are some sayings of Socrates mentioned in the book by the Emir al-Mubashshir ibn Fātik.

1) I wonder, how a man who knows the perishable nature of this world can be diverted by it from that which does not perish.

2) Souls are diverse forms; those of similar forms agree with each other, and those which are opposite, differ from each other.

3) The harmony between souls is the product of the accord in their intentions; their discord springs from the differences in their desires.

4) The soul includes everything; whoever knows his soul knows every-thing; whoever does not know his soul does not know anything.

5) Whoever is stingy with himself is even more so with others; whoever is generous toward himself lets others trust in his generosity.

6) Whoever knows himself will not be lost, but how lost is he, who does not know himself!

7) The good-natured soul has little need for instruction; with an evil-natured soul even a great deal of instruction will have no effect because of its shaky foundation.

8) If the ignorants were silent, controversy would be dropped.

9) There are six [kinds of persons] whom grief never abandons: the hateful, the envious, the nouveau-riche, the rich who fears poverty, the ambitious [p.92] for a rank he cannot achieve, and the ignorant who mixes with the learned.

10) For whoever is the master of his secret, his business is hidden from others.

11) Better than good is he who does it; worse than evil is he who does it.

12) Intelligence is a gift, and knowledge the profit thereof.

13) You are not perfect until your enemy can rely on you; and you are all the less so if even your friend has no confidence in you.

14) Beware of those whom your heart detests.

15) This world is a prison for those who renounce it, and a paradise for those who love it.

16) Everything has a fruit. The fruit of small property is a hastening of peace of mind and cheerfulness of the pure soul.

17) This world is like fire ignited on the highway; whoever borrows a bit from it so as to light on his way is saved from its damage; but whoever sits there in order to have it all for himself, will be burnt by its heat.

18) He who cares much for this world loses his soul; he who cares much for his soul renounces this world.

19) He who is after the riches of this world, if he gets what he hoped for, leaves it for something else, and if he does not get it, he dies in his distress.

20) By no means refute the error of the errant, for he will learn from you knowledge and then look on you as an enemy.

21) Someone said to Socrates: "We have never seen you sad." "This is because I do not possess anything at the loss of which I should be sad," he replied.

22) Whoever wishes that his desire does not escape him should only desire what is in his power to attain.

23) Praise your friend to everyone you meet for the starting-point of friendship is praise, while the starting-point of enmity is dispraise.

24) When you get a governorship remove evil persons from yourself, for all their faults will be attributed to you. [p.93]

25) A man of noble origin, but of vulgar character, said to him: "O Socrates, are you not ashamed of the meanness of your lineage?" He answered: "Your lineage ends with you, while mine starts with me."

26) The best of all things is their middle.

27) The inhabitants of the world are like figures on a sheet; every time one of them is opened another is concealed.

28) Patience helps all actions.

29) Whoever hurries is most likely to stumble.

30) When a man's intellect is not master of him more than anything else, his ruin will be among the things mastering him most.

31) A man will not be wise until he conquers the passions of his body.

32) Treat your parents as you wish your children to treat you.

33) The intelligent man must talk to the ignorant fellow in the same fashion as the physician talks to his patient.

34) He who pursues the pleasures of this world has a short life and many cares.

35) Wealth is a master; he who serves anything but himself is not a free man.

36) Socrates was asked: "What is the nearest thing?" — "The end of life," he replied. "And the farthest?" — "The [fulfillment of] hope." — "What is the most pleasant thing?" — "A good friend." — "And the most hateful? — "Death," he retorted.

37) As regards evil men, death is caused of tranquility, for it frees the world of their evil.

38) Man was given one tongue and two ears, so that what he hears exceeds what he speaks.

39) The mightiest ruler is he who overcomes his passions.

40) Asked "What is the most delicious thing?" Socrates said: "To acquire erudition and to listen to news never heard before."

41) The thing which young men must hold most precious is erudition, for the principal advantage they reap from it, is that it prevents them from committing evil deeds. [p.94]

42) The most useful thing a man can acquire is a sincere and devoted friend.

43) The silent man is considered incapable of expressing himself but will be safe; the talkative man is admired but will end by regretting his words.

44) Have contempt for death, for its bitterness consists of the fear which it inspires.

45) He was asked: "What is a praiseworthy acquisition?" — "That which serves to increase the outlay."

46) A praiseworthy man is he who keeps the secret of another without being asked to do so; as for him who has been asked to keep a secret, he is committed.

47) Keep the secrets of others the way you wish them to keep yours.

48) If your heart is too confined for your own secret, the heart of another one will be even more confined.

49) Asked "Why does an intelligent man ask for advice?" he replied: "In order to divest opinion of desire, and out of fear of the consequences of passion."

50) A man of good character leads a pleasant life, of constant peace, and is much loved by men; a man of bad character leads a miserable life of torment and is shunned by other men.

51) A man of good character hides the crimes of another; a man of bad character turns even the merits of others into crimes.

52) The beginning of wisdom is a good character.

53) Sleep is a short death, and death is a long sleep.

54) He said to one of his disciples: "Never rely on time, for it easily betrays those who place their trust in it.

55) He whom time delights in one case is upset by it in another.

56) He who inspires his soul with love for this world has his heart filled with three voids: poverty, which will never turn into wealth, hope which will never be fulfilled, and preoccupation, which will never come to an end.

57) Do not confide your secret to anyone whom you have to beg not to divulge it. [p.95] 

58) Asked why seawater is salty, he said: "When you tell me the benefit you will derive from my answer, I will give it to you."

59) There is no greater harm than ignorance, and there is no worse evil than women.

60) Observing a girl being taught writing, he said: "Do not add evil to evil.

61) He who wishes to be saved from the traps of Satan should not obey any woman, for women are a raised ladder, and Satan has no device except by climbing it.

62) He said to one of his disciples: "My son, if you cannot avoid women completely, consider your contact with them as you consider eating a cadaver: you do not eat of it except under necessity and you partake of it just enough to maintain the breath of life. Anyone taking more than this falls ill and dies."

63) He was asked: "What do you say about women?" He said: "They are like the oleander tree, splendid and beautiful; but when an inexperienced man eats its fruit, it kills him."

64) Asked How can you blame women, while the fact is that but for them neither you nor the sages your equals would exist?" he answered: "Woman is like the palm tree with its prickles which when penetrating the body of a man, wound him. Nevertheless, it is the same palm tree which produces the fresh green and the yellow ripe dates.

65) Archigenes said to him: "The speech you have made to the inhabitants of the city [the Athenians] is not being accepted." "It does not trouble me that it will not be accepted," he replied; "It would only trouble me that it be not correct."

66) Do not pay attention to the shameless.

67) Let not the ingratitude of those who deny having received a favor prevent you from doing good.

68) An ignorant man is the one who stumbles twice on the same block.

69) Experiences are sufficient as correction, the vicissitudes of time as exhortation, and the character of people you meet as instruction. [p.96]

70) Know that you are following the path of the departed, that you occupy the place of those who have passed away, and that you will return to the element from which you originated.

71) The turns of fortune are sufficient for those who know how to learn by example, for each day fortune offers you a new lesson.

72) The comfort of those living in comfort is disturbed by accidental misfortunes.

73) He who grieves little for what eluded him has a peaceful soul and a clear mind.

74) He who is ungrateful for favors rendered him is very liable to see these favors disappear.

75) Many are the people who beware a certain thing and become afflicted with that very same thing!"

76) Treat anger with silence.

77) A good name is better than wealth; for wealth runs out while fame persists and wisdom is a treasure unperishable and inexhaustible.

78) Prefer legitimate poverty to illegitimate wealth.

79) The best way of life is to earn honorably and to spend thoughtfully.

80) He who acquires experience augments his knowledge; he who believes augments his certainty; he who seeks to know augments his zeal; he who is eager to act augments his power; he who is lazy augments his langor; he who hesitates augments his doubts.

81) A verse by Socrates which was put into madīd [Arabic meter]:

                               This world, even when carefully observed.
                               Is but a blink of the eye of its observer."

82) Do not let everybody know what is in your heart. How shameful it is for people to hide their possessions in their houses, while exposing everything they have in their heart."

33) If in my saying "I do not know" there were no conveyance that I do know, I would say: "I do not know."

84) Property is the source of error, so do not furnish yourself with sorrow. [p.97]

85) Acquire as little wealth as possible, and you will reduce the number of your misfortunes.

The books attributed to Socrates are: an epistle to his brethren concerning the confrontation of religious law and philosophy; "On the Remonstration of the Soul"; a treatise on politics. It is said that his epistle concerning praiseworthy conduct is authentic.


Pronounced in a variety of ways [in Arabic] Falātun, Aflātun, Falātūn, Aflātun. According to the book by Sulaymān ibn Hassān, known as Ibn Juljul, the master Plato was one of the people of Athens, a Greek philosopher and physician, with a knowledge of geometry and the nature of numbers. He wrote a book on medicine which he dedicated to his disciple Timaeus. He composed many prose and poetic works on philosophical topics. His style was unique; in this field of composition and style he invented the art of prefacing, which is the relation of all sayings to the five uniting principles, other than which must not be found in any of the compound things in existence.

Having perfected his knowledge of the nature of numbers and the five uniting principles, he proceeded to the science of the whole cosmos. He came to know the obstacles to the formation of compound and harmonized particles, their different colors and variations, their composition according to their proportion. Thus he reached to the science of drawing.

He found the first movement, which is the summation of all other movements, divided it according to numerical proportion and fixed the compound particles on this basis. He then turned to the science of drawing images by which time he was a master in the science of composition and each one of its components (he wrote a book on this). His [p.98] philosophical sayings are extraordinary. He was also among those who set down the laws and ordinances of the day, which he included in his books on politics and laws. He lived during the reign of the father of Darius, who was killed by Alexander. It was after the death of Hippocrates, in the days of Philip, Alexander's father. In those days the Persians governed the people of Rome and Greece.

Al-Mubashshir ibn Fātik says in his book "A Choice Selection of Rules and Fine Precepts" that the meaning of the name Plato in their language is "the general," the "wide." His father's name was Ariston, and both of them were of the Greek nobility, offspring of Asclepius. His mother was also of the noble progeny of Solon the law-giver. Plato started his studies by learning poetry and language, in which he reached a very high level. One day he came across Socrates, who was slandering the art of poetry. Struck by his master's words, he abandoned poetry for good. He then attached himself to Socrates and studied under him during five years. After Socrates' death he heard that a group of Pythagoras' friends was staying in Egypt— he went there and studied with them. Before his association with Socrates he used to lean toward Heraclitus' school of philosophy, but after he had taken up with that master, he rejected the school of Heraclitus and followed him only in what concerned the perceptibles. He accepted Pythagoras' views concerning the intelligibles, and followed Socrates' school in all things pertaining to ethics. Having returned to Athens from Egypt, he established two academies there where he used to instruct the people. Later he left for Sicily, where he met and had an affair with Dionysius "the Conqueror." This ruler faced Plato
with difficult trials, until he succeeded in getting free and returned to Athens. Here he guided the people skillfully, acted benevolently and
helped the unfortunate.

The Athenians wanted Plato to govern their affairs, but he refused, finding their conduct contrary to what he thought was right and knowing that after they had become accustomed to this mode of behavior, which [p.99] to them was second nature, he would not be able to change it; although he would very much have liked to change it, he knew that by trying he would only bring upon himself the same fate as had met his master Socrates, who had not even aspired to realize the right conduct in its perfection.

Plato attained the age of eighty-one years. He was good-natured, generous and benevolent toward both his kinsfolk and strangers; a deliberate, patient and persistent man. He had many disciples, one of whom, named Xenocrates, continued teaching after him in Athens, in the place called the Academia; the other, named Aristotle, taught in Lyceum, also in the district of Athens. Plato used to express his wisdom in veiled hints and enigmas, in order that only the learned would understand. His masters were Timaeus and Socrates, from whom he acquired most of his views. He wrote a great number of books, of which sixty-five are known to us by name. Some of them are large collections of several treatises. His books form series of four in each, every series united by one general topic and every book in the series expounding one aspect of this topic, while being united with the others by the overall plan: each of the books is called a quadrant, and each successive quadrant is connected to the former one.

Plato was a swarthy man of average height, handsome build, and perfect features. He had a beautiful beard and sparse whiskers; he was calm and soft-spoken, with blue eyes the whites of which were brilliant, and a mole near the tip of the chin. His stride was well-measured, his speech melodious. His great love was the desert, seclusion and solitude. Most often one could easily locate his whereabouts by his weeping voice, which would be heard for a radius of two miles in the loneliness of the wasteland. According to Ishāq ibn Hunayn, Plato lived to the age of eighty. Hunayn ibn Ishāq says in his book "Anecdotes of Philosophers and Physicians" that the seal of Plato's ring was engraved with the words: "It is easier to move that which is at rest than to stop that which is moving." [p.100]

The following are some of Plato's precepts and exhortations, which I have copied from the book by al-Mubashshir ibn Fātik, may Allah have mercy upon him.

1) Ordinarily, everything has its master.

2) When the wise man avoids men, seek him out; when he seeks them out, avoid him.

3) Whoever does not help his friends in the days of his good fortune will be betrayed by them at the time of his misery.

4) He was asked: "Why is it that wisdom and wealth do not go together?" "Because perfection is rare," he answered.

5) Asked "Who is most worthy of being entrusted with authority over a city?" he replied: "Whoever can govern himself well."

6) To the question "How can a man safeguard himself from all vices and shameful acts?" his answer was: "By making his mind his trustee and precaution his minister; by taking exhortations as his reins, patience as his guide, constant prudence as his auxiliary, the fear of God as his companion and the memory of death as his intimate friend."

7) A king is like a great river which fills all the smaller channels; when its water is pure, so is theirs; when it is salty, theirs is likewise.

8) If you want your pleasure to last forever, do not exhaust your source, but rather fill it with reserves, and your pleasure will endure.

9) In time of war, beware of relying on physical strength alone, neglecting the intelligence; for the mind has such resources that might win without need of force, while valor can only win when aided by the intelligence.

10) The purpose of education is to give a man a sense of shame toward himself.

11) My soul is compassionate only toward three kinds of persons: a rich man who has become a pauper; a powerful man who has become weak and a wise man who has become mocked at by the ignorant masses.

12) Do not associate with evil men, for the only benefit you can derive from them is to be rid of them. [p.101]

13) Do not try to act quickly but to act well; for people are not interested in how long certain work has taken to be accomplished, but in how well it has been accomplished.

14) A favor rendered to a noble soul provokes recompense; a favor rendered to a villain provokes only the repetition of his requests.

15) Evil men always follow the vices of others, leaving aside their virtues in the same way as the fly always goes after the rotten parts of the body, leaving the sound parts untouched.

16) Do not underestimate your enemy, for the evil inflicted upon you might grow in the same proportion as your evaluation of it diminishes.

17) The generosity of a man is not perfect until he proves himself a sincere friend even to his enemies.

18) In this world seek knowledge and wealth, and you will have authority over people; for they are divided into the noble and the vulgar; the first will prefer you because of your virtues and the latter because of your wealth.

19) He who unites his nobility of character to the nobility of his origin has accomplished his duty and can claim distinction with good justification. As for the one who has neglected his soul and depended only on the nobility of his lineage — firstly, he is rebel against them and secondly, he is not worthy of being preferred to anyone just because of them.

20) Do not buy a lustful servant, for he will be serving another master; neither buy an angry servant, for he will always be straining under your domination; nor buy an intelligent one, for he will always be plotting against you.

21) When giving good advice generously, use also the art of the traitor, namely, fine words and nice manners. When you are superior to those around you, do not allow pride to enter your heart, for it will spoil the fruits of your superiority.

22) Do not assess people according to the rank in which they were put by fortune; assess them rather according to their true worth, for this is their natural rank. [p.102]

23) When the times are full of corruption, virtues serve no purpose and are even harmful, whereas vices are sought after and very useful; the fear of the wealthy is then greater than the fear of the poor.

24) A tyrant may enjoy a certain respite as long as he does not approach the foundations and columns of the edifice of divine law; when he does, the real master of the world turns against him and he is annihilated.

25) When the words of a man are in harmony with his intentions, they necessarily have an effect on the listener; on the other hand, if there is discord between speech and intentions, the desired effect on the listener will be lost.

26) The best king is he whose justice is remembered and whose merits his successors wish to imitate.

27) An ignorant man asked Plato: "How were you able to learn so much?" "By consuming as much oil as you do wine," he retorted.

28) The lover's eyes are blind to the defects of his beloved.

29) When you talk to a man more learned than you, express your ideas quite simply, without trying to insist upon them or embellish them. On the other hand, when you talk to a man inferior to you in knowledge, develop your thoughts for him, so that he may finally understand what he had not been able to grasp at the beginning.

30) One may attribute restraint only to a man who might have exercised his power, and abstinence only to a man who has abandoned something precious.

31) A man of strong character is he who does not waver in the face of misfortune.

32) A good-natured man is he who does not waver in the face of misfortune.

33) The most noble man is he who is honored by his virtues and not he who boasts about them; for a man whose merits are essential to him is honored by them, while a man whose merits are only accidental boasts about them, but they do not honor him. [p.103]

34) A moderate sense of shame guards a man against all evil deeds; when it is excessive, it prevents him from fulfilling his needs: finally, when it is insufficient, it frequently robs him of his robe of decency.

35) When your enemy falls into your power, he is not one of your enemies any more but a member of your household.

36) A man must look at himself in the mirror; if he is handsome, he should be ashamed of getting involved in an evil deed; if he is ugly, he should be careful not to add ugliness.

37) Do not associate with evil men, for your nature, even involuntarily will acquire some of their badness.

38) If you win an argument while debating with a noble man, he will honor and respect you; but if you win over a villain, he will become your enemy and use your arguments against you.

39) Whoever praises you for a virtue you do not possess while being your friend will also blame you for a vice that is not in you when he turns against you.

40) The reason that authority is necessary in this world is the never-failing weakness of its inhabitants.

41) A man who studies the sciences because of their intrinsic value will not be grieved when they are unuseful; but he who studies the sciences with an eye to the profit thereof will abandon them as soon as the learned are not favored and turn to something else which might benefit him.

42) Your fear concerning the steps you undertake against your enemy should be greater than your fear of what he might undertake against you.

43) How many people are considered happy because of their wealth, which is in fact the source of all their torments! How many people are envied for their circumstances, which are in fact the cause of all their suffering.

44) The desires of people are aroused according to the desires and will of their ruler.

45) The only benefit I derive from my studies is the knowledge of my ignorance. [p.104]

46) Hope is the great misleader of men.

47) Obey the law and it will protect you.

48) When you befriend a man, you must become the friend of his friends, but it is not necessary that you also become the enemy of his enemies.

49) Advice reveals the nature of the advisor.

50) An intelligent man must seek to acquire only that which is superior to what he already possesses; he should serve only a man whose character is equivalent to his.

51) Most virtues have bitter beginnings and sweet consequences, while most vices have a sweet origin and a bitter outcome.

52) Avoid as far as you can the company of men who divulge the secrets of others; for they will not miss the opportunity of collecting all the faults which you will let escape you and of reporting them to others, in the same way they have divulged others' faults to you.

53) Victory is the mediator of the culpable with the generous.

54) A resolute man should prepare all that his intelligence indicates to him to be necessary in order to realize his undertaking; he should not for this purpose rely on means that are outside his scope of action, the product of hope and habit, for they are not in his power but under the force of circumstances, on which his prudence would not allow him to depend.

55) Asked "Why does an old man acquire wealth?" Plato replied: "Because it seems to him better to leave his wealth to his enemies at his death, than to be in need of his friends while still alive.

56) Upon observing an ignorant physician, he said: "Here is a man who incites and excites death!"

57) An excess of good advice attracts many doubts as to the advisor.

58) A man should not grieve for things he has lost, but rather take care not to lose what he has left.

59) He was asked by Aristotle: "How does a wise man know he has become wise?" The reply was: "When he is not surprised at himself finding the truth; when he is not troubled by his undertakings; when he is not seized [p.105] by anger at his offender, and finally, when he does not become haughty by being praised."

60) Asked "Of what should one beware most?" He replied: "A powerful enemy, a troubled friend and an angry despot."

61) Again asked "What is most useful to man?" he replied: "To take more interest in his own uprightness than in the correction of others."

62) The evil sage is happy to insult the sages his predecessors and is grieved by the presence of the sages his contemporaries; for he wants to be the only one known as a sage and his great desire is to dominate. On the other hand, a worthy sage is grieved by the loss of one of his colleagues; for his desire to augment and revive his knowledge by discussion is stronger than his desire for domination and preeminence.

63) Reproving a man for his faults after having pardoned him diminishes the good deed; reproof of a crime must precede its pardon.

64) In this world pursue knowledge, wealth and good deeds; for the noble will then honor you for your virtues, the vulgar for your fortune and everybody for your good deeds.

65) On his death bed Plato was asked concerning the world, and his answer was: "I came here by force and stayed stupefied, and here I go involuntarily; I have never known anything concerning the world except the fact of my ignorance of it."

Plato's books are:

1) "Socrates' Protest against the People of Athens."

2) "Phaedo," on the soul.

3) "Politea," [Republic].

4) "The Spiritual Book of Timaeus," on the organization of the three intellectual worlds, namely, the world of God, the world of the mind and the world of the soul.

5) "The Physical Book of Timaeus," comprising four treatises on the composition of the natural world; these two books were dedicated to his disciple Timaeus; in the latter Plato's purpose was to describe all of the physical sciences.

Ibn Abū Uṣaybi`ah adds: In the eighth treatise of his book on the views of Hippocrates and Plato Galen mentioned that the book of Timaeus was [p.106] commentated upon by many interpreters, who went beyond the bounds except with regard to the medical sayings contained in this book, which were left with only a few commentaries, and even these are not very well done. So Galen himself wrote a book comprised of four treatises, in which he interpreted the parts of Timaeus' book which are concerned with medicine.

6) "The Book of Platonic Sayings."

7) "Euthypro."

8) "Crito."

9) "Cratylus."

10) "Theaetatus."

11) "Sophist."

12) "Politicon."

13) "Parmenides."

14) "Philebus."

15) "Symposium."

16) "Alcibiades the First."

17) "Alcibiades the Second."

18) "Hipparchus."

19) "Erastai," on philosophy.

20) Theages" on philosophy.

21) "Euthydemus."

22) "Laches" on bravery.

23) "Lysis." 

24) "Prothagoras."

25) "Gorgias."

26) "Meno."

27) Two books called "Hippias."

28) "Menexenos."

29) "Cleitophon."

30) "The Philosopher."

31) "Critias."

32) "Minos."  [p.107]

33) "Epxinomis."

34) "On Laws."

35) Twelve books on philosophy.

36) "On What Is Proper."

37) "On Higher Things."

38) "Charmides, on chastity."

39) "Phaedrus."

40) "On Proportions."

41) "On Unification."

42) "On Soul, Mind, Essence and Accident."

43) "On Sense and Pleasure."

44) A treatise.

45) "On the Education and Guardianship of Youth."

46) "On the Correction of the Soul."

47) "The Principles of Geometry."


This was the son of Nicomachus the Gerasenus, a follower of Pythagoras.  Nicomachus means "Victorious over his adversaries" and Aristotle — "Perfect in his virtues." Thus says Abū al-Hassān Alī ibn al-Husayn ibn Alī al-Mas`udi. Nicomachus was a Pythagoran and the author of a famous work on Arithmetics. Sulaymān ibn Hassān, known as Ibn Juljul, said in his book on Aristotle that he was the greatest philosopher of the Greeks, their master and critic, liberator, orator and physician. He was unique in medicine until he became overwhelmed by philosophy.

Ptolemy, in his epistle to Galas concerning the life, experience and will of Aristotle (which also included a catalogue of his celebrated writings), said that Aristotle was a native of the town Stageira, in the District of Chalcidice, near the town of Thrace and not far from [p.108] Olynthus and Methone. His mother's name was Phaestis. His father Nicomachus was the physician of Amyntas, the father of Philip, the same Philip who was the father of King Alexander. Nicomachus was an offspring of Asclepius, the same Asclepius who was the father of Machaon, the father of Asclepius. The lineage of his mother Phaestis was also traced back to Asclepius.

It is said that when his father Nicomachus died, Aristotle, then a youth, was entrusted to Plato by his father's trustee, Proxenus. Others claim that his delivery to Plato was decided by the inspiration of God the Omnipotent in the Phythian Temple. Another tradition links it with the friendship which existed between Proxenus and Plato. At any rate, he studied under Plato for twenty years. By the time Plato returned to Sicily for the second time, Aristotle was his substitute at the school called the Academia. Upon Plato's return from Sicily, Aristotle moved to Lyceum, where he established the school affiliated to the Peripatetics.

After Plato's death, Aristotle joined the servant Hermias, who was then the ruler of Atarneus. Upon Hermias' death, he returned to Athens, known as "the city of the wise." Having been summoned by Philip he went to Macedonia, where he taught until Alexander conquered the cities of Asia. Aristotle left Callisthenes as his successor in Macedonia and returned to Athens. He stayed in Lyceum for ten years.

Then it so happened that one of the priests called "Hierophants" —whose name was Eurymedon — desired the calumniation of Aristotle. He branded him one of the heretics and said that he did not worship the idols that were honored in those days; this was all because of the rancor he nursed against him. (Aristotle related the whole story in his epistle to Antipater.) Having become aware of this, Aristotle left Athens for his native town in Chalcidice, for he did not want to face the people of Athens with the same trial as in the case of Socrates, Plato's master, who was eventually killed by them. His departure took place [p.109] before anyone could suspect him of receiving the priest's letter of calumniation and before he could be injured in any way. As for Aristotle's so-called apology concerning the priest's suspicions, there is no truth in it and it is certainly a forgery.

Once back in his native town, Aristotle stayed for the rest of his life; he died there at the age of 68.

Ptolemy continues: "All we have said above can serve as a refutation of some people who claim that Aristotle started studying philosophy only at the age of thirty and that previously he was only concerned with politics, because of his special interest in improving municipal government. After his death, the people of Stageira brought his body to their town and buried him in a place which they called "the Aristotelian," which became their meeting ground whenever they had to take counsel concerning important matters and grievances."

Aristotle was the one who lay down the mores of the people of Stageira and was therefore greatly respected by them, as proved by the deference paid to him by the rulers of his generation. His passion for doing good and his devotion to the welfare of the people are manifest in his books and epistles, in which the reader will find frequent allusions to his mediation between the rulers of his time and the multitude, concerning the improvement of the people's conditions and the increase of their privileges. Considering all the favors and advantages he had achieved in this field, the people of Athens assembled and arrived at a certain conclusion, in consequence of which they engraved an inscription on a pillar of stone and placed it on the highest tower of the city in the place called the Acropolis; the inscription included, inter alia, the words "Aristotle the son of Nicomachus, from the town of Stageira, earned this honor by his good deeds and many favors and services, especially to the people of Athens, as well as by his mediation with King Philip, which helped to improve their situation. His generosity toward the people of Athens was so great that he undertook to see to their affairs and accomplished this [p.110] to perfection. As a result, the people of Athens undertake, on their part, to honor his virtues and leadership, to obey his guardianship and protection, to fulfill all his commands concerning their affairs and needs, as well as the commands of his descendants, their future leaders."

Now, there was a citizen of Athens named Himeraeus who excluded himself from the community's decision concerning the inscription and opposed its opinion of Aristotle. After the people had inscribed their words of praise on the pillar and placed it on the tower of the Acropolis, this man ran up and cast it down. Later he was seized by Antinus and put to death. Another Athenian, called Stephanus along with a group of others, erected another pillar and inscribed it with similar words of praise. They also included the name of Himeraeus who had thrown down the first pillar and the description of his foul deed, adding a curse upon him and a vow to his excommunication.

When King Philip died, his son Alexander was enthroned as his successor; he left his country to fight other nations and conquered the lands of Asia. By that time Aristotle had begun to live a life of celibacy and solitude, quitting all his former connections with the affairs of kings and his association with them. He went to Athens and established a place of learning, as we have mentioned above, which was affiliated to the Peripatetic school. He now devoted himself to the people's interests, supporting the weak and the poor, marrying widows and maintaining orphans, taking care of their education and helping all those who searched for knowledge and instruction, no matter who they were and what kind of science or art they wished to pursue. He worked to establish them by founding charities for the poor and public services in the towns. He also rebuilt his native town of Stageira. All the while he remained perfectly gentle, humble, eager to welcome both the young and the old, the powerful and the meek. As for his concern for his friends' affairs, it was indescribable, as is attested to by all his biographers, who are unanimous on the question of his benevolence. [p.111]

According to the Emir al-Mubashshir ibn Fātik in his book "Choice Maxims and Best Sayings," Aristotle was brought by his father to Athens, "The city of the wise," when he was eight years old. They stayed in the part of Athens called Lyceum, where his father introduced him to several poets, orators and grammarians. For nine year he studied under their direction the science which they called "the general," i.e., language, for everybody is in need of this, it being the means and stepping-stone to every science and virtue and the agent through which all knowledge is acquired.

A group of scholars were thus greatly assisted by the science of those orators, grammarians and stylists, but another group, headed by Epicurus and Pythagoras, opposed them bitterly, claiming that there was no need of all their sciences in any domain of philosophy. They considered grammarians as kindergarten teachers, poets as tellers of nonsense and lies and stylists as authors of intrigues, partiality and contradiction. When Aristotle heard of this controversy, he was fired with zeal and took up the defense of the grammarians, orators and stylists, proclaiming the worthiness of their cause. He maintained that philosophy could not do without them, language being one of the instruments of their science, that man's advantage over animals is his capacity for speech, and the better his speech, the truer his claim to humanity; the same goes for eloquence in meaningful phrases and punctuation of style, as well as for the judicious choice of concise and elegant words. He added that since philosophy is the noblest of all the sciences, its expression should be appropriately clad in the truest words, most eloquent terms and most concise phrases; it should also be the farthest from doubt, error, uncouthness of speech, ugliness of pronunciation and stammering, for all these shortcomings extinguish the light of wisdom, cloud its message, preclude its fulfillment, embarrass the listener, spoil its meaning and spread doubt.

Having perfected his knowledge of the sciences of poetry, grammar and oratory, Aristotle turned to ethics, politics, physics, mathematics and [p.112] metaphysics. At this time, at the age of seventeen, he attached himself to Plato, becoming his disciple and follower. According to al-Mubashshir ibn Fātik, Plato used to sit in audience, and when asked to speak, he would say: "Wait until everyone is here." When Aristotle arrived, he would say: "Speak up, for everyone has now come"; or he would say: "Wait until the intellect arrives," and upon Aristotle's arrival, "Speak up, for the intellect is already here."

The same source adds that after Aristotle's death, the people of Stageira exhumed his decaying corpse, collected the bones, placed them in a copper vessel and transferred them for burial in the place known as the "Aristotelian," which later became their meeting place, where they would gather to discuss important matters and grievances. They used to assemble quietly around the grave and share the silence of the bones. In case a problem arose in any branch of the sciences or philosophy, they would come to that place, sit around and discuss the matter, until the difficulty was solved and the discord eliminated. They were of the opinion that their very visit to the place where Aristotle's bones were buried had a purifying effect on their minds, readjusted their thinking and softened their hearts. They did it also as an expression of their respect for him after his death, their grief for his departure and their sadness to have lost him and his bountiful resources of wisdom.

Al-Mas`ūdī", in his book "On Routes and Kingdoms," said that in the city of Palermo [Balram] on the island of Sicily, there is a mosque called "al-Jāmi` al-Akhbar" which used to be a church for the Christians and had previously been a huge temple. Al-Mas`ūdī quotes a logician as having said that a Greek sage — namely Aristotle — was in the bier hung in this temple, which later became a Moslem mosque. The Christians were in awe of its thaumaturgical powers, having seen the Greeks honoring and admiring it greatly. The reason for suspending it between Heaven and Earth was that people used to come there in order to be cured from dropsy and other illnesses and to receive counsel on important matters, while during such times of distress and perdition, when men have to turn to God the [p.113] Omnipotent and draw near him, they may become quite cruel to each other. Al-Mas`ūdī adds that he himself has indeed seen there a large bier, in which he suspects the corpse might lie.

Al-Mubashshir ibn Fātik continues: "Aristotle had many disciples among the kings and princes and others, including Theophrastus, Eudemos, King Alexander, Arimnestus, Aeschylus and others, noble and famous for their learning, distinguished for their wisdom and celebrated for their revered offspring. After his death, his maternal nephew Theophrastus undertook to teach the people the wisdom Aristotle had comprised in his books and thus succeeded him on his chair and inherited his rank. In this task he was aided and counseled by two others, namely Arimnestus and Aeschylus, who wrote many books on logic and philosophy. Aristotle was survived by a young son called Nicomachus and a young daughter. He left behind great wealth, servants and maids and other property."

According to the same source, Aristotle was blond and somewhat bald, fairly tall and heavy-boned; his deep blue eyes were small and his beard thick; his nose was aquiline; his mouth was small, his chest broad; his stride was quick when alone and slow when in company; he was always reading, never talked nonsense and used to stop at each word and contemplate every question put to him; his answers were brief and few; during the day he used to wander in the deserts and toward the rivers; he was fond of listening to music, of meeting with athletes and strong men; impartial in his disputes, ready to admit both his truth and his error, he was always moderate in his dress, food and drink, sexual intercourse and physical exercise; in his hand he always held the instrument showing the stars and the hours. Hunayn ibn Ishāq, in his book "Anecdotes of Great Philosophers and Physicians," relates that the stone in Aristotle's ring was engraved with the inscription: "He who admits ignorance of what he does not know is more learned than he who affirms what he knows." Shaikh Abū Sulaymān Muhammad ibn Ṭāhir ibn Bahrām the Logician says in his notes that Theophrastus was [p.114] the executor of Aristotle's will and that he lived ninety-one years. As for Plato, Abū Sulaymān says that he lived long. In his book "al-Fihrist" [Catalogue] Ibn al-Nadīm, the scribe from Baghdad, tells that Aristotle died at the age of sixty-six. Ishaq maintains that Aristotle lived sixty-seven years. The judge Abū al-Qāsim Sā`id ibn Ahmad ibn Sā`id, in his "Classes of Nations," says that Aristotle was the acme of Greek philosophy, the keystone of Greek medicine and the chief of the Greek scholars. He was the first to isolate the science of demonstration from the rest of the logical sciences, and he was the one to establish it in its three forms. He then made it the instrument of all the philosophical sciences, so that he was nicknamed the Master of Logic. He wrote excellent books, both general and special, in all the philosophical branches. The special works are his epistles, in which he studies only one topic, while the general ones are memoranda, in which he mentions all he has studied, being the seventy books written for Ophellas [?] and studies in which he discusses three things: the philosophical science? the philosophical practices and the instruments used in philosophy and the other sciences.

His books on philosophy are divided into those on intelligibles, on natural phenomena and on metaphysics. The ones on intelligibles are the books on studies, the book on methods and the book on changes. The books on natural phenomena are divided into those treating of features common to all phenomena, such as the book known as "The Fame of Nature," which defines a number of elements that recur in all natural phenomena and then goes on to things that are similar to the elements, to things that follow the elements, and finally to things that resemble the things that follow the elements. The elements are the origin and the form; the things similar to the elements are not exactly elements, but nearly so, such as the nonexistent; the things that follow the elements are time and place, and those resembling the latter are emptiness, fullness and infinity. The works dealing with the characteristics of each natural [p.115] phenomenon separately discuss the things that have no real existence and the things that are created. Things which do not exist are studied in the first two essays of the book "De Caelo et Mundi" and those that are created are divided into general and special. The general ones include metamorphoses and movements. The former are dealt with in the book "De Generatione et Corruptione," and the latter in the last two essays of "De Caelo et Mundi." The special ones include simples and compounds. The simples are discussed in the book on heavenly influences, and the compounds both in the general description of compound things and in the description of parts of compounds. The former description is contained in the books on animals and plants and the latter in the books on the soul, the senses and the sensed, health and sickness and youth and old age.

The studies of metaphysics include the thirteen treatises in the "Book of Metaphysics."

The books on philosophical practices are divided into those dealing with morals and those treating of politics. The former are included in the "Great Book," written for Aristotle's son, the "Small Book," also written for his son, and the book entitled "Eudimian Ethics," Aristotle's political theory is expounded in his books on the State and on economics.

The works on the instruments used in the philosophical sciences are the eight books of logic, which Aristotle was the first to prepare and compose. He himself mentions this fact at the end of the sixth book, which is the "Sophistics," saying: "As for the science of logic and the construction of syllogisms, we have not found in the past any foundation to build on, and we understood it only after investing a great deal of effort and long, painstaking work. We were those who invented and created it, according to a well-conceived plan and on solid foundation without leaving out anything that should have been included, as opposed to the case with the earlier sciences; this science is complete, possessing firm foundations, sound principles, a solid structure, well-defined aims  [p.116] and clear-cut symbols; it rests on strong supports and sturdy pillars. Whoever refers to it in later days should forgive its defects and consider what was so laboriously built up as a great achievement, for he who expends such effort deserves to be thus excused."

Abū Nasr al-Fārābī notes that Aristotle divided the logical sciences into eight parts, discussed in eight books:

1) Laws of the different intelligibles and the terms leading up to them, contained in the book called "al-Maqūlāt" in Arabic and "Kategorias" in Greek.

2) Laws of the compound terms, which are intelligibles consisting of two different concepts (with the terms leading up to them, consisting of two different notions), contained in the book called al-`Ibāra" in Arabic and "Peri Hermeneias" in Greek.

3) Propositions relating to the analogies common to the five sciences, contained in the book called "al-Qīyās" in Arabic and "Analytica I" in Greek.

4) Laws for verifying logical demonstrations and laws governing philosophy and making all its processes more complete, perfect and exact, contained in the book called "al-Burhān" in Arabic and "Analytica II" in Greek.

5) Laws for verifying statements for testing the soundness of questions and answers; in short, laws governing the science of polemics, by which the latter becomes more perfect, correct and efficient, contained in the book "Topics," i. e., "The Rules of Polemics."

6) Laws as to things liable to distort and obscure the truth. This book mentions all the things used in order to create confusion and error in the sciences and in debate and all that is necessary to contradict inconsistent utterances when made by the distorter or his hearers: how to start and how to finish, how to avoid errors and whence these derive. All this is to be found in the book called "Sophistics," i. e., "the misleading philosophy." [p.117]

7) Laws for testing exhortative utterances and the different kinds of discourses: rhetorical as well as homiletic utterances, whether rhetorical or not. The book mentions everything pertaining to speeches, describes the way to compose them in each branch of the arts, and makes suggestions for rendering them more beautiful and persuasive. The book is called "Rhetorics."

8) Laws governing poetry and the kinds of poetical utterances that are composed in each branch of the arts. The book mentions everything pertaining to poetry: how many kinds there are of poetry and poetical sayings, how and of what elements to compose each of them and how to harmonize the elements so as to make the result more beautiful, easier to understand and clearer in meaning; also, what is necessary to make poetry more eloquent and lofty. The work is entitled "Poetics."

These are all the parts of Aristotle's "Logic" and all that is contained in each. The fourth part is the most important, for it deals with the foremost purpose of the science of logic. The other parts are subsidiary. The first three are introductions, and the last four have two purposes, the first being to supplement the fourth part — only that some do it more and some less — and the second being to circumscribe its sphere more clearly by setting forth the peculiarities of each of them. A man seeking truth and justice should not use what appears to him to be a syllogism without knowing it to be such, for otherwise he may be diverted from a certainty to what is merely a strong suspicion and thus, unwittingly, pass on to matters of eloquence or even be satisfied with errors. He may think that something is true when it is not, or use poetical expressions without knowing that they are poetical, and adopt a faulty line of reasoning, believing that in all this he is following the path of truth and reaching his goal, while in fact he is very far from it. He might be compared to the man who is ignorant of spices and drugs and cannot distinguish between them and poisons and who, being unable to tell the cause of a disease from its remedy, brings about his own death. As for the second purpose, [p.118] Aristotle worked out the details of each of the four sciences so that, if a man wanted to become an expert logician, he might know how many things he has to learn and how he can verify whether he or another speaker has followed the path of eloquence or of another discipline; the same applies to the one who wants to become a good poet: he is told how many things he has to learn and how he may verify whether he or another has followed the path of poetry or has missed it or confused it with another discipline. It is also useful to him who wants to be able to mislead others without anyone being able to mislead him. He also has to know how many things he has to learn and how to test every utterance and opinion as to whether he has misled or been misled, and in what respect.

Ptolemy relates the following in his biography of Aristotle. When Aristotle was about to die, he made the following will: "I appoint Antipater to be permanent administrator of everything I leave, together with Nicanor. Let Aristomenes, Timarchus, Hipparchus and Dioteles be in charge of everything that has to be done and take care of everything that needs attention, namely the affairs of my family, my maidservant Herpyllis and the rest of my maidservants and manservants, and my belongings. If possible, may Theophrastus join them in this task. When my daughter reaches puberty, let Nicanor take care of her affairs; if she should die before marrying, or thereafter but without issue, let the property revert to Nicanor. As for my son Nicomachus, I want Nicanor to administer his affairs also, as he may think best for him, as if he were the father or brother of both. In case, however, Nicanor dies before my daughter marries, or thereafter but without her having a son, let him make dispositions concerning my estate, and it shall be accepted as valid. If he dies without having made such dispositions, I would like Theophrastus to take charge of everything concerning my children and my estate. If he is unwilling to do so, let him refer the above-named administrators to Antipater, so that they may consult him on how to deal with my inheritance and then act as they may agree between them. Let the [p.119] administrators and Nicanor take care of Herpyllis for me, for she deserves it in view of the efforts she expended in my service and her endeavors to please me. Let them provide for all her needs, and when she desires to marry, let them give her only to someone worthy of her. She must be given, besides her belongings, one talent of silver [125 ratl] and three maids of her choice, in addition to her own maid and servants. If she desires to stay in Chalcis, she may have lodgings in my house —in the guest-house that is by the garden. If, on the other hand, she desires to live in the town of Stageira, she may live in the house of my parents — in any part of it she may choose. Let the administrators provide everything for her she describes as needful, taking into consideration whether it is necessary of advantageous for her. As for my other servants, there is no need for me to state my wishes in their regard — only let Nicanor take care of the servant Marmacus and send him back to his town with all his money in whatever way he chooses; let him free my maidservant Ambraces, on condition that she stay on after her emancipation and serve my daughter until she marries; let her be paid five hundred drachmas and have a maidservant of her own. Let Thale, the maidservant we bought recently, have one of our servants and be paid a thousand drachmas. Let Simon be paid the price of a servant he may wish to buy, in addition to the servant he has already bought with our money, and such further amount as the administrators may think fit. When my daughter marries, let my servants Tycho, Philo and Olympius be freed. Let not the son of Olympius or the sons of any of my other servants be sold, but let them remain in service until they become men, and then be freed and treated according to their deserts."

Hunayn ibn Ishāq says in his book "Anecdotes of Great Philosophers": "The origin of the schools of philosophy was as follows. The Greek kings and others used to teach their sons philosophy and science and train them in the different branches of culture. They built gilded houses for them, decorated with all kinds of pictures, which were put there in order to [p.120] elevate the spirit and please the eye; so the boys studied in those decorated buildings and were edified by the pictures. In the same way the Jews engrave their temples, the Christians paint their churches and other houses of prayer, and the Muslims embellish their mosques all this for the uplift of the spirit and the enjoyment of the heart. When a teacher had finished instructing one of those princes in any science or art, the pupil would climb some stairs to a seat of decorated and engraved marble (this would be on a holiday, when all the people of the kingdom had gathered at that house after divine services); he would then address those present on the science he had learnt or the art he had mastered, standing in their midst with a crown on his head and clad in precious vestments. The teacher would be praised and honored, and the student would be greatly commended, for he had become a sage through his intelligence and learning; temples would be adorned and hung with veils, candles would be lit there and choice perfumes burnt, and the people would deck themselves out in all kinds of finery. These confirmation ceremonies are still the custom with the Sabians, Zoroastrians, Jews and Christians in their temples, while the Muslims have pulpits in their mosques. "

Hunayn ibn Ishāq continues: "Plato was a learned man during the reign of the King Rufistanes, whose son's name was Nitaforos. Aristotle was an orphan driven by ambition to serve Plato the philosopher. The King Rufistanes built and decorated a house of study for his son Nitaforos, asking Plato to assume the task of teaching him. Nitaforos was a retarded youngster — of little understanding, slow in memorizing — while Aristotle was an intelligent, industrious and thoughtful youth. Plato taught Nitaforos philosophy and the arts, but whatever Nitaforos learnt one day he forgot the next, and he was quite unable to express himself. Aristotle absorbed whatever Nitaforos was taught, memorized it and stored it up in his mind, [p.121] but he kept this from Plato, who was quite unaware of it. This went on until the festive day when Nitaforos was dressed in precious garments and adorned with jewelry, when the golden temple was lavishly decorated and King Rufistanes, the people of the kingdom and Plato and his disciples were all assembled in it. The prayer over, Nitaforos, accompanied by Plato ascended to the seat of honor to address a philosophical discourse to the King and people, but he was unable to utter a single philosophical thought or literary phrase, and collapsed into Plato's arms. Plato apologized to the people, saying that he had not examined his pupil's knowledge nor tested his understanding, since he had felt certain of his talent and intelligence. He then called out: 'O you, my students, which of you will take upon himself to tell us of his studies, substituting for Nitaforos?' Aristotle hastened to say: 'I, O master!' Plato, underestimating him, would not let him speak. He then again called upon his students, but Aristotle again came forward first, saying: 'I, O master, undertake to tell everything you have taught Nitaforos.' Plato then him come up, and Aristotle climbed the stairs without any ceremony or preparation, in his poor and ragged clothes. But he sang like a bird, setting forth all the branches of philosophy and science that Plato had taught Nitaforos, not omitting a single letter. Plato thereupon said: 'O King, this is indeed what I have taught Nitaforos; Aristotle has learnt it stealthily and memorized it secretly; he has not left out a single letter. What, then, is the share of rewards and honors due to me such a day, a king would officially designate his son for his future office honor him and raise him in rank, but on that occasion Rufistanes only gave a banquet in honor of Aristotle. Everybody came away praising Aristotle's discourse and marveling at the gifts and honors bestowed upon him."

The same source relates: "The following is part of what I have found of the discourse Aristotle gave that day. 'We have finished worshiping, glorifying, praising and honoring the Deity. Now, O you who are present [p.122] here, know that science is a gift to him who seeks it and knowledge a reward from Him who gives and takes, lowers and raises; virtue and honor in this world are the result of knowledge, which is the spirit of life and the substance of the lofty and superior mind. I am Aristotle the son of Philip, the orphan serving Nitaforos, the son of the great king. I have learnt to praise and worship God the Just, the First Cause. O my hearers, men are distinguished by their minds, not by their origin. I learnt from Plato the Sage that philosophy is the fountainhead of the sciences and the arts, the source of all understanding and the mind's attainments. Penetrative thought leads to sound opinion, patience paves the way to one's goal, and pleasant speech perpetuates friendship in the heart. Humility is the means to success, good manners beautify our lives and perfect our joys. Science is dignity, and logic enhances our importance and honor. Honesty is the key to our relations with others, and modesty augments love. Forgiveness purifies our actions, and virtue leads to masterly performance. Justice conquers our enemies and wisdom wins us many supporters. Pity tends the heart and mercy is the essence of goodness. Benevolence is true dignity and giving is the hallmark of brotherhood. Charity is virtue and kindliness is worthy of imitation. Time adds to wisdom by acquainting us with the defects of the world, while on the other hand each moment brings its own disaster. Health enables us to enjoy our food and drink, while the pursuit of evil troubles the existence and dulls our pleasure. Reproaches destroy good will, and ingratitude induces rancor. A pious man chases away evil, while a wicked character endangers his companions. The miser is feeble-minded and contemptible even if he be rich, while the generous man is strong even if he be poor, for avarice is tantamount to poverty, and open-handedness to wealth. By saying 'I do not know' one is half-way to the road to knowledge, but a hasty answer causes one to stumble. Reflection leads to deep insight, mathematics sharpens the wit, and culture spares the need for noble ancestry. Struggle is the mark of [p.123] the scholar, and prattle the badge of the ignorant person. A presumptuous fool is an infliction, and addiction to women is foolish. Devotion to the perishable is a waste of time, and he who tries to interfere with fate puts himself in danger. Longings are a cause of disappointment, while patience strengthens the resolution, the fruit of which is relief and the end of suffering. The friend of the poor [?] is duped, and the foolhardy person disappointed. He who knows himself will not get lost in the crowd. He who learns more than his mind is capable of assimilating will be the victim of his own knowledge. He who experiments can become wiser than a scientist if he quietly perseveres in his studies. He who does not benefit by knowledge cannot be safe from the harmful effects of ignorance. He who acts without haste will not have to regret his actions. He who boasts will fail, and he who hastens will fall. He who thinks will be safe. He who reflects will be rewarded. He who asks will know. He who undertakes too much will become confuse. Troubles themselves have no purpose, but he who learns from them will benefit. Habit has the upper hand of everyone, and everything can be changed except nature. Everything can be guarded against by some device, but for death. He who has knowledge is looked upon with reverence. He who is eloquent should be satisfied with laconic speech and not go on talking unless his listener fails to understand him. He who has found the unquestionable truth does not have to argue and ask questions, but he who has not found it is liable to lapse into ignorance, misled by strange notions, diverted by evil urges from the pursuit of knowledge. It is better to be compassionate than patient with regard to the troubles of our fellow men, but with regard to our own misfortunes it is more praiseworthy to be patient than compassionate. There is nothing more likely to ruin happiness than committing a crime. He who seeks to serve authority rather than improve his mind exchanges peace for harassment. The ascent to greatness is difficult, the descent to baseness easy.'" [p.124]

Hunayn ibn Ishāq says: "This kind of material is the first the master teaches his disciple daring the first year, along with the Greek script. They then go on to poetry and grammar, continuing by way of arithmetic and geometry to astronomy and medicine, then to music and — rising higher — to logic and finally to philosophy, which is the science of lofty traditions, consisting of ten branches which are studied in ten years. When Plato realized how well Aristotle remembered the lessons and instructions given to Nitaforos, he was pleased with his natural gifts and methods of study, and when he heard that the king had ordered that Aristotle be honored with a banquet, he prepared it himself. He then started teaching him all the sciences, one by one, until Aristotle knew them all thoroughly and had become an accomplished philosopher, versed in all the above-mentioned material."

Ibn Abū Uṣaybi`ah adds: The following is one of Aristotle's sayings, which is a rule for the preservation of health: "I admire him who drinks pure water and eats bread and meat, who moves, rests, sleeps and wakes according to a well thought-out plan, who wisely regulates his sexual life and watches the balance of his humors. How can such a man fall sick?"

Here is a collection of Aristotle's exhortations and philosophical sayings, quoted by the Emir al-Mubāshshir ibn Fātik:

1) Know that there is nothing better for the people than good rulers and nothing worse for it than bad rulers, for the relation of the ruler to his people is like that of the soul to the body, which cannot live without it.

2) Beware of covetousness, for it will do you no good; know that abstinence is achieved through certainty, certainty through patience, and patience through thought; when you think about this world, you will not find it preferable to the other one, for this world is a house of death and a place of toil.

3) If you seek wealth, strive for it in humility, for he who has no humility is not satisfied with money even if he has a great deal of it. [p.125]

4) Know that one reason that this world is full of trouble is that no part of it can progress except at the expense of another part; there is no way to power without oppression and no way to wealth without poverty Know that things as a rule happen regardless of your opinions or beliefs but if you attain your ends in this world, though you be in error, or you fail, though you be right, do not let it misguide you into repeating your error or avoiding what is right.

5) Do not waste your time or your money; neither assume power without having the means to exercise it nor follow an opinion without having thoroughly considered it. You must watch over whatever you have, especially your life, without which all is worthless. If you have no choice but to indulge in entertainment, let it be the conversation of sages and the study of their books.

6) Know that no one is without vice or virtue, so do not let a person vices prevent you from appealing to his good qualities, but do not let a person's virtues mislead you into appealing to his bad qualities; know also that frequent appeals to bad instincts are more harmful than failure to appeal to good ones.

7) Justice is the scales of God the Glorious, by which He gives strength to the weak and victory to those who deserve it; he who upsets God's scales acts most foolishly and defies God most flagrantly.

8) The wise man knows the ignorant boor, for he was one once, but the ignorant boor does not know the wise man, for he has never been one.

9) My pursuit of knowledge is motivated by the desire not to reach its limit or to fathom its purpose, but to seek that which is impossible for a rational man to ignore or useless to try to reject.

10) Seek the wealth which is imperishable, the life which is unalterable the possession which is inalienable, and the existence which is eternal.

11) Improve yourself for your own sake, then men will follow you.

12) Be merciful and compassionate, but do not let your mercy and compassion spoil those who need punishment or reproach. [p.126]

13) Keep to an established pattern of behavior, for this is the best guarantee of safety.

14) Take advantage of opportunities against your enemy, not forgetting that time marches on.

15) Do not oppose one who is right and do not fight a man whose belief is firm.

16) Make your belief your king; treat whoever opposes it as an enemy of your king, and never harm, or cause to be harmed him who shares it. Learn from the fate of past generations, and try not to become a warning example to those of the future.

17) There is no glory in what is perishable and no wealth in what is uncertain.

18) Treat your defeated enemy as if he were stronger than you, and dismiss your army as if you had been vanquished and compelled to send it away.

19) Men's houses are an asylum for him whose kingdom has collapsed and whose enemies are many.

20) Honor men of firm belief, morals and loyalty, for by doing so you will reap reward and distinction in this world.

21) Fight the wicked, for it will benefit your faith and your people.

22) Overlook nothing, for negligence leads to remorse.

23) Do not seek peace for yourself until the people have obtained justice from you, and do not reprove others for what you think nothing of doing yourself.

24) Consider the men of the past and remember past events, live whole-somely, and success will stay with you.

25) Justice is the backbone of all creation.

26) Lying is a malady which dooms whoever is afflicted by it.

27) He who keeps death constantly in mind, benefits himself. He who disgraces himself causes even his friends to hate him. [p.127]

28) He who looks for hidden vices in others is unfit to rule.

29) He who acts haughtily toward men causes them to desire his downfall.

30) Excessive reproof breeds bitter hatred.

31) To die gloriously is better than to live contemptibly.

32) The usurper dies before his term.

33) A king who litigates with common people dishonors himself.

34) A king conquered by base things would be better dead.

35) He who is excessively attached to worldly things dies poor, but he who is humble dies rich.

36) He who drinks too much is a poor creature.

37) The dead are little envied.

38) Wisdom is the nobility of him who has no noble ancestors.

39) Desire induces ineradicable meanness.

40) Misconduct ruins honor and exposes one to destruction.

41) Bad manners demolish what the ancients built.

42) An ignorant person is the worst of friends.

43) Seeking to please is a little death.

44) The ruler must not regard his subjects as his property, but as his brothers; he should not seek the honor which the masses are forced to pay him, but rather that which is earned by good and just government.

45) He wrote to Alexander the Great concerning the latter's companions. "The wicked try to make themselves feared, while the good behave modestly and humbly; know how to distinguish between the two and be severe with the former and kind with the latter."

46) Let your anger be moderate, neither too fierce, like that of beasts, nor ineffectual like that of children.

47) He wrote the following again to Alexander: "Three things establish the honor of kings: initiating praiseworthy traditions, achieving memorable victories and constructing magnificent edifices."

48) A concise speech is full of hidden meaning.

49) Courting a person who shuns you is disgraceful, while shunning a person who likes you is rude. [p.128]

50) Slander produces hatred; whoever approaches you curses you and whoever talks to you talks about you.

51) An ignorant man is his own enemy, so how can he be anyone's friend?

52) Blessed is he who is warned by others.

53) He said to his friends: "Let your exclusive interest be the improvement of your soul; as for eternity, concern yourselves with it when you must; flee from pleasure, for it entices the weak, who cannot resist its lure."

54) I am bound by vow to both truth and Plato; when the two disagree, truth is worthier of my allegiance.

55) Long life is the consequence of honor.

56) An ignorant man's tongue is the key to his death.

57) Necessity opens the door to invention.

58) Silence is better than worthless talk.

59) Benevolence is strength.

60) Humility is perfect happiness.

61) Endurance leads to power.

62) Moderate behavior alleviates tension.

63) You become perfectly virtuous if you leave alone what is not your business.

64) Haste gives rise to error, while careful study leads to knowledge

65) If you have no patience for the hardships of study, you will have to endure the misfortunes of ignorance.

66) When one of his disciples once slandered another, he asked him: "Would you like me to accept your opinion of him if I accept his opinion of you?" — "No." — "So stop being obnoxious, and he will also stop."

67) Once he saw a convalescent eat and drink copiously, thinking it would give him strength, and he said to him: "The body is not strengthened by the food it receives, but by what it can absorb from it."

68) Experience is sufficient education, and the changes of fortune are sufficient punishment. [p.129]

69) He was once asked what it was that should not be uttered even it were true, and he said: "Self-praise." He was also asked, "Why do wise men save money?" He answered: "So that they may not find themselves in a position unworthy of them."

70) A person is tested in his anger, not in his equanimity, and in a position of strength, not of helplessness.

71) Many people seek to please everybody; therefore do not blame him who is angry when people are too eager to please him.

72) Man's advantage over animals is speech and reason; when he is silent or does not understand, he reverts to the animal state.

73) Do not indulge in drink, for drink spoils the mind and corrupts the understanding.

74) Once, having repeated a problem for one of his students, he asked "Do you understand?" — "Yes." — "But I do not see the mark of understanding on you."; "How so?" — "I do not see that you are happy, and the mark of understanding is happiness."

75) The newest things are best except in the case of friendship, which is better for the keeping.

76) Everything has a special function, and the special function of the mind is to make a good choice.

77) A man must not be blamed for not answering until it is clear that the question was put the right way; for a good question is the prerequisite of a good answer.

78) Hasty speech is bound to falter.

79) If a man despairs of learning what he does not know, he derives little profit from what he does know.

80) He who has tasted the sweetness of achievement will readily endure the bitterness of its pursuit; likewise, he who has benefited by knowledge will endeavor to increase it.

81) Fighting evil with evil is steadfastness, but fighting evil with good is virtue. [p.130]

82) Let what you write be the best thing to read, and what you memorize the best thing written.

83) He wrote to Alexander the Great: "When God has given you the victory you desired, act mercifully, as He desires.

84) There is no praiseworthy haughtiness, no commendable anger, no blameworthy kindness, no evil-doing; there is nothing unwise in lasting friendship, and there is no brotherly alliance for him who enters into one and then changes his mind.

85) Desire prevails over reason with most, because it is with them from their youth, while reason comes only with adolescence; thus, men are more used to their desires than to their reason, which is like a stranger to them.

86) When he had finished teaching Alexander, Aristotle jokingly asked him questions on public and private management, to which Alexander answered satisfactorily. Aristotle nevertheless gave him a good beating, and when asked the reason, said: "This young man is a future king, and I wished to give him a taste of violence so as to keep him from inflicting it upon the people.

87) Before his death, Aristotle asked to be buried under an octagonal edifice to be built specially for him and on the eight walls of which eight sayings were to be engraved. These sayings, which summarize everything that it is useful for man to know, are quoted in the order indicated below.


The following famous works of Aristotle are mentioned by Ptolemy

1) A book on philosophy, three treatises.

2) "Sophistes," a treatise.

3) "Rhetoric," three treatises.

4) "On Justice," four treatises.

5) "On Mathematics and Literature," which is of great spiritual significance; four treatises.

6) "On Honorable Origin," five treatises.

7) "On Poetry," three treatises.

8) "On Beliefs," six treatises.

9) "On the Good," five treatises.

10) "Archontes," three treatises.

11) "On Whether Lines Are Divisible or Not," three treatises.

12) "On Love," three treatises.

13) "On Whether Forms Exist or Not," three treatises.

14) "Summary of Plato," two treatises.

15) "Summary of Plato's Sayings on Politics," five treatises.

16) "Summary of Plato's Sayings on Pleasure," incorporated in the "Politics," two treatises.

17) "On Pleasure," two treatises.

18) "On Movements" [Dynamics], eight treatises.

19) "Problems of Power," two treatises.

20) "The Composition of Poetry according to the School of Pythagoras," two treatises.

21) "On the Spirit," three treatises.

22) "On Problems," three treatises.

23) "On the Nile," three treatises.

24) "On the Places Chosen by Animals to Retire or Hide," a treatise

25) "The Professions," a treatise.

26) "On the Test," three treatises.

27) "Categories," a treatise.

28) "De Interpretatione," a treatise. [p.132]

29) "Topics," eight treatises.

30) "Analytica," two treatises.

31) "Apodeictica," which is demonstration, two treatises.

32) "Sophistics," a treatise.

33) "The Major Writings on Ethics," two treatises.

34) "The Minor Writings on Ethics," eight treatises, addressed to Eudemus.

35) "Politics," eight treatises.

36) "On Poetry," two treatises.

37) "On Rhetorical Composition," three treatises.

38) "Auscultatio Physica," eight treatises.

39) "De Caelo et Mundi," four treatises.

40) "De Generatione et Corruptione," two treatises.

41) "On Heavenly Influences," four treatises.

42) "De Anima," three treatises.

43) "Senses and Sensibles," a treatise.

44) "On Memory and Sleep," a treatise.

45) "On the Movement of Animals Direction," seven treatises.

46) "On the Nature of Animals," ten treatises.

47) "On the Vital Members of the Body," four treatises.

48) "De Generatione Animalium," five treatises.

49) "On the Movements of Animals Which Exist on the Earth," a treatise.

50) "On Long and Short Life," a treatise.

51) "On Life and Death," a treatise,

52) "On Plants," two treatises.

53) "Metaphysics," thirteen treatises.

54) "On Problems of Matter," a treatise.

55) "On Natural Problems," four treatises.

56) "On Division," twenty-six treatises, mentioning the divisions of time; the soul; desires; subjects (agent, action and recipient of action); love; animals; good and evil; movements; existence, etc.

57) "Division according to Plato," six treatises.  [p.133]

58) "Division of the Conditions Made upon Speech," in three treatises.

59) "Refutation of the Assertion that the Premises of an Argument can be Derived from the Argument Itself," thirty-nine treatises.

60) "On Negation," a book called "Istases," in thirteen treatises.

61) "On Substances," thirty-four treatises.

62) "On Desirable Substances," a treatise.

63) "On Natural Substances," a treatise.

64) "On the Genuineness of Substances," a treatise.

65) "On Limits," sixteen treatises.

66) "On Definitive Things," four treatises.

67) "On the Definition of Topics," a treatise.

68) "Rectification of the Definitions of Topics," three treatises.

69) "On Substances Rectifying the Definitions," two treatises.

70) "Criticism of Definitions," two treatises.

71) "The Art of Definition Applied by Theophrastus to Analytica I," a treatise.

72) "Rectification of the Definitions," two treatises.

73) "Problems," sixty-eight treatises.

74) "Premises to Problems," three treatises.

75) "Cyclic Problems," a work used by scholars; four treatises.

76) "On Injunctions," four treatises.

77) "On Commemorations," two treatises.

78) "On Medicine," five treatises.

79) "On Diets," a treatise.

80) "On Agriculture," ten treatises.

81) "On Humidities," a treatise.

82) "On the Pulse," a treatise.

83) "On Regular Occurrences," three treatises.

84) "On Meteorology," two treatises.

85) "The Reproduction of Animals," two treatises.

86) Another book on the same subject, two treatises.  [p.134]

87) "On Premises," twenty-three treatises.

88) "Another Book on Premises, " seven treatises.

89) "Constitutions of 171 Great Cities."

90) "Several Memoranda," sixteen treatises.

91) Another book on the same subject, a treatise.

92) "On Debate," a treatise.

93) "On Correlation," a treatise.

94) "On Time," a treatise.

95) The works found in Aristotle's closet, several essays.

96) Another book of memoranda.

97) A voluminous book including several epistles, in eight parts.

98) "The Traditions of Cities," two treatises.

99) Epistles found by Andronicus, in ten parts.

100) Several books including memoranda mentioned by number and name in Andronicus' catalogue of Aristotle's works.

101) "Problems of Homer's Abstruse Poetry," in ten parts.

102) "On Good Meanings in Medicine."

Ptolemy says: "These are all the books I have seen, but there are those who have seen many others."

Ibn Abū Usaybi`ah continues: Aristotle wrote many books which I have seen and which Ptolemy did not. They are:

103) "On Bravery."

104) "Political Management,"

105) "Practical Management."

106) "Problems of Drinking" (wine, intoxication, etc.) being twenty-two problems.

107) "Monotheism according to the School of Socrates."

108) "Youth and Old Age."

109) "Health and Sickness."

110) "On Enemies."

111) "On Sexual Intercourse."  [p.135]

112) Epistles to his son.

113) The Testament to Nicanor.

114) "On Movement."

115) "The Superiority of the Soul."

116) "On the Indivisible Size."

117) "Metamorphoses."

118) "The Golden Epistle."

119) An epistle to Alexander the Great concerning his government.

120) "On Illusions and Natural Phenomena."

121) "The Defects of the Stars."

122) "On Stars."

123) "On Wakefulness."

124) "Description and Use of Stones."

125) "The Cause of the Creation of Celestial Bodies."

126) An epistle to Alexander on spiritual things and their influence in different countries.

127) An epistle to Alexander, entitled "Ismatabis."

128) An epistle to Alexander on the nature of the world.

129) "Istimachis" [?], epistle written when Aristotle intended to go to Asia Minor.

130) "On Measure."

131) "On the Mirror."

132) "On Sovereignty."

133) "On Natural Problems," known also as "Why?", seventeen treatises.

134) "Metaphysics," in twelve treatises.

135) "The Book of Animals," nineteen treatises.

136) A Description of Dumb Animals, their Uses and Disadvantages.

137) "Clarification of the Pure Good,"

138) "Mulatis" [?].

139) "On Hemorrhage."

140) "On Minerals."  [p.136]

141) "The Unique Book," containing questions put by the conquerer and the conquered, the seeker and the sought, etc.; dedicated to Alexander.

142) "The Secrets of the Stars."


Theophrastus was one of Aristotle's students, the son of his maternal aunt and one of the executors appointed by him. He was put in charge the Lyceum after the master's death. His books are:

1) "The Soul," an essay.

2) "Meteorology," an essay.

3) "Literature," an essay.

4) "The Senses and the Sensibles," four chapters.

5) "Metaphysics," an essay.

6) "Plants and their Conditions."

7) "A commentary on the "Categories," said to be wrongly attributed to him.

8) An epistle to Democritus on monotheism.

9) "On Natural Problems."


Alexander of Aphrodisias lived in the days of the national dynasties after Alexander's death. He met Galen and was friendly with him, calling him "mule-head." There were discussions and quarrels between the two. He was a philosopher, versed in the different branches of philosophy, and an expert in the natural sciences. He had a public study center, where he taught philosophy. His many commentaries on Aristotle's books are much in demand and useful to the student.

Abū Zakariyā Yahyā ibn `Adī said: "I have seen Alexander's commentaries on the whole of the "Book of Physics" and on the "Book of Demonstration" on the estate of Ibrahim ibn `Abd Allāh, the Christian translator. They were offered to me at the price of a hundred and twenty dinars, and I went away to get the money. When I came back, I found that the people had sold all the books, including the two [p.137] commentaries, to a man from Khurasan for three thousand dinars. It has been said that Abū Zakariyyā had asked Ibrāhīm ibn `Abd Allāh to sell him the text of "Sophistics," "Rhetoric," and "Poetry," in Ishāq's translation, for fifty dinars, but that Ibrahim had refused to sell them and burnt them before he died.

Alexander of Aphrodisias wrote the following books:

1) A commentary on Aristotle's "Categories."

2) A commentary on Aristotle's "De Interpretatione."

3) A commentary on Aristotle's "Analytica I," reaching only to the part on beautiful forms; we possess two commentaries by Alexander on this book, each better than the other.

4) A commentary on "Analytica II."

5) A commentary on the "Topics," of which only parts have been found: they relate to the first, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth treatise.

6) A commentary on "Physics."

7) A commentary on "De Caelo et Mundi," part of the first treatise.

8) A commentary on "De Generatione et Corruptione."

9) A commentary on "Meteorologica."

10) "The Soul," a treatise.

11) A treatise on the inversion of premises,

12) A treatise on providence.

13) A treatise on the difference between matter and species.

14) A treatise on refuting those who say that there is nothing without a cause.

15) A treatise refuting the proposition that sight results from rays that are sent out from the eye.

16) A treatise on color, and what it is according to the philosophical view point.

17) A treatise on the sentence, with special reference to Aristotle.

18) A treatise on melancholy.

19) A treatise on species and genera.  [p.138]

20) A treatise refuting the eighth treatise of Galen's "Demonstration."

21) A treatise refuting Galen's criticism of Aristotle, who said that everything moves owing to a motive force.

22) A treatise refuting Galen on the subject of the measure of the possible.

23) A treatise on the members into which bodies are divided.

24) A treatise on the intellect according to Aristotle.

25) An epistle on the world, and which of its parts depend for their existence and continuance on control by the other parts.

26) "On Monotheism."

27) A treatise on the beginnings of the universe according to Aristotle.

28) "The Philosophers' View of Monotheism."

29) A treatise on creation from the void.

30) A treatise on the nature of regularities.

31) A treatise explaining the Aristotelian view of the Platonic method of division.

32) A treatise on the proposition that entities are not bodies.

33) A treatise on potentiality.

34) A treatise on contrasts, which according to Aristotle, are the origin of everything.

35) A treatise on time.

36) A treatise on matter.

37) A treatise on Aristotle's proposition that one force can absorb all  contrasts.

38) A treatise on the difference between matter and kind.

39) A treatise on matter, nonexistence and existence, and the solution of the problem of the ancients, who had been led to negate existence on the strength of Aristotle's "Auscultatio Physica."

40) A treatise on regularities and generalities, demonstrating that no valid principles can be derived from them.

41) A treatise refuting those who claim that the members of any species are not necessarily to be found in that species alone, but may occur in many other species that are not classified in the hierarchy. [p.139]

42) A treatise on excerpts from Aristotle's book which in Latin is called "Theologia," i.e., the dogma of the unity of the Omnipotent God.

43) A treatise on the thesis that every cause is evident in all things and not only in a single thing.

44) A treatise on the validity of spiritual forms which contain no matter.

45) A treatise on the afflictions which beset the entrance to the stomach.

46) A treatise on species.

47) A treatise including a chapter of the second treatise of Aristotle's "Book on the Soul."

48) An epistle on the power emanating from the movement of the noble body toward the bodies which are below the level of generation and corruption.  [p.140]


On the Classes of Physicians Who Lived around and after the Time of Galen


Let us first give a general account of Galen's personal history and his views. We will follow this with details concerning the physicians who were his contemporaries and successors.

What is generally known about Galen, to both the common people and the well-informed of many nations, is that he was the last, i.e., the eighth of the great teachers of medicine and that no one came near, let alone equalled, him in the art. At the start of his career, he found that the views of sophist physicians had gained wide acceptance and that medical standards had declined. He took up the matter, denounced those physicians and strove to propagate the teachings of Hippocrates and his followers. In this connection, he wrote many books in which he disclosed the true nature of the art of medicine. The physicians who succeeded him were all inferior to him and indebted to his teaching. According to Yahyā the Grammarian, Galen lived eighty-seven years, seventeen as a student and seventy as a scholar and teacher. The division of the lives of the other great physicians that have been mentioned into a period of study and a period of teaching is likewise due to Yahyā. His report, however, demands careful scrutiny, for it is impossible that he should have had such an exact knowledge as he claims, and common sense tells us that some of his statements are unacceptable. A case in point is what he says about Galen, namely, that he spent seventeen years as a student and seventy as a scholar [p.141] and teacher. This might be accepted if we were not able to check it against what Galen himself says; obviously, the own words of a person like Galen are more reliable than what someone else reports about him. Here is a passage from his book on the order in which his works should be studied: "Until I reached my fifteenth year, my father never ceased to instruct me, as far as his knowledge went, in geometry, arithmetic and other mathematical disciplines commonly taught to youngsters. Later he directed me to the study of logic, intending at that time that I should study philosophy only. Then he had a dream which induced him to have me study medicine, and so he guided me into this field when I was already seventeen years old."

Galen's own words contradict Yahyā's statement about him, and similar contradictions may exist with regard to others whom Yahyā mentions before Galen.

Six hundred and sixty-five years elapsed from Hippocrates' death to the appearance of Galen. Thus according to Yahyā, 5,502 years intervened between the birth of Asclepius I and Galen's death. Ishāq ibn Hunayn states that 525 years elapsed from Galen's death to the year of the Hijra [beginning of the Muhammadan era]. According to the dates given by Ishāq, Galen was born 59 years after the time of the Messiah [Christ]. The claim that Galen was a contemporary of Christ and went to see him and believed in him is not true, for Galen mentions Moses and Christ in several places of his writings, and from his words it is clear that he lived as long after Christ, as stated above.

Among those who claim that Galen was a contemporary of Christ is al-Bayhaqī. In his book "Reservoirs of Experience and Wonders of Wonders" he writes: "If there had been no other apostle than Paul, the son of Galen's sister, it would have been enough. Galen himself sent him to Jesus to say that owing to weakness and old age, he was unable to come to him. Galen believed in Jesus and ordered his sister's son, Paul, to swear allegiance to him. In the first chapter of his book [p.142] "On Ethics," Galen, while dealing with the virtue of fidelity, mentions the people who, for holding their Lord prisoner, were smitten with calamities; he had called upon them to denounce the evil deeds of their companions and to expose their faults, but they had refused, preferring to suffer the deadliest afflictions. This happened in the year 514 of the Alexandrian era. It is the most accurate report about Galen and the times in which he lived."

Abū al-Husayn Alī ibn al-Husayn al-Masūdī says: "Galen lived about two hundred years after Christ, about six hundred years after Hippocrates and a little more than five hundred years after Alexander the Great."

I say: I have found that `Ubayd Allāh ibn Jibrā'īl ibn `Ubayd Allāh ibn Bakhtīshū` thoroughly investigated the matter. On being asked when Galen lived — whether he was a contemporary of Christ or whether he lived before or after him — he replied as follows: "Chronologists differ considerably with regard to the dates they fix, each of them making general statements which, upon analysis, are found to be either vague or inaccurate. This is evident from chronological works , especially from the "Book of Times" by Mar Ilya, Bishop of Nasibīn. The latter revealed the discrepancies between older and more recent computations of dates, presenting them most lucidly at the beginning of his book, where he assembles the general statements, analyzes them, points out the discrepancies between them and the additions and omissions, and indicates the causes thereof."

I have come across a shorter chronology by the monk Harūn ibn `Azūr, who says that he has examined the dates and is sure of their correctness. I have found that he discovered some discrepancies, which he explains with convincing reasons adducing proofs for their correctness. He says that the time from Adam to Dāra ibn Sam, which is the time of Alexander's first appearance, is 5,180 years and ten months; this is according to the Greek chronological system, which is [p.143] the biblical system adopted by the Greeks 278 years before the advent of Christ, in the days of King Philadelphus. The latter, on hearing that the Jews possessed books sent from heaven by God through the prophets, dispatched fine presents to them, including two golden desks studded with jewels of unsurpassed beauty. He asked them about those books and intimated that he would like to have copies of them. The Jews thereupon copied all Jewish books they possessed — the Pentateuch, the Prophets and the like — on sheets of silver in gold letters. The monk attributes this report to Eusebius of Caesarea. When the books reached the king, he admired them greatly but did not understand their content. He therefore sent a message to the Jews, saying: "Of what use is an invisible treasure, of which one cannot see what it contains, or in a stopped-up well the water of which does not come forth?" So they sent to him seventy-two men from all the tribes, six from each, and when they arrived, King Philadelphus had cells made for them, placed two of them in each and appointed watchmen for them, in order that they might translate the books independently of one another. On comparing the different copies he found them correct and consistent, and so he presented the men with robes of honor, bestowed rich favors upon them and returned them to their homelands. Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, says that the king had the books translated before he summoned the Jews, but he was in doubt as to the correctness of that translation and desired to verify it.

`Ubayd Allāh ibn Jibrā'īl says: "This is plausible, for if King Philadelphus had not entertained doubts about that translation, he would not have taken such precautionary measures; if he had not suspected his own translators, there would have been no justification for the said precautions, and those first charged with the translation would have been employed the second time, too. But as he wished to check what had been translated he acted as described, compared the first rendering with the second and verified it. It follows that the chronological system [p.144] of the Greeks, i.e., that derived from the Pentateuch and the Prophet which the Greeks possessed, is the most accurate.

King Philadelphus' reign lasted thirty-eight years. He was the third king after Alexander. The Alexandrian era begins with the murder of Dāra.

The period of the Greek kingdom, from Alexander to the first of the Roman rulers who bore the title of Emperor, lasted 272 years. The first Roman ruler who bore the title of Emperor was Julius Gaius Caesar. He ruled the kingdom for four years and two months. He was succeeded by the Emperor Augustus, who reigned for fifty-six years and six months. In the forty-third year of his reign the Messiah was born in Bethlehem. The sum total of years from Adam to the birth of Christ was 5,504. After Augustus the Emperor Tiberius reigned for twenty-three years, and in the fifteenth year of his reign, Christ was baptised in the River Jordan by John the Baptist. In the nineteenth year of Tiberius' reign, Christ was crucified. This was on Friday, March 24th. On Sunday, March 26th, he rose from the dead, and forty days later he ascended to heaven in the sight of the disciples. After Tiberius Julius Gaus II reigned for four years. He was murdered in his palace. After him, the Emperor Claudius Germanicus reigned for fourteen years. Thereafter, the Emperor Nero, Claudius' son, reigned for thirteen years or, according to Andronicus, fourteen years. It was he who murdered Peter and Paul in prison because he relapsed into idolatry after having been a believer. He was murdered during a time of sickness

Andronicus states in his "History" that after Nero, Galba reigned for seven months, Vitellius for eight months and Otho for three months. Thereafter, the Emperor Vespasian reigned for ten years. In the latter part of his rule, he undertook a campaign against Jerusalem, sacked the city and transferred all the vessels of the Temple to Constantinople [!]. This was the end of the Jewish kingdom and prophecy, [p.145] which, as God had decreed, was to take place upon the coming of the Messiah. Thereafter, the Jews were never to revert to their former status — that kingdom was the last of those which God had promised them. After Vespasian, his son Titus ruled for two years. In a shorter ancient book of Roman history, I have read that Vespasian was succeeded by Titus, in whose days Pliny, the sage, lived, and that Titus was succeeded by his brother Domitian. According to the same source, Vespasian ruled for fifteen years, and in his time Mani appeared and the town of Ra's al-`Ain was sacked.

In Andronicus' "History" we read: "Domitian ruled for sixteen years. After him, the Emperor Nerva ruled for one year, and after him, the Emperor Trajan for nineteen years. The latter reconquered Antioch from the Persians. His vicegerent for Palestine wrote to him saying-"The more Christians I kill, the more they love their religion." He therefore ordered him to stop using the sword against them. In the tenth year of his reign Galen was born, as will be shown presently. After Trajan, the Emperor Hadrian ruled for twenty-one years. He built the city named after him. After him, the Emperor Antoninus ruled for twenty-two years. He built the city of Heliopolis, i.e., Ba`albekk. In the days of that sovereign, Galen first appeared, and he was the ruler who took him into his service. This is proved by the following statement at the beginning of the first chapter of Galen's "Anatomy": "I already wrote a book on "Surgical Treatment" during my first visit to the city of Rome at the beginning of the reign of Antoninus, who is still in power." This is corroborated by a statement in the book in which Galen enumerates the titles of his works and which has become known as "De libris propriis." "When I returned from Rome, intent on staying in my hometown and applying myself to my accustomed occupation I received letters from the city of Acolis in which the two rulers orderd my recall as they had decided to spend the winter in Acolis and later to invade Germany. So I had to go, although I had hoped to be excused if [p.146] I requested it; for I had heard that one of them, named Verus, was of better character and more accommodating."

When Antoninus became king after Hadrian and appointed Verus heir to the throne, he shared his rule with a man called Lucius. He named him Verus, and the man whose name was Verus he called Antoninus.

"Upon my arrival in Acolis, a plague such as had never occurred before was visiting the city. The two kings fled to Rome with some of their entourage, while the whole army stayed behind in Acolis, some perishing while others escaped. They were suffering much hardship not only from the plague itself but also because the event had taken them unawares in the middle of winter. Lucius died on the way, and Antoninus took his body to Rome, where he interred it. He intended to launch an offensive against the people of Germany and eagerly desired that I accompany him. I said — When God delivered me from a deadly disease of the belly he ordered me to make a pilgrimage to His shrine that is called the Temple of Asclepius. I asked his permission to do so and he granted it, ordering me to wait, after my pilgrimage, until his return to Rome; for he hoped that his war would soon be over. He set out, leaving behind his small son Commodus, whose guardians he enjoined to take the utmost care of his health and, should he fall ill, to call me to treat him.

"About that time, I assembled everything I had learnt from my teachers or discovered myself, made numerous investigations and wrote a great number of books, so as to train myself in several branches of medicine and philosophy; most of these books I intended to burn in the Temple of Arete. Since Antoninus was delayed on his campaign, contrary to his expectations, that period was, a time of self-instruction for me."

These statements, and others which I omit for the sake of brevity, clearly indicate that Galen lived in the days of that ruler and that, at the time of his first visit to Rome, he was thirty years old. The latter [p.147] fact is proved by a statement, in the above-mentioned book, describing the works on anatomy he has written. He says: "I have written four treatises on the voice for a state dignitary called Boethius, who, in philosophy, belonged to the Aristotelians. For the same man I wrote five treatises on anatomy according to Hippocrates and, later, three treatises on anatomy according to Erasistratus. In these I followed the procedure of one who desires to discomfit his opponents. The cause of this was a man called Martialis, who had written two treatises on anatomy that are still in vogue. When I was writing my treatises, his were being much admired. That man, despite his old age (he was seventy or even older), was envious and extremely covetous and quarrelsome. When told that, at a public meeting, I had been asked a question on anatomy and that my answer had aroused the admiration of all present, he asked one of our colleagues to which of the different trends in medicine I belonged. He replied that I was one of those who showed no preference for any specific faction. Whereupon the man exclaimed: 'He belongs to the school of Hippocrates or Praxagoras or someone else, while I pick out the best from the teachings of everyone.

"One day, when I appeared at a public meeting for a test of my proficiency in the works of the ancients, Erasistratus' book "On the Discharge of Blood" was produced and, in accordance with prevailing custom, a lot was cast, which fell on the passage where Erasistratus forbids bloodletting on the vein. I voiced strong opposition to Erasistratus' views, to the disgust of Martialis, who said he was one of his adherents. My statement made a great impression on the audience, and one man, who was one of my friends and an enemy of Martialis, requested me to dictate the discourse I had uttered on that occasion to a scribe of his, whom he sent to me and who was skilled and swift. It was his intention to recite my discourse to Martialis when meeting at the bedside of patients. [p.148]

"When the king summoned me to Rome for the second time, the man who had received that discourse from me had already died, and I was surprised to find that copies of it had fallen into the hands of many people. I was not pleased, for that discourse had been uttered for the purpose of prevailing over Martialis on that occasion. I was a young man of thirty at the time, and from that moment on I resolved never to speak again at public meetings or to engage in rivalry; for I was more successful in the treatment of the sick, than I had ever dared to hope. Having perceived that when a physician was praised for his beautiful diction, laymen called him a speech therapist, I wished to protect myself against such raillery and therefore abstained from speaking, except in as far as was absolutely necessary in the interest of the patients, and gave up the habit of lecturing before students' gatherings and discoursing at public meetings. I restricted myself, as had been my habit before, to demonstrating my medical proficiency, by treating the sick. I stayed in Rome for three further years. When the plague broke out there, I left the city and went straight back to my homeland. On my return to Rome, I was thirty-seven years old.

`Ubayd Allah ibn Jibrā'īl says that according to this date, Galen must have been born in the tenth year of the reign of Trajan, for he states that he wrote his "Anatomical Treatment" during his first visit to Rome, which was during the reign of Antoninus, as stated above. He was then as he himself mentioned, thirty years old. Twenty-one of these thirty years passed under the reign of Hadrian, and Emperor Trajan's reign. So the period from the Ascension of Christ, that is, from the nineteenth year of Tiberius' reign, to the tenth year of Trajan's, in which, according to the above computation, Galen was born, was seventy-three years.

Galen as stated by Ishāq ibn Hunayn in his "History" on the authority of Yahyā the Grammarian, lived eighty-seven years, seventeen of which were taken up by his childhood and study, and seventy by his career as a scholar and teacher. Ishāq says: "Eight hundred and fifteen years [p.149] elapsed from Galen's death to 290/902-3, the year in which Ishāq wrote his "History."

`Ubayd Allāh ibn Jibrā'īl says: "To this must be added the 132 years separating the year in which I am writing this book, namely 422/1030-1031, which corresponds to the year 1342 of the Alexandrian era, and the year 290, so that from Galen's death to this very year, namely 422/1030-1031, nine hundred and fifty-seven years would have elapsed. If, to this number, we add the lifetime of Galen and the interval between his birth and the Ascension of Christ, that is 160 years, the sum total, namely from the Ascension of Christ to the current year, would be 1,107 years. This figure is wrong, being faulty in its component parts, People are easily misled by computations such as these. The error appears from two factors: first, the date of Christ and second, the date of Galen, both of which I have made sufficiently clear in the foregoing. Whoever wishes to check this may refer to that passage and the error will strike him from the details given there: 1,018 years have elapsed from the birth of Christ and 913 years from the birth of Galen; this is a huge discrepancy. I wonder how this could have occurred despite the unequivocal statements of Galen himself, which I have adduced as evidence, and despite the data given by the authors of reliable chronologies. I am surprised that no attention was paid to a passage in the "Book of Ethics" from which the error amounting to one hundred years in the computation of that period, is likewise apparent. This error, which may be due to copyists, was perpetuated and eventually recognized as fact, misleading those who do not go to the bottom of things. Here is the text of the passage of the "Book of Ethics": Galen says: 'At that time, I saw this being done by slaves, to the exclusion of freemen, for they were, by nature, good people. The reason was that, when Veronimus died — in the ninth year of Commodus' reign, i. e., in the year 516 of the Alexandrian era — a great number of people urged [?] their slaves to report to their masters what they [?] had been doing.' This is in striking contradiction [p.150] especially to the statement of Ishāq, for there is an enormous discrepancy between that date and the date of Galen's death. According to Ishāq, Galen was 87 years old in the year mentioned, which is the year 516 of the Alexandrian era, for he was born in the year 429 of that era. It would follow that the "Book of Ethics," was his last work, for the time of his death would have to be the time he mentions with regard to the slaves. But we find that Galen mentions the "Book of Ethics" in another work, which means that the latter was written later and that Galen continued to live for some time beyond the year mentioned. It is evident, therefore, that there is a contradiction with regard to the date. Evidence that Christ lived quite some time before Galen is contained in the following passage of Galen's commentary on Plato's "Republic." 'From this we may infer that the people called Christians derive their faith from signs and miracles. Also, sometimes, they show such behavior as is adopted by philosophers; for fearlessness of death and the hereafter is something we witness in them every day. The same is true of abstention from sexual intercourse. Some of them, both men and women, go their whole life without sexual intercourse. There are among them those who possess such a measure of self-control with regard to food and drink and who are so bent on justice, that they do not fall short of those who profess philosophy in truth.' From this statement it was inferred that in the days of Christ, Christians had not yet developed these characteristics, I mean monasticism as described by Galen and a life wholly devoted to God; but only a hundred years after the death of Christ they became so numerous that they surpassed philosophers in good deeds and made justice, virtue and chastity their aims. They came to believe in miracles and so inherited the two kinds of happiness, religious bliss and intellectual joy. From this and similar clues, the dates of Galen's life become apparent." [p.151]

Here ends what `Ubayd Allāh ibn Jibrā`īl reports about Galen.

I have copied the following from the handwriting of Shaikh Muwaffaq al-Dīn As`ad ibn Eliās, the son of the bishop: The passages in which Galen mentions Moses and Christ: He mentions Moses in the fourth chapter of his book "On Anatomy according to the Views of Hippocrates," where he says: "Therefore, physicians of the kind mentioned are comparable to Moses, who gave laws to the Jewish people, for he wrote his books without adducing proofs, he merely said: God has ordered, or, God has said."

Galen also mentions Moses in his book "The Uses of the Parts [of Animals]" and both Moses and Christ in his "Greater Book of the Pulse," where he says: "Neither a curved piece of wood not an old tree can be straightened; when twisted straight they return to their former shape. So, also, it is easier for a man to teach the people of Moses and Christ than the physicians and philosophers."

Galen further mentions Moses and Christ in his treatise on "The Primum Movens," where he says: "If I had seen people who taught their disciples in the same way as the disciples of Moses and Christ were taught — that is, who ordered them to accept everything on trust — would not have given you any definitions."

There are yet other mentions of them.

Sulaymān ibn Hassān, known as Ibn Juljul, says: "Galen was one of the Greek sages who lived during the reign of the emperors after the founding of Rome. He was born and bred in Pergamum, a small town in Asia Minor, east of Constantinople. It is situated on an island in the sea of Constantinople. Its inhabitants were Greeks. From those parts the Greek hordes known as Goths came forth, who pillaged Spain and settled One source has it that the town of Pergamum served as a place confinement, where the kings sent those whom they disfavored.

Yūsuf ibn al-Dayā tells the following story concerning Galen's birthplace and residence: "Abū Ishāq Ibrahim ibn al-Mahdī once asked [p.152] Jibrā'īl ibn Bakhtīshū` in which part of the Greek territory Galen lived.

Jibrā'īl replied that in Galen's own time, the place where he lived was in the center of the Greek territory whereas nowadays it is at its periphery. In the days of Galen, the outermost points of the Greek territory were in the east, in the Euphrates region, the locality known as Naghīa in the district of Anbar — it was the garrison where the Persian soldiers and guards came in contact with each other; the border on the Tigris was at Dārā, though sometimes the Persian kings controlled also the area between Dārā and Ra's al `Ain.

"The border between Persia and Rome was marked by Armenia in north, and Egypt in the west, though sometimes the Romans controlled both Egypt and Armenia. When Jibrā'īl mentioned the Roman conquest of Armenia, I denied that the Romans had ever conquered it — except the place called Arminianus in Latin, from which the inhabitants derive their name. Abū Ishāq supported Jibrā'īl against me and I could not refute Abū Ishāq's evidence, which was a most beautiful Armenian carpet, which was adorned with figures of maidens playing various Roman games in a garden and was embroidered in Latin with the name of a Roman king. So I had to agree with Jibrā'īl."

Yūsuf then continued his story about Galen, saying that the name of the town where he was born was Smyrna, and his house was close to Qarra, which was two parasangs away. Said Jibrā'il: "When al-Rashīd arrived at Qarra, he was in a good mood, so I said to him: 'O my lord, the Emir of the Faithful! My master, who was much greater than I, lived two parasangs from here. Will you let me go there, so that I eat and drink there and thus be able to claim an advantage over all the other physicians by saying that I have supped at my master's house? Please let me do so!' The Caliph laughed and said, 'Shame on you, O Jibrā'il! I fear that the Roman army or its vanguard will come out and seize you.' Said I: 'It is impossible for the Roman vanguard to move up so close to your camp.' The Caliph then sent for Ibrahim ibn `Uthmān [p.153] ibn Nuhaik and told him to give me an escort of five hundred people that I might reach that place. Said I: 'O Emir of the Faithful, fifty is enough.' He smiled and ordered a thousand horsemen to accompany me, saying: 'I know he hates the idea of having to give them food and drink.' I changed my mind then, saying: 'I have no need to go and visit Galen's house.' He laughed out loud and exclaimed: 'By the name of al-Mahdi, you shall go with those thousand horsemen!' I went out the most sorrowful of men, for I had not prepared enough victuals for even ten people. But I did not rest until I had obtained bread, skins and salt for everyone who was with me and even more. I stayed at that place and ate there; then the young soldiers raided the wine and meat cellars of the Romans and ate meatballs with bread and drank wine. At the end of the day we came back. Abū Ishāq asked Jibrā'īl, 'Did the setup of Galen's house show that he was wealthy?' Said Jibrā'īl: The layout was impressive, I saw buildings to the east, west and front, though nothing at the rear; this was the way the Roman philosophers built their houses, like the Persian nobles — and so shall I when I settle down and make appropriate arrangements. A house that has no sun is unhealthy. Galen was a physician to the Roman emperors, and those emperors are men of purpose in everything they do. If you compare Galen's residence with the Roman houses, you will appreciate the size of it and the number of its buildings. Although I saw it as a ruin, I found some roofed houses there which showed that he was quite wealthy.' Abū Ishāq kept silent, but I said, 'O Abū `Isā, the Roman emperors are indeed men of purpose, as you have said, and the same considerations govern their favors and gifts as those which govern their personal riches. This shortcoming affects both master and servant. Now, if you compare the residence of the Roman emperor and Galen's on the one hand, and that of the Emir of the Faithful and yours on the other, you will ascertain the respective proportional relationships.' [p.154]

'Jibrā'īl sometimes marveled at my elaborate and painstaking probings and praised me for them before Abū Ishāq, but on other occasions they provoked him into an angry outburst. He asked me: 'What do you mean by mentioning that proportional relationship?' Said I: 'Proportional relationship is a term much bandied about by the Roman philosophers, and as you are the principal disciple of those sages, I meant to please you by speaking to you in their terminology; as to my mentioning the proportional relationship between Galen's residence and that of the Roman emperor as compared with that between your house and that of the Emir of the Faithful, what I meant to say was that if Galen's residence is about one-half or one-third or one-fourth or one-fifth — or any other proportion — of the Roman emperor's residence, is the ratio between them equal to the one between your residence and that of the Emir of the Faithful or is it smaller? Now, if the residence of the Emir of the Faithful were two parasangs by one and yours ten by ten, while the residence of the Roman emperor had been ten to ten parasangs and that of Galen a hundred to a hundred, the proportional relationship between Galen's residence and that of the emperor would have been equal to the proportional relationship between your residence and that of the Emir of the Faithful. . . — Jibrā'īl replied: 'Galen's residence is not so. The ratio in this case is much smaller than that between my residence and that of the Emir of the Faithful.' I then said: 'Will you excuse my next remark?' — 'I concede your right to make it.' — 'You have just informed us that your master was less distinguished than you are.' He therefore exclaimed angrily: 'You are a "numajad!" I thought this word had a derogatory sense and became angry too. When he noticed this, he declared: 'I have said nothing offensive. I wish I were a "numajad" myself. This is a word compounded of two Persian words, meaning sharpness and presence of mind; so "numajad" means one whose sharpness is ever present, and it is used in reference to a young man. I wish I were young like you. For you leap [p.155] like a young rooster, which usually feels the urge to compete with old roosters and outdo them, whereas an old rooster can peck a young one so hard that his brain is laid bare and he dies. You frequently oppose me in debate, and pass wrong judgments. Even if Jibrā'īl, Bakhtīshū` his father, and Jūrjīs his grandfather did not lead the lives of caliphs, still, they were like Caliphs, crown-princes, caliphs' brothers uncles and other relatives, notables and commanders. All these live in comfort when the Caliph is well-disposed toward them. By contrast, all the familiars of the Roman emperors live in straitened, penurious circumstances. How, then, can you compare me with Galen, who was not privileged at all, for his father was an agricultural worker, tending gardens and orchards. How can one who lived in such surroundings be compared with me, whose parents served caliphs and received their favors, as well as others less exalted than caliphs. The caliphs favored me and raised me from the status of physician to that of intimate friend. I might say that no brother or other relative, and no commander or governor, of the Emir of the Faithful favors me without being disposed to do so by his love for me; but whether he is thus disposed, or grateful for some treatment I gave him or desirous to demonstrate his generosity or reward me for a word I said about him to the Caliph which benefited him, in any case, each of them honors me and presents me with gifts. In short, if my residence is one-tenth the size of the Caliph's, and Galen's residence one-hundredth the size of a Roman emperor's, taking all the above into consideration, Galen is much more distinguished than I am.' Said Abū Ishāq: 'I see that your anger at Yūsuf was caused by his suggestion that you were more distinguished than Galen. 'By Allāh, I am not,' exclaimed Jibrā'īl: 'May God curse him who is not grateful and does not fully recognize the good rendered to him. By Allāh, I hate to be compared to Galen in any way and readily place him higher than myself in all things.' Abū Ishāq was pleased with those words and expressed his agreement saying: 'Upon [p.156] my life, this is what is so wonderful about learned and cultured people!' Jibrā'īl would have fallen at Abū Ishāq's feet to kiss them, but Abū Ishāq would not let him and embraced him instead."

Sulayman ibn Hassān said: "Galen lived during the reign of Nero, the sixth emperor who ruled the Roman Empire. He traveled the world over and visited Rome twice, eventually settling there and endeavoring with its ruler to cure the sick. He made public appearances in Rome at which he lectured and displayed his knowledge of dissection, thus proving his learning and skill. The following story is taken from Galen's book "The Test of the Expert Physician." In my youth, I studied logic; later, when I went over to medicine, I gave up all pleasures and eschewed all competition for worldly things, so that I no longer took the trouble to hurry to people's doors in the morning in order to ride with them from their houses, then wait for them at the King's gates in order to return with them to their homes and then treat them. I never wasted time on the sniveling called devotion, but constantly occupied myself with the observation and consideration of medical phenomena. I stayed awake all night discovering the treasures bequeathed to us by the ancients. He who may say that he has done what I did, and at the same time possesses intelligence and a quick grasp, may embrace that great science. It is necessary that he be well-versed in it before starting to apply his judgment and skill to patients. He must be better than those who do not possess the above qualities and have not done as we said.

Thus once, not yet thirty years of age, on returning to a town to which I had felt attracted, I was appointed by one of the chief gladiators to attend those wounded in fighting. Up till then they had been taken care of by two or three old men. When my employer was asked how he had satisfied himself that I was qualified for the task, he said that he had seen me spend more days studying than the older physicians, who wasted their time on things that would not benefit them, whereas he had never seen me waste even one day or night. Every day, every moment, I was occupied with what would benefit me. He had also seen me do simple things [p.157] that indicated greater professional skill than the long years of service of those old men. Previously I had attended one of those public sessions to which men come to be instructed in medicine and I had showed the audience many things with regard to dissection. I had taken an animal, ripped its belly open and removed all its viscera and then called upon the physicians present to put them back and sew up the belly properly; but no one had come forward, so I had done it myself. Every sensible person there had been able to see that only a man of my skill could take charge of the wounded. When that man had appointed me — my first appointment of this kind — he was satisfied with my work, for of all the people under my care only two died, while my predecessors had a record of sixteen deaths. Later, another gladiator chief placed me in charge of his men, and he was even luckier with me, for none of those for whom I was responsible died, although there were many serious cases.

All this I have said in order to show how one can distinguish the expert physician from others even before he has applied his knowledge to patients. This method differs from that by which people nowadays test their physicians, preferring those who ride with them and busy themselves with them, an occupation that leaves no time for practicing medicine. In fact, one should prefer a man who does the exact opposite, devoting himself to medicine to the exclusion of all else.

I know a man of intelligence and understanding, whose respect I gained by one feat he saw me perform, It was the dissection of an animal, by which I demonstrated the organs that produce utterance, movement, etc. Now it happened that two months previously this man had fallen from a great height and sustained numerous fractures. His voice had gone almost completely, so that his speech had become a mere whisper. But all his injuries had been treated and healed, and after many days, he had fully recovered, except that his voice had not come back. When that man saw what I had done, he gained confidence [p.158] in me and placed himself in my hands. I cured him in a few days, for I knew the place that was affected and applied my treatment to it.

Another person fell from his horse and was wounded in many places. He was treated and completely cured, except for two fingers of one hand, the little finger and the ring-finger, which remained in great part insensitive and paralyzed. The middle finger was also slightly affected. The physicians tried a succession of different medicines to these fingers, but all to no avail. When the patient came to me, I asked him which part of his body had hit the ground, and he said that it was the region between his shoulders. Now I had learnt from my studies of dissection that the nerve which supplies these fingers originates between the shoulders, and so I understood that the root of the trouble lay in the place where this nerve departs from the spinal cord. I therefore, applied to that place the same drugs which had previously been futilely applied to the fingers. Very soon the man recovered, to the astonishment of everyone, for the fingers recovered while the place treated was between the shoulders.

Subsequently a man came to me with an affliction of both his speech and his appetite for food. I cured him with medicines which I applied to his neck. The story of this man was as follows. He had severe scrofula on both sides of the neck, for which he was treated by a physician who cut out the diseased glands. Unluckily, there were complications in the form of a cold which affected the two nerves next to the two prominent arteries of the neck. These two nerves spread into many branches, a large number of which go to the stomach entrance and impart sensitivity to the whole stomach; the entrance is the most sensitive section because of the numerous nerve branches that serve it. A smaller portion of each of the two nerves supplies part of the vocal apparatus. These are the reasons that the man had lost both his voice and his appetite. When I realized this, I applied a calefacient to his neck, [p.159] and he recovered in three days. All who watched me do it were anxious to learn from me the reasoning which had led me to this surprising treatment, and thus they understood that dissections are of essential value to physicians.' "In his book "On Maladies Which Are Difficult to Cure," Galen says: "When I was in Rome, I once saw a barber who had gathered a crowd of ignorant persons around him and was shouting: "I am from Aleppo. I have met Galen and he taught me all he knew. Here is a remedy for worms in the molars.' This impostor had prepared a box of incense, which he put on burning coals. He then perfumed the mouth of every man who said he had bad teeth. The man was thereby forced to close his eyes, and when he did so, the impostor secretly placed in his mouth some worms that he kept handy in a small casket. He presently took them out of the man's mouth, and the fool paid him whatever he had. He then went further and cut arteries without tourniquets. When I saw all this, I uncovered my face to the people and cried: 'I am Galen, and he is an ignorant boor.' I then warned the people of him and requested that the authorities intervene against him. He was reprimanded, and I wrote a book about quacks.

In his book "Katagenos," Galen says that he once worked in Rome, in a temple which served as a hospital, instead of an old man who had been treating patients there, and that everybody who was treated by him recovered before any others. The virtue and knowledge thus evinced by him were due to the fact that he had never accepted anything on anyone's authority, but always relied only on personal observation.

The Emir al-Mubashshir ibn Fātik reports that Galen traveled to Athens, Rome, Alexandria and other cities in search of knowledge. He studied medicine with Arminus, but had previously studied geometry, language, grammar, etc., with his father and a group of illustrious geometers. He studied medicine also with a woman called Cleopatra, who acquainted him with many drugs, especially those suitable for the treatment of women. He went to Cyprus to see colcothar being mined and to Lemnos to watch [p.160] the making of Ferra sigillata. He thus witnessed all these things with his own eyes and verified them by personal inspection. He also went to Egypt and stayed there for a while to study its drugs, especially opium, in the town of Asiut, which is in Upper Egypt. He then left for Syria to return to his home town, but fell ill en route and died in al-Farma, a city on the Red Sea, in the remotest part of Egypt.

Al-Mas`ūdī, in his book "Roads and Kingdoms," says that al-Farma is a fortified city on Lake Tanis and that Galen the Greek is buried there.

Others give a different version of Galen's death. At a time when Christianity was spreading, he was told that a man who cured the blind and lepers and revived the dead had appeared in Jerusalem at the end of Octavian's reign. He commented that he probably had supernatural powers to do it, and asked whether any of that man's companions were left. On being informed that there were, he left Rome for Jerusalem. He died on the way, in Sicily, then called Sataniya, and was buried there. The cause of his death is said to have been chronic diarrhea. It is reported that when his illness dragged on, he tried to cure it by all manner of means, but it was hopeless. His disciples said that their master could not cure himself, and they became negligent in his service, a fact which did not escape him. It was summertime. He brought a jar of water, took a quantity of a certain substance and threw it into the water, left it there for a while, then broke the jar, and lo, the water was frozen. He took some of that drug and drank it as an enema, but even this did not help him. He asked his disciples, "Do you know why I did that?" — "No." — "Lest you think it is out of incompetence that I cannot cure myself; for this is a chronic disease, which means that it is incurable and fatal." Ibn Abū Usaybi`ah suspects this story about Galen to be untrue.

Ibn Bakhtawaih, in his "Prolegomena," mentions a method of freezing water out of season. He claims to be able to do it with a ratl of good iron sulfate that is ground well and placed in a new earthenware pot, then dissolved in six ratls of pure water and heated in an oven covered with mud [p.161] until two-thirds of it are gone and only one-third — no more and no less remains. This is left to thicken, when it is placed in a jar and sealed well. When you want to use it, you must take a new ice-tray and pour clear water into it; you then put into the water ten measures [fifteen dirhams] of the iron sulfate solution and leave it for one hour, whereupon it turns into ice. An Algerian claimed he could freeze water in summer by the following method: some cotton seed is macerated in good, strong wine vinegar. When it swells, it is thrown into a jar or pot of water, which will thereupon freeze even in June or July.

Abū al-Wafā' al-Mubashshir ibn Fātik says: "Galen's father took extremely good care of his son. He lavished money on him, bringing his teachers from great distances and paying them high salaries. From youth, Galen was attracted to the study of logic and displayed great perseverence and aptitude. He was so zealous that he would repeat his lesson all the way home from his master's house, while his schoolmates chided and mocked him, saying: 'You should allow yourself some time to laugh and play with us.' Usually he did not answer them, being occupied with his lesson, but sometimes he asked: 'Why do you laugh and play?' — 'Because we like it.' — 'In the same way, I avoid laughter and play and prefer my studies because I dislike your activities and like mine.' People would marvel at him and say: 'In addition to wealth and honor, your lucky father was given a son who loves his studies.' His father was a geometer, but remained an agriculturist at the same time. His grandfather was a master carpenter and his great-grandfather a surveyor."

In his book "The Good and the Bad Quality," Galen says that he lost his father when he was twenty years of age. He then goes on to say: If you wish to believe me, my friend, then do so, for I have no reason to lie. It always makes me angry when I see so many persons of rank and learning lie with such vigor in the books in which they deal with the different sciences. As for me, I only report things that I have observed and confirmed over a long period. May God be my witness that I am not [p.162] lying in what I tell you: I had a father, virtuous and wise. He reached the highest possible level of knowledge in surveying, geometry, logic, mathematics and astronomy. He was known among his contemporaries for his justice, abidance by promises, righteousness and mercy. In these virtues he reached a degree unattained by any other philosopher or scientist of his time. He was responsible for me and my upbringing when I was a young boy, and in his hands God protected me from pain and sickness. About the time I reached puberty, my father went to one of his estates, leaving me behind, for he was bound to the land. As for me, I made much greater progress than all my schoolmates, in my studies, devoting day and night to them. Once, in autumn, I ate too much fruit while with my friends. I fell gravely ill and had to be phlebotomized. At that time, my father visited me; he came to the city and looked me up. He reprimanded me and recalled the regimen he had prescribed for me when I was a boy. He then said: 'Be careful from now on. Avoid the various inclinations of your young friends, their friendships and enmities. When spring came, my father made a point of planning my diet. He stayed with me, took care of me, gave me appropriate instructions, and I hardly ate any fruit. I was then nineteen years of age, and I came through that year without any illness or injury. The following year my father died. I again sat with my friends and companions and ate fruit; again I overdid it and contracted the illness I had had before. Once more I had to be phlebotomized. But this time the illness recurred during several consecutive years. Sometimes it would disappear for a year, but it did not really leave me until I was twenty-eight years old. At that time, I became affected with a serious ailment at the junction of the liver and the diaphragm, which is the position between the respiratory and the digestive organs. I thereupon decided never to touch any juicy fruit, except ripe figs and grapes; but even of them I resolved always to partake sparingly. I had a friend who joined with me in this matter and helped me to honor my decision. We kept slim, shunning fatty foods and never eating to satiety. [p.163] We thus have both preserved our health and escaped pain and illness, through the long years to this very day.

I then turned to my most intimate companions and taught them how to eat moderately and keep slim. They have all retained good health, some for twenty-five years, some for fifteen, some for longer and some for shorter periods; but they had to adhere to the quantities I prescribed for them, avoid succulent fruit and other harmful edibles."

In his book on dissection, Galen says that he first came to Rome at the beginning of the reign of Antoninus, who succeeded Hadrian. He then composed a book on dissection for the victorious Roman leader Boethus, who wished to return from Rome to his hometown, Ptolemais, and had made this request of Galen. He also composed treatises on dissection when he was in Smyrna with his second teacher, Pelops(the first having been Saturs, the disciple of Quintus). He then went to Corinth for the sake of another outstanding man, also a disciple of Quintus, called Aficianus. Afterwards he went to Alexandria, having heard that an illustrious group of disciples of Quintus and Numisianus was there. He subsequently returned to his hometown, Pergamum in Asia, but later went again to Rome, where he performed dissections for Boethus, who was constantly accompanied by the philosopher Eudemos the Peripatetic and by Alexander of Aphrodisias, who was teaching at that time in Athens at a college for the philosophical sciences according to the Peripatetics. Another member of that circle was the Governor of Rome, Sergius Bulus, who excelled in all aspects of philosophy, both theoretical and practical.  In one of his books Galen mentions that when he returned from Alexandria to Pergamum, the city of his forefathers, he was twenty-eight years old. In his book "To Vincus" he says that he returned home from Rome when he was thirty-seven.

In his book "The Negation of Grief" he says that many of his books and much of his valuable furniture were burnt in the royal storehouses in Rome. [p.164]

Some of the books that were destroyed were manuscripts of Aristotle; others were manuscripts of Anaxagoras and Andromachus which he had corrected under the guidance of his teachers and of people who had studied them with Plato (he had traveled to a distant city for this purpose). He mentions many other things lost in that fire, but they are too numerous to be indicated here.

Al-Mubashshir ibn Fātik says: "Among Galen's books that were burnt were Rufus' on theriacs and poisons, the treatment of poisoned people and the composition of drugs (according to disease and time) and — dearest to him — the books written on white silk, with black covers, for which he had paid a high price."

To sum up, there are many stories and anecdotes which will benefit him who studies them, witticisms and examples scattered in Galen's books and included in reports about him. There are also many tales of his treatment of the sick which cannot all be mentioned here, that prove his medical skill. I intend, with God's help, to compose a separate book which will include all the relevant details reported in Galen's works and elsewhere. In his book "To Vincus," Galen himself says that he wrote two autobiographical works, in which he described his outstanding treatments and reports incidents illustrating his exceptional knowledge, and warning against imitations of his achievements. I found excerpts from them in another book addressed to Ephygenos and entitled "Rare Instances of Advanced Knowledge." In this book he says that people at first called him the relater of miracles," because of the wondrous stories he told on medical subjects. Later, when he showed them the seemingly impossible come true in his treatments, they called him "the miracle worker."

In his book "On the Test of the Virtuous Physician," Galen tells the following story: "I know of nobody who has not heard of the man whose eye condition was aggravated by every powder he was treated with, until he was cured by me. This man had a huge, painful ulcer in his eye and, moreover, the skin around the eye was swollen. I treated him patiently until the skin returned to normal and the ulcer disappeared, all without [p.165] recourse to any powder. All I did was prepare three kinds of liquid every day; one a decoction of fenugreek, one of roses, and one of unground saffron. All the physicians present saw me use these preparations, but none of them could do so themselves because they knew neither the method nor the quantities to be taken each day of the three components according to the requirements of the patient. One dose was appropriate to relieve the pain, another to combat the swelling, and a third was indicated when the ulcer became increasingly putrid. I used only these liquids and thereby achieved my purpose, namely to reduce the swelling of the skin, alleviate the pain, cleanse the ulcerated area where it was not too decayed, cause flesh to grow where there was not enough of it, and finally heal the place when the lesion had been fully counteracted.

"Every day I displayed the same or a similar degree of skill in the medical profession. Most of the physicians who saw it did not know the theoretical foundations of my work; they only saw the particular case. Some called me "the miracle worker," others "The relater of miracles." For example, a group of notable Roman doctors, who were present at my first visit to a feverish boy, debated whether to bleed him. The conversation dragged on, until I said: 'Your discussion is superfluous. He will soon burst some veins, and the excess blood will come out through the nostrils.' When my prediction came true, they were astonished and fell silent, but this incident earned me their hatred, and they nicknamed me "relater of miracles" in consequence. On another occasion, I visited a patient who showed clear symptoms of an impending nosebleed. I did not content myself with warning of the hemorrhage, but said it would be on the right side. The attending physicians snubbed me, saying: 'It seems to us that we do not need your explanations.' I replied: 'Nevertheless, I shall presently see you greatly perplexed and fearful of that hemorrhage, for it will be difficult to stop. The patient's constitution is not strong enough for the bleeding to cease as soon as the excess blood has been expelled.' Things happened exactly as I had predicted, and those physicians could not [p.166] stop the hemorrhage because they did not know where it originated. But I stopped it very easily, and won the nickname of "miracle worker" as a result."

In this connection, Galen tells yet another story evidencing his skill. "I and some other physicians once attended a patient who was suffering from rheum and shortness of breath. I at first let the others give him medicines to drink which they hoped would do him good. They first gave him a medicine for coughs and colds, which is administered before the patient goes to sleep. It acts by relaxing the body and so helps the insomniac. As the patient slept soundly all that night, his cough was relieved and his cold disappeared, but afterwards he again complained of difficult respiration and heavy pressure in his chest and heart. The physicians thereupon believed it necessary to give him a potion that would help expel what was in his lungs. When he had taken it, he emitted an abundance of viscous mucus. The next night, his cough returned, he lay awake and felt something soft slip down from his head into his windpipe, so that on the following night they again had to give him a sedative. Again he was relieved of the cough, rheum and insomnia, but his breathing became short again, and his condition worsened on the following night. So once more they had to give him a medicine to relieve and purify his lungs. When he had drunk it, his lungs cleared, but he suffered from such coughing asthma and afterwards insomnia, that he could stand it no longer. When I realized that the physicians were at their wits' end, I administered to the patient in the evening a drug that did not drive away the cough and rheum, but ensured a sound night's sleep and helped to eject whatever was in the lungs. I followed this method until I had cured both maladies within a few days, although they seemed to be contradictory. This goes to show that physicians who claim that one drug cannot cure two contradictory maladies at once are mistaken. I discovered that drug, and also drugs that cure ulcers of the lungs even when rheum has penetrated the lungs from the head. In my book "On the [p.167] Composition of Drugs," I shall expound on the use of many other of my discoveries."

In his book on the proposition that good men can profit by their enemies, Galen says the following, which indicates his general outlook: "I never ask my pupils or patients for a fee. I give my patients everything they need. I not only supply them with drugs, liquid medicines, ointments and the like, but also procure somebody to nurse them and prepare their food when they have no servants. I have found employment for many physicians with my friends who went to the army, and for many others with people of importance, but I have never taken any bribe or gift for it from any of them. On the contrary, I equipped many with the necessary instruments and drugs, and in other cases I was not content even with this, but paid their traveling expenses as well."

Al-Mubashshir ibn Fātik said: "Galen had fine features and a dark complexion. His shoulders and torso were broad. He had long fingers and beautiful hair. He loved singing, music and reading. His walk was sedate, and his face wore a genial expression. He was talkative, gossipy, and moved about actively. He always smelt agreeably and dressed well. He liked to ride or stroll near the gates of kings and chiefs, but was never fawning. On the contrary, they always had respect for him, and when he had treated them for a serious illness, they rewarded him with many gifts of gold and other presents. He mentions this in many of his books, and also that whenever a ruler asked him to remain, he left that city and went elsewhere, so as to avoid prolonged service to one man. It is said that his original name was Ghalinos, meaning 'the restful' or 'the guide,' and that this was later changed to Ghalenos, which means 'the virtuous.'"

Abū Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyah al-Rāzī in his book "Al Hāwī," says that in Greek, when spoken fluently, the sounds g, gh and k are interchangeable. Galenos is also pronounced as Ghalenos and Kalenos, and all these forms are legitimate. A and l result in emphatic l, which is more correct in Greek. Ibn Abū Usaybi`ah comments: This is a [p.168] difference which may change the whole meaning. The judge Najm al-Dīn `Umar ibn Muhammad ibn al-Kuraidī told me in the name of ibn Aghaton, the Metropolitan of Shawbak, the greatest expert of his generation in the old language of the Romans, i.e., Greek, that in Greek all proper names and also other nouns end in s, e.g. Galenos, Dioscorides, Anaxagoras, Aristoteles, Diogenes, Aribasios, etc. The words katerogias, astochodes, anaghales likewise end in s, which is their suffix in Greek, similarly to the tanwīn in Arabic, which is the ending of words like Zaid(un), `Umr(un), Bakr(un), Kitak(un), Shagar(un). The n of the tanwīn corresponds to the Greek s. Ibn Abū Usaybi`ah remarks: It occurs to me that the few Greek words which do not end in s, such as Socrat, Plato, Agathadhimon, Glaucon, Tamur, Yagat and other proper names, as well as nouns like analytica, nikomachia, rhetorika, gund, bidastar, theriac correspond to Arabic words which can neither have a tanwīn nor be declined, such as Ismā`īl(u), Ibrahīm(u), Ahmad(u), masāgid(u). But Allāh knows best.

Abū al-`Alā' ibn Sulaymān al-Ma`arrī in his "Apologia," praises Galen and other medical writers, saying:

May God grant Galen bliss and salvation!
May he have mercy upon Hippocrates and his disciples.
For everything they achieved is indestructible
And helps the ailing and the suffering.
They wrote fine books, which are light in weight,
But of great moment in curing the sick.

The following are examples of Galen's sayings, maxims and aphorisms, as mentioned by Hunayn ibn Ishāq in his book "The Aphorisms of the Learned Philosophers and Maxims of the Ancient Scholars." Says Galen: "Anxiety eats at the heart and grief makes it ill." He then explains, thus: "Grief is about what has happened, anxiety about what may happen." Elsewhere he says: "Grief is about what is gone, anxiety about what is to come. Beware of grief, for it destroys life. Do you not see how a living being pines away when stricken with grief?" [p.169]

On the form of the heart he says: "There are two chambers in the heart, one on the right and one on the left. There is more blood in the right chamber than in the left; in both of them are arteries which originate in the brain; if something occurs in the heart which does not agree with its humor, the organ contracts, and the arteries shrink in consequence, whereupon the face contracts spasmodically and the whole body suffers. On the other hand, if something occurs in the heart which does agree with its humor, it expands and the two arteries expand also. There is, moreover, a small artery in the heart, like a little pipe, overtopping the pericardium and the spleen; when the heart is afflicted with grief, this artery contracts and spills blood upon the spleen and the pericardium. At the same time, blood spurts from the two great arteries and fills the heart, which comes under pressure; the consequences are felt in body and mind, as when the vapors of liquor envelop the brain and cause intoxication."

It is said that Galen desired to verify this theory experimentally. He took a sensitive animal and worried it for days, after which he dissected it and found its heart withered, emaciated, for the most part destroyed. In this way he proved that when overcome with grief and anxiety, the heart becomes withered and drained.

Galen said to his disciples: "Whoever gives honest service will be fully rewarded by me." He also stated: 'Knowledge does not benefit him who does not understand it, and there is no understanding without practice." In his book "On the Characteristics of the Soul," he writes: "just as the body may be afflicted by disease or deformity — a disease such as epilepsy or pleurisy, a deformity such as a scar, a drooping head or baldness — so may the soul be assailed: the disease of the soul are conditions such as anger, and its deformities are states such as ignorance." "Illness is caused by four factors: by regular causes, by a faulty diet, by mistakes and by the arch-enemy, Satan." "Death is of four kinds: natural death, that is of old age, death by illness, death [p.170] brought about intentionally, as by suicide or murder, and sudden death which is fortuitous."

When the pen was once mentioned to him, he said: "The pen is the mind's physician."

One of his sayings about love is: "Love is preference with the addition of desire. It is an activity of the soul, embedded in the brain, the heart and the liver. The mind has three powers: the imagination, which is in the fore part of the head, reason, which is in the middle, and memory, which is at the back. Nobody can call himself a perfect lover unless, when he parts from the object of his love, his imagination, reason, memory, heart and liver are all taken up with it, so that he abstains from food and drink — because of the preoccupation of the liver — and from sleep — because of the preoccupation of the mind, including the imagination, reason and memory. When they are not thus absorbed during separation, he is not a lover; but upon reunion with the loved one, all those parts become liberated again."

Hunayn ibn Ishāq said that the stone in Galen's ring was engraved with the inscription: "He who conceals his malady will never be cured."

The following are sayings of Galen quoted by Abū al-Wafā' al-Mubashshir ibn Fātik in his book "Choice Maxims and Best Sayings": "Be kind, and you will achieve your goal, be patient, and you will be honored; do not be proud, and you will be served."

"A sick man with an appetite has better prospects than a healthy man with no appetite."

"Do not let the inclination to do evil prevent you from doing good.'

"I have seen many a king pay a great deal of money for a servant proficient in the arts and sciences or for a noble beast of burden while neglecting his own education, so that if one of them were offered a servant like himself, he would not buy him; now, the ugliest thing in my opinion is when a servant is worth much money while the master can find nobody to take him free of charge." [p.171]

"Once, physicians regarded themselves as masters and the sick as their subjects, who could not oppose their fate. Medicine was then a successful profession. Times have changed. In our generation, the sick have become masters and the doctors servants, who minister to their patients' whims instead of to their bodies, so that the benefit derived from their services is nil."

"Formerly when men met for drinking and music, they vied in discussing the benefits of various liquors for the humors and of music for the peace of the soul, and also the means of counteracting either. Today when men meet, they vie in the size of the cups from which they drink."

"If a person follows a regimen from youth, his impulses will be moderate. But if he is accustomed from youth to indulge his desires, their pernicious influence will never be conquered. For what is frequently practiced becomes stronger, while what is left alone abates."

"If a person has always been both evil and shameless, there is no hope of his ever improving, but if he is evil but not shameless, one should not despair, for once he is tamed, he will be a chaste man."

"Bashfulness is the fear of being surpassed by someone superior."

"If a man knows himself, he is prepared to improve his character — self-knowledge is the greatest wisdom. But owing to his excessive egoism, man is naturally inclined to think favorably of himself even if this is unjustified, to the point where some people think themselves brave, noble, etc., but are not so at all. Almost every man thinks he is abundantly endowed with reason, but he who claims most has in fact the least."

"The just man is he who could act unjustly, but does not. The wise man is he who truly knows everything pertaining to human nature."

"How strange it is that men think they have achieved their goals when in fact they have not." [p.172]

"Just as a man of fifty whose body becomes emaciated from illness does not give up and leave his body to decompose and perish, but tries to nurture it even if he cannot hope for perfect health, so we must endeavor to improve our spiritual health even if we cannot hope to attain the perfection of the philosopher."

"A man might save himself from thinking that he is the wisest of mortals if he would appoint somebody to examine all his actions every day and tell him whether he is right or wrong. Thus he might do good and abstain from evil."

Once Galen saw a man who was highly valued by the rulers for the strength of his body. He asked about the great thing this man had done and was told that the man had carried a slaughtered ox from the middle of the temple outside. He remarked: "Formerly this ox used to carry himself, but nobody thought anything of it."

The following specimens of Galen's sayings have been copied from other sources:

"A sick man is relieved by fresh air, just as the barren earth is refreshed by the first downpour."

Questioned about desire, he said: "A distressing affliction, but it does not last."

Asked why he attended occasions of play and pleasure, he answered: "In order to know the power and nature inherent in every aspect of visual and aural stimulation."

He was once asked: "When should a man die?" — "When his consciousness is gone; death will then harm him no more than it will benefit him."

Once he was questioned about the humors: "What is your opinion of the blood?" — "A slave and bondsman, but frequently this slave destroys his master." "What is your opinion of yellow bile?" — "A biting dog in a garden." — "And phlegm?" — "This is the suzerain. Whenever he finds one door closed to him, he opens another." — "Lastly, what is your opinion of [p.173] black bile?" — "It is like the earth: when it moves, everything moves with it."

In this connection, he also said: "Let me give you the allegories of the four humors: The yellow bile, which is really the red one, is like a sharp-tongued woman who is basically pious and canny, so that she can hurt by her quick temper and tiresome tirades, but she soon calms down without causing actual mischief. The blood is like a rabid dog; when it enters your house, you hasten either to drive it out or to kill it. The phlegm, when it moves in the body, is like a king who has entered your house; being afraid of his tyranny and violence, you cannot attack and hurt him, but have to proceed gently until you get rid of him. The black bile is like a sullen person, who conceals what is in his heart, then suddenly leaps up and does as much mischief as he can."

Another of his beautiful allegories is the following: "Nature is like the plaintiff and illness like the litigant; the symptoms are the witnesses, and the urine phial and pulse the evidence; the crisis of the illness is equivalent to the Day of Judgment and passing of the sentence; the patient is the attorney, and the physician the judge."

In his commentary on Hippocrates' "Oaths," he says: "Just as a statue cannot be made from any stone, or a wild beast fought with any dog, so not everyone is suited to the medical profession, but only he who is physically and mentally fitted to it."

Galen wrote prolifically. The following is a list of the works I have been able to find, scattered among different people, translated into Arabic by Hunayn ibn Ishāq al-`Ibādī and others, with Galen's purpose indicated in each.

1) "The Memorandum," i.e., the catalogue indicating all the books he had written, his purpose in writing them, the persons to whom they are dedicated and his age at the time of writing them. There are two parts to it, one mentioning his medical books, the other his works on philosophy, logic, rhetoric, grammar, etc. [p.174]

2) "On the Order of Reading His Books," in one chapter; intended to inform his readers of the most useful order of his books, from the first to the last.

3) "The Clear Explanation," in one chapter. Galen said that this was the first book to be read by one who desires to study medicine, for in it he describes the view of each group of physicians as to experiments, analogy and procedure, their arguments, their means of verifying their claims and refuting their opponents, and their method of distinguishing truth from falsehood. He wrote this treatise when he was thirty or so, when he first visited Rome.

4) "The Smaller Book of the Pulse," in one chapter, dedicated to Tothors. Galen says that it contains summaries of other, more detailed books, and thus serves as an epitome of them.

5) "The Smaller Book of the Pulse," in one chapter, dedicated to Tothors and other students and purporting to describe what scholars need to know about the pulse. It first mentions different kinds of pulse — not all of them, but only those which are easy to understand. It then lists the causes of changes of the pulse, natural, unnatural, and supernatural. Galen wrote this treatise at the same time as "The Clear Explanation."

6) "To Glaucon — on the Way to Cure the Sick." Glaucon in Greek means blue. Glaucon was a philosopher who, aware of Galen's great achievements in medicine, asked him to write this book for him. Since the physician cannot succeed in treating an illness before diagnosing it, Galen, before dealing with therapy, describes the symptoms of different diseases. The first chapter mentions the symptoms and cures of fevers — not of all of them, but only those which are very common. This chapter is divided into two parts: the first describes fevers which have no special symptoms, the second those which are accompanied by peculiar phenomena. The second chapter describes the symptoms and treatment of swellings. This book was written at the same time as "The Clear Explanation." [p.175]

7) "On the Bones," in one chapter, subtitled 'for students,' because Galen wanted students to study anatomy before all the other branches of medicine: he who does not know it can study methodology. In this book Galen describes each bone first separately, and then its junction with other bones. He wrote it together with other books for students.

8) "On the Muscles," in one chapter, Galen did not destine this book for students, but the Alexandrians included it in a series of textbooks compiled by them by combining the two above-mentioned treatises with three others that Galen had written for students: "On the Dissection of Nerves," "On the Dissection of Nonpulsating Arteries, and "On the Dissection of Pulsating Arteries." They combined that series into one book of five chapters, entitled "Anatomy for Students." In "On the Muscles" Galen very concisely describes each of the muscles of each member and indicates their number, types, points of origin and functions.

9) "On the Nerves. Also a treatise for students, indicating how many pairs of nerves derive from the lower brain, of what type they are, how and where they are divided, and what functions they perform.

10) "On the Arteries," in one chapter. In this book written for students and dedicated to Autisthenes, Galen describes the pulsating and non-pulsating arteries. The Alexandrians divided it into two chapters, one on the veins and the other on the arteries. Galen's purpose here was to indicate how many veins originate in the liver, of what type they are and how and where they subdivide and how many arteries originate in the heart, their types and mode of subdivision.

11) "On the Elements according to Hippocrates," in one chapter. This book explains that all things which are capable of existence and destruction, viz, animals, plants and minerals, consist of four elements: fire, air, water and earth; these are also the primary very indirect constituents of the human body. The secondary, more immediate constituents of the human body and the bodies of the other [p.176] creatures that have blood are the four humors: blood, phlegm and the two biles.

12) "On the Humors," in three chapters. The first two chapters indicate the humors in the animal body — how many they are, of what kinds, and the characteristics of each — and the third chapter describes the humors in drugs — how they are to be distinguished and defined.

13) "On the Natural Powers," in three chapters. This book purports to explain that the body functions by means of three natural powers: regeneration, sleep and nutrition. The faculty of regeneration consists of two powers, one of which acts on the blood until it forms the organs which have parallel parts, while the other determines the shape of those organs. Galen describes the position, size and proportions of each compound organ. Nutrition is subdivided into four secondary powers: ingestion, retention, conversion and excretion.

14) "On Diseases and Afflictions," in five chapters composed separately, but combined into one book by the Alexandrians. Galen entitled the first chapter 'On the Kinds of Disease'; he states in it how many types of disease there are, subdividing each into its minutest varieties. The second chapter, 'On the Causes of Diseases' states how many causes there are of each disease, what they are, etc. The third chapter, 'On the Kinds of Afflictions, describes how many and what type of causes there are to each affliction.

15) "Diagnostics of Internal Diseases." This book is known also as "The Painful Spots," in six chapters. This book describes the symptoms of internal diseases and the diseases themselves. The first chapter and part of the second present the general methods by which diseases and their locations can be determined. The second chapter also points out Archigenes' errors in this field. The last part of the second chapter and the remaining four chapters systematically describe all the internal organs and their diseases, beginning with the brain, indicating the symptoms and how to diagnose the disease by them. [p.177]

16) "The Greater Book of the Pulse," in sixteen chapters grouped into four parts of four chapters each. The first part is entitled 'On the Varieties of the Pulse'; it describes how many and what kinds of primary pulse there are, and how each of them is subdivided. The first chapter of this part gives a complete description of the varieties and subdivisions of the pulse, by way of an epitane of the other parts. The remaining three chapters are devoted to a demonstration and a discussion of the same and their scope. The second part is entitled 'On the Determination of the Pulse'; it describes how each kind of pulse can be determined by feeling the arteries. The third part, 'On the Causes of the Pulse,' indicates from what each kind of pulse arises. The fourth part, 'Prolegomena to the Knowledge of the Pulse,' shows how the preceding data in respect of each kind of pulse are obtained.

17) "On Fevers," in two chapters. This book describes the principal kinds of fever, their varieties and symptoms. The first chapter presents two types of fever, one of the spirit, the other of the principal organs; the second chapter describes a third kind of fever, which afflicts the humors.

18) "On Crisis" in three chapters. This book indicates how we can diagnose delirium, when it occurs and why, and to what it may lead.

19) "On the Days of Crisis," three chapters. The first two chapters indicate how the degree of resistance changes during illness, on which days the crisis occurs and on which it cannot occur, which are the days on which the delirium is benign and on which it is malignant, etc. The third chapter states the reasons why the days of illness differ as to the degree of resistance.

20) "The Road to Health," in fourteen chapters. This book shows how every disease can be cured on the strength of analogy. It concentrates upon the general circumstances according to which the treatment of diseases should be determined. In this connection [p.178] some specific examples are given. Six chapters are dedicated to a man called Hieron. The first and second explain the correct principles on which therapeutics should be based and refute the wrong ones propounded by Erasistratus and his companions. The other four describe the treatment specific to each organ. When Hieron died, Galen abandoned the book until he was asked by Eugenianus to finish it, whereupon he dedicated the remaining eight chapters to him. The first six of these describe the treatment of diseases which afflict the parallel organs, and the last two the treatment of those attacking the compound organs. The first of the six mentions how to treat each kind of bad humor when occurring in one organ only and explains it by way of analogy to what takes place in the stomach. The next chapter, the eighth, expounds the treatment of the daily recurrent kinds of fever which afflict the spirit. The ninth chapter describes the treatment of raging fevers, the tenth the treatment of the fever which afflicts the principal organs i.e., hectic fever. Here, Galen covers all aspects of the use of hot baths. The eleventh and twelfth chapters describe fevers resulting from putrefaction of the humors — the eleventh fevers not accompanied by peculiar phenomena, the twelfth fevers which are so accompanied.

21) "Therapeutics Based on Dissection," known also as "The Great Book of Anatomy," in fifteen chapters. Galen notes that this book is a comprehensive encyclopedia of anatomy. The first chapter describes the muscles and joints of the arms; the second the muscles and joints of the legs; the third the nerves and arteries of the arms and legs; the fourth, the muscles moving the cheeks and lips and those moving the lower jaw up and down; the fifth the muscles of the chest, abdomen, hips, and loins; the sixth the digestive system, including the stomach, intestines, liver, spleen, kidneys, bladder, etc.; the seventh and eighth the dissection of the respiratory system. (The seventh states the results ensuing from [p.179] dissection of the heart, lungs and arteries of an animal which just died but whose body is still partly functioning, while the eighth sets out the results following dissection of the whole chest). The ninth chapter is wholly devoted to the brain and spinal cord. The tenth describes the eyes, tongue, esophagus and the like; the eleventh the larynx, the bone which resembles a Greek λ and the nerves connected with them; the twelfth the sex organs; the thirteenth the arteries and veins; the fourteenth the nerves originating in the brain; the fifteenth the nerves arising from the spinal cord. "This book," says Galen, is necessary to the study of anatomy. I have writen others which are not indispensable, but are also useful."

22) A summary of Marinus' book on anatomy. Marinus' book comprised twenty chapters, and Galen condensed them into four.

23) A summary of Lucus' book on anatomy. The original seventeen chapters are condensed into two.

24) "On Dissension among the Ancients Concerning Anatomy," in two chapters. This book discusses disagreements on anatomical points among Galen's predecessors, explaining how they arose and which of them are merely verbal and which are substantive.

25) "On the Dissection of Dead Bodies," in one chapter, describing what can be learnt from the dissection of animal corpses.

26) "On Vivisection," in two chapters, showing what can be learnt from the dissection of live animals.

27) "On Hippocrates' Knowledge of Anatomy." This book in five chapters, was written when Galen was still a youth. Its purpose was to prove, by quoting examples from his Works, that Hippocrates was reliable in matters of anatomy.

28) "Erasistratus' Views on Anatomy," in three chapters, also written in Galen's youth and dedicated to Boethus. Its purpose is to note everything concerning anatomy in Erasistratus' books and to point out his correct observations and his errors.  [p.180]

29) "On the Unknown," to Lucus, on anatomy, in four chapters.

30) "On Discussions with Lucus Concerning Anatomy, in two chapters.

31) "On the Anatomy of the Womb," in one short chapter, written in Galen's youth for a pregnant woman. It is a comprehensive anatomical description of the womb and explains the changes occurring in it during pregnancy.

32) "On the Articulation of the First Cervical Vertebra," in one chapter.

33) "On the Differences between Symmetrical Organs."

34) "On the Anatomy of the Vocal Apparatus," in one chapter. Hunayn says: "This book is wrongly attributed to Galen. Nor was it written by any other of the ancients, but by somebody in later times who compiled it from Galen's books and made a poor job of it."

35) "On the Anatomy of the Eye," in one chapter. Hunayn says: "This, too, is wrongly attributed to Galen, but was probably written by Rufus or one of his predecessors."

36) "On the Movement of the Chest and Lungs," in three chapters, written in Galen's youth, after his first return from Rome, when he was staying with Valvus in Smyrna. One of his schoolmates there had commissioned it. The first two chapters and the beginning of the third describe what he learnt from his master Valvus; the remainder presents his own discoveries.

37) "On the Diseases of the Respiratory Organs" in two chapters, written for Boethus during Galen's first journey to Rome. Its purpose is to explain in which organs breathing is voluntary and in which it is automatic.

38) "On the Voice," in four chapters, written after the preceding book and intended to explain what the voice is, how it is brought about, from what, which organs produce it or aid in its production, and finally, how voices differ.

39) "On the Movements of the Muscles," in two chapters, intended to explain these movements — how they are produced and how a [p.181] muscle performing a certain movement elicits different movements This book also discusses respiration — whether it is voluntary or automatic — and examines many fine points pertaining to it.

40) A treatise entitled "Criticism of the Errors of Those Who Distinguish between the Urine and the Blood."

41) A treatise entitled "On the Function of the Pulse."

42) A treatise entitled "On the Function of Respiration."

43) A treatise entitled "Pulsating Arteries — Whether the Blood Runs in Them Automatically or Not."

44) "On the Power of Laxatives," in one chapter, explaining that the action of these drugs is not identical. Not all laxatives reduce whatever they find in the stomach to its natural consistency and then expel it, but each attracts a humor which is congenial to it.

45) "On Habits," in one chapter, explaining that habit is a factor to be taken into account. Appended to this book is a commentary by Erophilos on Galen's citations from Plato on this subject, and a commentary by Galen himself on his citations from Hippocrates.

46) "On the Opinions of Plato and Hippocrates," in ten chapters, showing that Plato agreed with most of Hippocrates' views even before he borrowed them from him, and that Aristotle was wrong on all his points of disagreement with them. This book covers the entire range of the mind's faculties, including thought, will and memory, the three principles in which the powers of the body originate, and other miscellaneous matters.

47) "On Peculiar Movements," in one chapter, dealing with certain movements which had been incomprehensible to Galen and his predecessors and which he subsequently came to understand.

48) "On the Olfactory Organ," in one chapter.

49) "On the Functions of the Parts of the Body," seventeen chapters, the first and second of which show the wisdom of the Creator, may He be glorified, in creating the hand. The third chapter shows His wisdom in creating the foot; the fourth and fifth His wisdom [p.182] manifested in the digestive organs. The sixth and seventh chapters deal with the respiratory organs, the eighth and ninth with the contents of the skull; the tenth with the eyes, the eleventh with the other components of the face; the twelfth with the parts that belong to both the head and neck; the thirteenth with the region of the shoulders and spine. The next two chapters reveal the Creator's wisdom as expressed in the reproductive organs. The sixteenth deals with the organs extending throughout the body, such as the blood vessels, nerves, etc. The seventeenth describes the location and size of all the organs and stresses the advantages of the book as a whole.

50) "A Treatise on the Original Construction of the Body, a sequel to the first two chapters of 'On the Humors.' Its purpose is apparent from the title.

51) A treatise on the fertility of the body, a minor work, the subject of which is evident from the title.

52) A treatise on the evils of changing humors, the aim of the work being obvious from the title. He mentions the kind of bad humor which affects the whole body and the condition of the body thus affected and the kinds of humor which are apt to change in the different parts of the body.

53) "Simple Drugs," in eleven chapters. The first two expose the error of those who followed wrong methods to determine the power of drugs. The third chapter provides a solid basis for the whole study of the primary qualities of drugs. The fourth chapter explains the secondary properties of drugs, such as taste and smell and how they yield information concerning the primary properties. The fifth chapter explains the actions of drugs in the body, viz, desiccation, calefaction, refrigeration and humectation. The next three chapters describe the qualities of each vegetable. The ninth indicates the qualities of drugs which are derived from the [p.183] such as dust, mud, stones and minerals, the tenth the qualities of animal drugs, and the eleventh the qualities of drugs which originate in the sea and brackish waters.

54) A treatise on the symptoms of eye diseases, written in his youth for a young oculist. It enumerates the afflictions liable to occur to each coat of the eye and describes their symptoms.

55) A treatise on the phases of diseases, describing four phases, i.e., outbreak, progress, climax, and subsidence.

56) "On Plethora," also known as "On Abundance," in one chapter, describing superabundance of humors and the symptoms of each of its varieties.

57) A treatise on swellings. Galen describes swellings as kinds of roughness caused by nature. In this work he deals with each different type of swelling and discusses the respective symptoms.

58) A treatise on the apparent causes of swellings on the exterior of the body. Here, Galen explains the real causes and refutes those who negate them.

59) A treatise on the causes of diseases, an etiological study.

60) A treatise on tremors, ague, palsy and spasms.

61) A treatise on the branches of medicine, these being classified according to various principles.

62) "The Lymph," in two chapters, intended to show that blood is not, as Aristotle thinks, the substance from which all the parts of the body originate, but that the lymph is the source of all the principal white parts of the body, while it is only the red flesh which is derived from the menstrual [?] blood.

63) A treatise on the birth of a seven-month infant.

64) A treatise on black bile, its various types and symptoms.

65) A work on attacks and characteristics of fevers in one chapter, refuting misstatements made in this connection. Galen entitled this book "The Refutation of Those Who Have Discussed Impressions." [p.184] Hunayn says that there is another treatise on this subject attributed to Galen but that it is not his.

66) A summary of the "Greater Book of the Pulse," in one chapter, claiming to deal exhaustively with the subject. Hunayn says: "I have found a treatise in Greek on the same lines, but I do not believe Galen to be the author, for it is a sketchy treatment and is not very well written either. It may be that Galen promised to write it, but did not do so, and that one of the plagiarists, on discussing this, was prompted to write it and then included it in the catalogue lest people doubt its authenticity. It is also possible that Galen indeed wrote a treatise on that subject, different from this one, but that it was lost, like many of his other books, whereupon this forged treatise was substituted for it."

67) "On the Pulse," against Archigenes. Galen refers to it as consisting of eight chapters.

68) "On Wrong Breathing," in three chapters, dealing with the kinds, causes and symptoms of faulty respiration. The first chapter describes the kinds and causes of wrong breathing, the second the respective symptoms, and the third adduces proofs from Hippocrates.

69) "The Treasures of Advanced Knowledge" in one chapter. This book advocates the pursuit of advanced knowledge and indicates ingenious methods of acquiring it. It also describes and explains astonishing examples of Galen's therapeutics. An excellent work.

70) A summary of "The Road to Health," in two chapters.

71) "On Phlebotomy," in three chapters, the first of which refutes Aristotle, who opposed phlebotomy; the second is an attack on Aristotle's followers in Rome, with exactly the same arguments, the third chapter describes the therapeutic advantages of phlebotomy.

72) "On Lassitude," in one chapter, explaining the nature, types and treatment of this condition.

73) A treatise on the characteristics of a person prone to epilepsy. [p.185]

74) "On the Properties of Foods," in three chapters, listing all nourishing foods and beverages and the value of each.

75) "On Gentle Treatment," in one chapter; the title is self-explanatory

76) A summary of the above, in one chapter.

77) "On Good and Bad Chyme," in one chapter, describing different foods and explaining which of them produce good and which bad chyme.

78) "On Erasistratus' Opinions Concerning the Treatment of the Sick," in eight chapters, tracing Erasistratus' therapeutical method and determining its good points and shortcomings.

79) "On the Treatment of Acute Diseases," according to Hippocrates, in one chapter.

80) "The Composition of Drugs," in seventeen chapters. Seven chapters deal with each type of compound medicine separately. For instance the drug which builds the flesh in an acute ulcer is said to be one kind, that which alleviates its acuteness another kind, that which heals it yet another, and so on. The purpose here is to describe the method of classifying drugs, which is why these seven chapters are subtitled 'The Composition of Drugs According to Groups and Types.' The other ten chapters are subtitled 'The Composition of Drugs, according to the Site,' meaning that the composition of drugs is discussed here not theoretically, according to the action of each upon a certain ailment but practically, according to the site, or the organ afflicted. The discussion begins with the head and goes on through all the parts of the body. This book no longer exists as a whole, but has been split into two separate parts. It is highly probable that the Alexandrians were responsible for this. The first part comprises the first seven chapters, and is known as "Katagenos" while the second part, comprising the remaining ten chapters, is known as "Mayamir." This word is the plural of maymar, which means "road," and was [p.186] evidently chosen because the book shows the way to the correct use of compound drugs.

81) "On Drugs Which Are Easy to Find," i. e., drugs available everywhere; two chapters. Hunayn says: "There is another chapter, likewise attributed to Galen but actually written by Philigrius." The latter added a great deal of nonsense — bizarre descriptions and drugs which Galen had never seen or heard of."

82) "On Homeopathic Drugs," in two chapters, the first of which describes theriac and the second other unguents.

83) "Theriac," in one short chapter dedicated to Magelianus.

84) "How to Remain Healthy, in six chapters, explaining how robust people — both those who are in perfect health and those whose health is less than perfect, both freemen and slaves — may preserve their well-being.

85) "To Aspolus," in one chapter, a study of whether healthy people remain so thanks to medicine or to asceticism. This is the treatise alluded to at the beginning of Galen's book on the regimen of healthy men, where he says: "The art which achieves the preservation of the body is one, and only one as I have shown elsewhere."

86) "On Playing with a Little Ball," in one chapter, praising this activity and the game of cricket, which the author prefers to all other sports.

87) A commentary on Hippocrates' "Belief," in one chapter.

88) A commentary on Hippocrates' "Book of Members," in seven chapters.

89) A commentary on Hippocrates' "Book of Fractions," in three chapters.

90) A commentary on Hippocrates' "Book of the Reduction of Luxations," in four chapters.

91) A commentary on Hippocrates' "Book of Advanced Knowledge," in three chapters.

92) A commentary on Hippocrates' "Treatment of Acute Diseases," in three chapters exist of this commentary, while in the index of his books Galen says that he wrote five. The three extant chapters deal, [p.187] respectively, with the authentic part and the doubtful parts of the work in question.

93) A commentary on Hippocrates' "Book of Ulcers," in one chapter.

94) A commentary on Hippocrates' "Wounds in the Head," in one chapter.

95) A commentary chapter on Hippocrates' "Epidemiae"; the first chapter is discussed in three chapters, the second in six, the third in three and the sixth in eight. Galen did not write a commentary on the fourth, fifth and seventh chapters, holding that they were wrongly attributed to Hippocrates.

96) A commentary on Hippocrates' "Book of Humors," in three chapters.

97) A commentary on Hippocrates' "Book of Increased Caution," I have not been able to find a copy of this book.

98) A commentary on Hippocrates' "Categories," in three chapters.

99) A commentary on Hippocrates' of Airs, "Airs, Waters, Places," in three chapters. Some copies contain four chapters, but only the three-chapter version is authentic.

100) A commentary on Hippocrates' "Book of Foods," in four chapters.

101) A commentary on Hippocrates' "Book of the Nature of the Fetus.  Hunayn says: "We have not found this book among Galen's commentaries, nor is it mentioned in the catalogue of his books. On the other hand, we have found, in his commentary on Hippocrates' "Anatomy," that he divides "The Nature of the Fetus" into three parts. He says that the first and third part are forgeries that only the second part is genuine, and that this part was commented upon by the Alexandrian Cassius. We have discovered two commentaries on all three parts, one in Syriac, attributed to Galen and translated by Sergius, which we, after research, attribute to Balbis, and the second in Greek, which we have proved to be by Soranus, of the school of the Methodists." Hunayn translated this book, except for a small part, into Arabic during the Caliphate of al-Mu`tazz bi-Allāh. [p.188]

102) A commentary on Hippocrates' "Book of Human Nature," in two chapters.

103) "On the Identity of the Views Expressed by Hippocrates in his 'Book of Human Nature ' and in the Remainder of his Books," in three chapters. Galen mentions that he wrote it after commenting upon the "Book of Human Nature," upon hearing that some people found fault with this book and claimed it was not by Hippocrates.

104) A treatise claiming that the perfect physician should be a philosophy .

105) "On the Authentic Books of Hippocrates and Those Wrongly Ascribed to Him," in one chapter.

106) "On Quintus's Arguments against the Hippocratic Theory of the Four Elements," in one chapter. Hunayn says: "I do not know for certain whether this book is by Galen, or not, but I do not think it has been translated."

107) "On Labored Slumber, according to Hippocrates." Hunayn says: "The same goes for this book as for the last mentioned."

108) "On Hippocrates' Phraseology." Hunayn said: "This book likewise consists of one chapter. It explains peculiar expressions taken from all of Hippocrates' books and is very useful for those who read Greek. It is of no use to those who read his books in translation, for it cannot be rendered in any other language."

109) "On the Essence of the Soul," according to Asclepiades; one chapter.

110) "On Medical Experiments," in one chapter, accurately stating the arguments of the experimentalists against those of the analogists.

111) "Encouragement of the Study of Medicine," in one chapter. Hunayn said: "Galen's book bears the dedication 'To Menodotes.' It is a fine and useful book."

112) "Instances of Experiments," in one chapter.

113) "On the Test of the Virtuous Physician, " in one chapter.

114) "Credo" in one chapter, in which he states what he knows and what he does not know.  [p.189]

115) "On Medical Terms," explaining terminology used by physicians, in five chapters. We have found only the first chapter translated into Arabic (by Hubaysh al-A'sam).

116) "Demonstration," in fifteen chapters, intended to show a method of making things evident, as Aristotle tried to do in his "Fourth Book on Logic." Hunayn says: "No contemporary of ours has been able to obtain the whole of this book in Greek, although Jibrā'īl endeavored to find it; I also tried hard, combing all of Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine and Egypt, as far as Alexandria, but to no avail. In Damascus I found about half of it, but in inconsecutive and incomplete chapters. Jibrā'īl unearthed a few chapters, but they are not all identical with mine. Ayyūb translated for him what he had found, but I had no desire to translate my text because of its incoherence and confusion, and also because I hoped to find the whole book. Later I translated what I had found into Syriac — i.e., a small part of the second chapter, most of the third, about half of the fourth (from the beginning), the ninth, except for a small portion at the beginning, and the remaining chapters, apart from the end of the fifteenth. `Isā ibn Yahyā translated what he had found, chapters eight to eleven, and Ishāq ibn Hunayn chapters twelve to fifteen, into Arabic.

117) "On Faulty Analogies," in one chapter.

118) On the Structure of the Sciences," Hunayn reports that he has found only a small portion of this book in Greek.

119) "On the Knowledge of One's Own Vices," in two chapters. Hunayn again found only one incomplete chapter of this book in Greek.

120) "On Morals," in four chapters, describing different moral defects, their causes, symptoms and ways to counteract them.

121) A treatise on how to banish grief, written for a man who had asked Galen why he was not at all grieved when everything he had stored in the vast treasure-houses in Rome was lost in the great fire. He told him and explained what one should grieve about and what not. [p.190]

122) A treatise demonstrating that good people can benefit by their enemies.

123) "On Medical Subjects Touched upon in Plato's 'Timaeus,'" in four chapters.

124) "On the Fact that the Mental Faculties are Determined by the Humor of the Body," in one chapter, the subject being evident from the title.

125) An anthology of Plato's writings. Hunayn says: "I have found another book of this sort, four of the eight chapters of which are by Galen. The first chapter deals with five of Plato's books "Cratylus," on names; "Sophistes," on division; "Politicus, on management; "Parmenides," on forms; and "Euthydemus." The second chapter deals with four chapters of Plato's book on politics, and the third chapter with the other six chapters of the same book. The fourth chapter contains the substance of the twelve chapters of Plato's biographies.

126) "On the Fact that the Prime Mover Does Not Move," in one chapter.

127) "Introduction to Logic, in one chapter, containing what students should know of the science of demonstration.

128) A treatise on the number of analogies.

129) A commentary on Aristotle's second book, known as "Peri Hermeneias." in three chapters. Hunayn says he has found one incomplete copy of it.

130) "On What He Who Modulates His Voice in Speaking Should Do," in seven chapters. Hunayn says he has found only one chapter and has not translated it.

Hunayn ibn Ishāq says: "We have found other books attributed to Galen, but which are not his. Some of them are short excerpts from his works by different people and made up into books. Some of them were written [p.191] by Galen's predecessors and after his death were attributed to him, probably by people who wished to boast of the great number of his books they owned that were not to be found in anybody else's possession. Another possible reason is the lack of discrimination — encountered even now — of wealthy people who, on finding a book containing several chapters, the first bearing the name of a certain author, assume that the others were also written by him. This is why many of Rufus' treatises, such as the one on jaundice, are frequently attributed to Galen. The treatises ascribed to Galen but whose style bears no resemblance to his and whose reasoning is not as powerful as his are the following:

1) "On the Leaders of Schools."

2) "On the Sketches Drawn by Hippocrates."

3) A treatise entitled "A Physician to Galen," which Galen himself discusses at the beginning of his catalogue.

4) A treatise on the profession. Not the famous treatise by that name, which is authentic, but another one, wrongly attributed to Galen; its style is very poor.

5) A treatise on bones, not the authentic treatise by that name, but another, whose author is of a much lesser caliber than Galen.

6) A treatise on limits, based on the method of question and answer.

7) A short treatise on respiration, apparently excerpts.

8) A treatise on physics.

9) "On Medicine, According to Homer," in two chapters. The style is very similar to Galen's, but the substance is poor, and a strange view, not likely to be Galen's is expressed at the end of the second chapter.

10) A treatise demonstrating that qualities are not bodies.

11) A treatise on the humors, according to Hippocrates.

12) A treatise whether the organs of the fetus are created all at once or successively.

13) A treatise on whether the fetus is alive or not. [p.192]

14) A treatise on the immortality of the soul.

15) A treatise on milk.

16) A treatise on the dehydration of meat.

17) A treatise on sketches, inferior to the authentic one by that name.

18) A treatise on urine.

19) A treatise refuting the criticism by the third school of Galen's view as to the combined causes of illness.

20) A treatise demonstrating that Hippocrates was first and foremost in the knowledge of time.

21) A treatise on the causes of diseases.

22) A treatise on jaundice. Hunayn says that Galen does not mention it in his books or catalogue, and a copy of it has not been found.

23) A treatise on the humors according to Praxagoras.

24) A treatise on those who require phlebotomy in spring.

Ibn Abū Usaybi`ah notes: These are all of Galen's books, authentic and otherwise, that are mentioned by Hunayn ibn Ishāq in his book as ones he saw or translated into Arabic up to his forty-eighth year. Hunayn lived seventy years, so he must have found many more of Galen's books and translated them into Arabic. Indeed, in translations by Hunayn and others, we have found many books by Galen, and others wrongly attributed to him, which are not mentioned in Hunayn's above-quoted work. They are the following:

1) A commentary on Hippocrates' book on women's diseases, in one chapter.

2) "The Treatment of Diseases," known also as "Medicine for the Poor," in two chapters.

3) "On Surgery," in three chapters.

4) "On Sudden Death," in one chapter.

5) A treatise on enemas and colic.

6) A treatise on sleep, wakefulness and atrophy.

7) A treatise on the prohibition of burial before the lapse of twenty-four hours. [p.193]

8) A treatise on the solicitude of the Creator, may He be blessed and glorified, for man.

9) An epistle to Queen Philaphos concerning the secrets of women.

10) An epistle to the steward Constans concerning the secrets of men.

11) "On the Secret Drugs Hinted at in Galen's books," in one chapter.

Hunayn says that Galen's purpose here was to describe the secret and special drugs he had collected throughout his life and successful tried out repeatedly, but which he had carefully concealed from most people, disclosing them only to his intimate friends, to persons of mature judgment and to physicians. Somebody wrote a faulty translation of this book, including things that do not belong to it and neglecting points he did not understand. Hunayn examined the book by every available means, viewed it in the light of his own accumulated experience, and translated it into Arabic for Abū Ja`far Muhammad ibn Mūsā."

12) A treatise on extracting liquids from herbs.

13) A treatise on the permutation of drugs.

14) A collection of sayings about the influence of the sun, moon and the stars.

15) A treatise on colors.

16) A selection from Galen's book on demonstration, refuting those who wrote about analogies.

17) "On the Nature of the Fetus."

18) A refutation of Arthigenos in the matter of the pulse.

19) "On Labored Slumber."

20) A summary of Galen's book on foods.

21) "On the Slanderous Designs of Erasistratus."

22) "On the Advantages of Theriac."

23) A treatise on the chymes.

24) An essay on tastes.

25) An epistle on the bite of a rabid dog. [p.194]

26) "On the Causes of Constipation."

27) A commentary on Philopos' book "On a Regimen for Healthy People."

28) A commentary on some medical points in Plato's "Timaeus."

29) "On Purgative Drugs.

30) "On the Intestines."

31) "On the Improvement and Protection of the Voice."

Ibn Abū Usaybi`ah concludes: in addition, Galen wrote many books that were not found by the translators because they had been lost in the course of time, especially those mentioned in the second chapter of his catalogue, which he calls "The Pinax." He who wishes to study their titles and subjects must read that book.

Famous physicians in the period immediately after Galen were Stephen, Anchileus, Cassius and Marius, all Alexandrians. These four annotated collected, summarized and abridged Galen's books; Timaeus of Tarsus; Simri, known as al-Hilāl [the crescent] because he kept to his house, absorbed in his studies and literary work, so that people saw him only from time to time; Magnus the Alexandrian; Aribasius, the author of the Pharmacopoeia and physician of the Emperor Julian, who wrote a book for his son Eustace, in nine chapters, a book on the mixing of foods, in one chapter, and a pharmacopoeia; Paulus of Ignatia, who wrote a pharmacopoeia of theriac, and a book on the management and treatment of children; Stephen of Harran; Aribasius al-Qawābilī [the obstetrician], so named because he specialized in the treatment of women; Dioscorides the oculist, said to have been the first specialist in eye diseases; Paphalos of Athens; Aphromites the Alexandrian; Nitos, known as "the Well-informed One" because of his vast experience: Narisius the Roman, who settled in Alexandria and became one of the Alexandrians; Hieron; and Ziryabel.

Others living around that time were Philigrius, who wrote the following books:

1) "For Him Who Cannot Reach a Doctor," in one chapter. [p.195]

2) A book on the symptoms of diseases, in five chapters.

3) A treatise on gouty pains.

4) A treatise on stones.

5) A treatise on yellow water [cholera].

6) A treatise on liver pains.

7) A treatise on colic.

8) A treatise on jaundice.

9) A treatise on the nature of the womb.

10) A treatise on the sciatic nerve.

11) A treatise on the composition of salt theriac.

12) A treatise on the bite of a rabid dog.

13) A treatise on vomiting.

14) A treatise on the pathology of the gums and teeth. [p.196]


Note to the online edition: the notes marked with * were originally at the foot of each page.  The numbered notes were typed up as an appendix.  The page numbers seem to relate to Müller's edition.

[Page 1]

1. ^ 1) Literally: the decayed bones.

2. ^ 2) Qoran, XXXI, 20/19 (first number ed. Cairo, second ed. Flügel) .

3. ^ 3) Qoran, II, 253/254.

4. ^ 4) In the original text, the participles are referring to "witness", which it is impossible to imitate in the translation.

5. ^ 5) A phrase from the tradition (hadīth), cf. Lane.

6. ^ 6) i.e., to the whole mankind, meristic phrase.

7. ^ 7) i.e., the inimitable Qoran.

8. ^ 8) Literally: cut off and cauterized (medieval terms!)

9. ^ 9) Literally: dirt.

10. ^ 10) The meaning of the Arabic word is merchandise.

11. ^ 11) Browne, pp. 12 ff.

[Page 2]

12. ^ 1) i.e., on Earth, the author playing on the words for space and time.

[Page 3]

13. ^ 1) Literally: sign-posts, milestones; Sang: monuments. As the book was never written, the author's intention remains incertain as to his pointing to persons or works,

14. ^ 2) i.e., when he became aware of the lack of a book of this kind.

15. ^ 3) Most scholars have wrongly translated this as "Sources of Information".

[Page 4]

16. ^ * [A Samaritan who converted to Islam.]

1) cf. part II, pp. 234 ff., Sang., I, p. 11, n.1. He was a Samaritan converted to Islam; cf. Steinschneider, Ar. Lit., p.323.

17. ^ 2) Almost the whole of this chapter is taken up by Galen's bio-bibliography.

[Page 5]

18. ^ 1) The western part of North Africa including the Iberian peninsula.

[Page 6]

19. ^ * [The fragments of this spurious work have been collected and commented upon by F.Rosenthal: "An Ancient Commentary on the Hippocratic Oath." (BHM, xxx, 1956, pp. 52-87).]

1) This is the form of the title appearing here, cf. Hunain, No. 87. The fragments of this spurious work have been collected and commmented upon by F. Rosenthal, An ancient commentary on the Hippocratic Oath (BHM, XXX, 1956, pp.52-87). The various excerpts from the text contained in this book have been indicated at the of their occurring. The present fragment is Rosenthal's B,1 b, where its quotation by Ishāq Ibn Hunain (cf. Rosenthal. Oriens, VII, 1954, pp. 55 ff.) is compared throughout. In some details we have made use of Rosenthal's interpretations.

20. ^ 2) The three words following obviously have been erroneously repeated from the next line; also Rosenthal, p. 55 , n. 11 deletes them here.  [Note to the online edition: the manuscript gives no indication as to where this footnote should be inserted.  The location in the online text is arbitrary.]

[Page 7]

21. ^ 1) Literally: Analogists, another name for Dogmatists, see Galen, De sectis (I, p. 65).

22. ^ 2) Thessalus of Tralles in Caria (Anatolia), founder of the Methodist school of physicians in Nero's time, cf. below, p. 34.

23. ^ 3) The text has Philon; Philinus, the name of the founder of the Empiric school, was suggested by Sanguinetti and accepted by Rosenthal.

24. ^ 4) cf. Maimonides, no. 353.

25. ^ 5) On Hermes as the inventor of crafts and sciences see below, p. 16 f.

26. ^ 6) In other recensions Qūlūs. This word also appears in the Fihrist, p. 286 1. 12, where it seems to be identified with Qū(los). Rosenthal adopted therefore the reading Cos, cf. his remarks, p. 57 n. 18. But Cos appears a few lines later on.

27. ^ 7) Note that the author derives the healing of physical diseases from curing the body, contrary to the view generally accepted by the ancients. Perhaps the text is to be emended.

[Page 8]

28. ^ 1)i.e. the Asclepiadic school of physicians.

29. ^ 2) Satureia Thymbra L., cf. Maimonides, no. 319 b.

30. ^ 3) Rosenthal suggests Etruria, cf. his remarks, p.59 n. 24.

[Page 9]

31. ^ 1) The following quotation was erroneously omitted by Rosenthal. [Note to the online edition: the numeral "1" written on the manuscript is followed by "?"]

32. ^ 2) cf. Introduction, and below, Vol. II, pp. 175-181. [Note to the online edition: the point to insert this footnote is not indicated in the manuscript: this location is arbitrary.]

33. ^ 3) Unknown.

[Page 10]

34. ^ 1) This is the first of a number of remarks by Ibn al-Matrān interrupting Abu Jābir's argument.

35. ^ * [An allusion to the first Hippocratic Aphorism: Vita brevis, ars longa.]

2) An allusion to the first Hippocratic Aphorism: Vita brevis, ars longa.

[Page 12]

36. ^ 1) The following three lines are Rosenthal's fragment B 1 a, p. 54.

37. ^ * [On the use of the two different names (oath and covenant) see Rosenthal, p. 54, and passim. ]

2) On the use of two different names (oath and Covenant) see Rosenthal, p, 54, end of part A, and passim.

38. ^ 3) There is no such passage in the "Republic". For Aesculapius see below, pp. 15 ff.

[Page 13]

39. ^ 1) Literally: probe,

[Page 14]

40. ^ 1) The author uses the same phrases as on p. 13, lower half.

[Page 15]

41. ^ 1) Namely, that man discovered medicine by experience and methodical thought, not by divine inspiration.

42. ^ 2) The nephew and pupil of the great translator Hunain, see below, p. 202. None of his own medical works has been found so far. The earliest quotation of the story occurs, in al-Tabari, p. 445. The version related in Jābir's poison book was completely distorted by A. Siggel, Das Buch der Giftecdes Gabir Ibn Hayyan, 1958, p. 84; Siggel also wrongly adds the name of Andromachus which does not occur in Jābir's text.

43. ^ 3) Obviously the author himself, for Ibn al-Matran's report continues on the following page.

44. ^ * [Cf. Galen, De purgantium medicamentorum facultate.]

4) cf. Galen, De purgantium medicamentorum facilitate (XI, pp. 336-338) = Ed. J. Ehlert Göttingen, phil. diss., 1959, pp. 15-16. V=(I wish to express my thanks to Prof. K. Deichgoabev for kindly providing me with a Xerox copy of the typed text edited by his pupil,) The Arabic translation was made by Isā Ibn Yahyā (Hunain, no. 44).In the Greek text, the blindfolding was done by order  of the "{blank}"; perhaps the {blank} (awara is to be {blank} instead of amavtu).

45. ^ 5) Not known from elsewhere.

46. ^ 6) Se`ard, Sirt, a town south-west of lake Van, see EI, .v. Se`ard.

47. ^ 7) or: near the hippodrome (Sang.).

[Page 16]

48. ^ 1) Namely, in the phase of development indicated above, p. 7 middle.

49. ^ 2) This is the gist of a story related in Jābir's poison book (Siggel, p. 83 f,) allegedly quoted from Galen in the name of Andromachus; but in Galen's extant books, which, by the way, are spurious, no such story occurs (cf. vol. XIV). Jāpir's account also in al-Antāki , s.v. tiryāq.

50. ^ 3) Arab. giyār; the same rendering was adopted by L. Richter-Bernburg, him e arabishe Version der pseudogalenischen Schrift De Reriace ad Pisoman (Sökingen, phil. diss. 1969) -3- 1 of. p. 117, n. 4.

[Page 17]

51. ^ 1) No such book is known. Its name does not occur in U's list of Galen's books either.

[Page 19]

52. ^ 1) We have been unable to verify this tradition.

53. ^ 2) This passage was already edited and translated by D. Chwolson, Die Ssabier, 1856, vol.11, p. 601. See also J. Bidef - F. Cumont, les mages hellenises, 1938 I, th. III; Les quatre livres II.

54. ^ 3) These two names of the inhabitants of Babylonia appear side by side although there is no substantial difference between them. See A. Baumstark, PW, s.v. Chaldaioi.

55. ^ 4) Literally: Hermes of Hermesses, a name often used in this kind of literature.

[Page 20]

56. ^ 1) The tradition on Hermes occurs in a more elaborate form later on.

57. ^ 2) On the medieval translations into European languages of this famous book see F. Rosenthal, Oriens, XIII-XIV, 1961, pp. 132 ff., with a list of the many quotations in our book, pp. 145-147. For the present quotation see A. Badawi's edition, 1958, p. 233, 1. 1-9.

58. ^ 3) See Introduction, and below, p. 321.

59. ^ 4) Yahyā Ibn Adī, a Christian philosopher and author (died 973 A. D.) see below, p. 235.

60. ^ 5) The Arabic spelling of the names points to oral tradition, and the genealogy is contaminated from Gen,IV, 18 ff. and V, 25 ff. In the former place the sons of Lamech appear as inventors of various arts.

61. ^ 6) cf. Qoran, XXXVI, 105.

[Page 21]

62. ^ 1) Galen, De curandi ratione per venae sectionem (XI, p. 314) .

63. ^ 2) That is our fourth hour after noon

[Page 22]

64. ^ 1) Galen, De methodo medendi. (vol.X, p. 971). The Arabic translation shows some inaccuracies

65. ^ 2) Rosenthal, p. 60, fragm, B 1 c.

66. ^ 3) kunnash = collection points to his Iatrikai synagogai (CMG, VI), but the story was not found there

[Page 23]

67. ^ 1) Text safraghān; Ibn al-Baitār, s.v., identifies the name with trghlwdhys (troglodytes), and under this heading one reads two explanations transmitted from al-Razī, one of them renders the name "Frankish safraghum" (from al-Hawi, known as "Continens :) . Ibn al-Baitār quotes in this connection Dioscorides: ossifragus (ed. Wellmann, II 53), which means fishing-eagle. Dioscorides speaks of its power of crushing stones. However, both explanations appear to be incompatible.

68. ^ 2) Obviously one of the Fatimids before the conquest of Egypt.

69. ^ 3) Unknown.

[Page 24]

70. ^ 1) Qoran, XXIV, 35; Bell's translation.

71. ^ 2) The commentary on De sectis exists in MS Escorial 847.

72. ^ 3) This place (Vol. X, p. 529) has nothing to do with our subject.

73. ^ 4) Schacht-Meyerhof (see next note): "Here! I forgot the kind of headache from which you are suffering." Also Sanguinetti reads the verb in the first person.

74. ^ 5) This passage was translated by J. Schacht and M. Meyerhof, the medico-philosophical controversy between Ibn Butlān of Baghdad and Ibn Ridwān of Cairo (Cairo, 1937), p. 49. Some expressions have been taken from there.

75. ^ 6) Avenzoar, cf. Sarton IHS, II, pp. 231 ff., and below, Vol. II, pp. 66-67.

76. ^ 7) cf. Lane, I, p. 157, s.v. dam buhrānī.

77. ^ 8) Neither the Arabic text nor any translation was available in Jerusalem.

[Page 25]

78. ^ 1) In fact, it was the elder Andromachus, the physician of the emperor Nero, as stated by Galen, De Antidotis (Vol. XIV). The first of the three stories following appears there in a different form and as experienced by Galen himself. No proper names are mentioned it it. In Jābir's Book of Poisons (Siggel, p. 85) the story is likewise related to Andromachus.

79. ^ 2) Bwrnws, as given in the text, does not make sense. Perhaps Panarmus (Bnwrmws), a seaport in Crete (Plinius, IV, 12, 20)9 Andromachus was a Cretan.

80. ^ 3) A large glazed earthen pot.

[Page 26]

81. ^ 1) The variants appearing in the MSS prevent a decision. Müller, in the text, read Apollonius; afterwards, in the app.crit., he favoured Procopius.

82. ^ 2) Literally: fainting.

[Page 27]

83. ^ 1) Spelling uncertain. Müller guessed Iulius (Nero)

[Page 28]

84. ^ 1) The conclusion does not seem convincing.

[Page 30]

85. ^ 1) The same story appears below, p. 256 f. in the biography of Muwaffaq al-din Abu Tāhir, and in al-Tanukhi, al-Faraj ba`d alshidda, Cairo, 1375/1955, p. 321,already quoted by Browne, p. 77f.

86. ^ 2) The consonants are flwlh. Müller hesitates to accept Sanguinetti's suggestion, Apollon. E.J. and L. Edelstein, Asclepius, 1945, do not quote any suitable name. In the parallel version of the story, below, p. 309, the name is spelled 'flwln.

87. ^ 3) See Müller Uber text and Spredigebraeuh, p. 951, v.v. Dalila. [Note to the online edition: The evidently corrupt footnote is as given in the manuscript.]

88. ^ 4) The translation follows Kopf's emendation ushqiya; but, when reading ashfā (Müller).one could think of an abbreviation of the phrase ashfa alā haffat al-ya s "to be on the brink of despair", cf.Wehr.

89. ^ 5) On this book, not edited so far, see Kraus, Jābir, II, p. 63 n. 5.

[Page 31]

90. ^ 1) This habit of the swallow is also related by Auhad al-Zamān Abu 1-Barakat Hibat Allāh Ibn Malka, al-Mu tabar, II, 1358, p. 282. The author is expressly quoted below, p. 14.

91. ^ 2) See the numerous parallels collected by Kraus, Jābir, II, p. 72, and some additions in Picatrix, p.404 n. 4.

92. ^ 3) See Kraus, l.c., p. 67 n. 4 and Picatrix, p. 403 n.4. Ps.Galen, De Theriaca ad Pisonem, transl. L. Richter-Bernburg, p. 112 relates that the fennel serves them as food.

[Page 32]

93. ^ 1) This account is a contamination of two places in Ps. Galenic books. The story told here appears literally in Latin translation ap. Chartier, t.XIII, p. 1013; his source is a Hebrew translation made by Kalonymos Ben Kalonymos (Steinschneider, Hebr. Uebers., p. 653) A different Latin translation from the same source exists in the famous Dresden Latin Galen and was edited by Hugo Reich, Die Schriften de usu farmacorum und De clisteribus et colica in der Dresdner lateinischen Galenhandschrift (Leipzig, med. diss., 1921, typescrypt; I wish to thank the Institut fur Geschichte der Medizin, Leipzig, for kindly providing me with a xerox copy through the good offices of Dr. G. Strohmaier, Corpus Medicorum Graecorum, Berlin). Another version expressly taking the ibis as teacher of enemas appears in the Introduction sive medicus (Kuhn, XIV, p. 675, other parallels ap. W. Artelt, Studien zur Geschichte der Begriffe "Heilmittel" und "Gift", 1937, repr. 1968, p. 7 n. 2). Herodotus himself gives a general description of the ibis without mentioning its alleged use of enemas (II 76), and in the following paragraph the use of enemas by the Egyptians, without reference to the foregoing description of the bird. - Our story is also told in al-Mu`tabar by Auhad al-zamān, II, 282, but instead of "ibis" merely "a bird" is quoted.

94. ^ 2) Uncertain; Sanguinetti suggested dryops, a kind of woodpecker.

[Page 33]

95. ^ 1) siraj, as printed in the text, was replaced in Müller's preface, p. XXXIX, by suruj, according to all MSS but one.

96. ^ 2) Probably the well-known stronghold of the Crusaders in Jordan, but there are other places of this name.

[Page 34]

97. ^ 1) In the text appear Persian equivalents for both names, cf. Maimonides, no. 242.

98. ^ 2) The story is actually related in Dioscorides, III 32; in Dubler's Arabic text also the Persian translation of the name is given.

99. ^ 3) This person appears in several places as an informant of our author.

100. ^ 4) Sanguinetti quotes Aelianus, De nat. anim., I 37, where the enemy is the bat, and the leaves of the plane-tree. The same protection is used by the vulture for his already living young, cf. Picatrix, p. 406, and the literature quoted there (n. 1).

101. ^ 5) cf. above, p. 31 n.l. The story is related on the page quoted there.

102. ^ 6) ibid., p. 283.

[Page 35]

103. ^ 1) ibid. The same is said by Abu Hayyan al-Tauhīdī, cf. the English translation by L. Kopf, Osiris, XII, 1956, p. 416 (other Greek and Arabic parallels in the footnote). [Note to the online edition: the pencilled number in the text is marked with a ?]

104. ^ 2) ibid.

105. ^ 3) ibid., and Kopf, l. c. Perhaps better "thyme", cf. Maimonides, no. 319.

106. ^ 4) ibid., p.285. [Note to the online edition: the pencilled number in the text is marked with a ?]

[Page 36]

107. ^ 1) cf. Alfarabi's Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, tr. by Muhsin Mahdi, 1962,part 1: The Attainment of Happiness (Tahsil al-sa ada), especially para 15 ff.

108. ^ 2) Uncertain; the syntax of this sentence seems somewhat disturbed.

109. ^ 3) al-siyar al mukhalifa; Sanguinetti: les manieres de vivres defavourables ; Müller, probably rightly: zweckwidrige Staatseinrichtungen, cf. al-Farabi, Aphorisms the statesman, ed. Dunlop, 1961, para 93.

[Page 38]

110. ^ 1) cf. below, p. 207.

111. ^ 2) See D. Pingree, The Thousands of Abu Ma'shar, 1968, and our Introduction.

112. ^ 3) The quotation was first translated by J. Lippert, WZKM, IX, 1895, p. 353, who obviously held that it ends here (see next note). His rendering of muluk al-tawā if as "Diadochen" seems hardly acceptable; Abu Ma'shar may well have heard of the ancient Greek city-kings.

113. ^ 4) Abu Mashar's report was summarized by Pingree, p.18. Pingree reads Lyuliyus and renders the last sentence as follows: "Julius was the first to unite the Greek kings into the kingdom of Ionia" (not "the town of Ionia", and taking min as a complement of the verb, not as explanation of man). If he is right, the "dictator Julius" stands for the Roman Empire, and in this case Pingree's mockery (n. 3) at Abu Ma'shar's historical knowledge is even less justified. - By the way, it is not certain that the last sentence belongs to the quotation from Abu Mashar; see Lippert, above, n. 5.

114. ^ 5) See above, p. 20 n.3

115. ^ 6) This book of his seems to be lost.

116. ^ 7) If this transliteration means Zeus, it should have been said "grandson",

117. ^ 8) Literally: "belly", apparently his descendant in the sixteenth generation.

[Page 39]

118. ^ * [Probably Lycurgus. ]

1) Probably Lycurgus, see below, p. 40 n. 5.

119. ^ 2) For this etymology, see Rosenthal's collection of references in note 36 of his above-mentioned paper.

120. ^ 3) Askla = aigle, cf. U. von Wilamowitz-Mollendorf, Isyllos von Epidauros, 1886, pp. 40 ff., and Der kleine Pauly, I, 1964, s.v.Asklepios. Other quotations see Rosenthal, note 38, and Ibn Juljul, p. 11.

121. ^ 4) No Syriac book of this kind is known.

122. ^ 5) This sentence seemingly reflects the widespread stories about discoveries in temples of written revelations.

123. ^ 6) Edelstein, text no. 458.

124. ^ 7) We were unable to trace a statement to that effect either in the book quoted or elsewhere. Nor has Edelstein anything of that kind.

[Page 40]

125. ^ 1) Cf. Ritter's Einfuhrung to Picatrix.

126. ^ 2) This passage.was already translated by G. Levi della Vida, La traduzione arabe delle storie di Orosio (Fontes Ambrosiani, XXVII = Miscellanea G. Galbiati, III, 1951), p. 189, n. 4 of p. 188. The last sentence was rendered by him, contrary to the Arabic text: La religione dei Romani prima del Cristianesimo consisteva ne culto degli astri (kabl understood as adverb, not as preposition). Sanguinetti suggested qibal "La religion des Chretiens existait a Rome, a cote (ou en face) du culte des astres." As Levi della Vida already stated, the passage does not exist in Orosius.

127. ^ 3) Literally: angel.

128. ^ 4) read minni, cf. Bergstrasser, Hunain ibn Ishak und seine Schule, 1913, p. 4 n.

129. ^ 5) Protrepticus, IX 22, Edelstein, text no. 245 and vol. II, p. 115 n. 15. The subsequent verses, which bear the most striking similarity to the report of our author, are addressed to Syourgus (also in Herod. I 65)., as also Delkin observed. See also Lycurgus' biography in Plutarchus, Ch. XXXI, and cf. above, p. 39 n. 1.

130. ^ 6) Edelstein, text nol 121 (from Ps, Eratosthenes). Ibn Juljul, p. 11 wrongly refers the story to Hippocrates' Oath.

[Page 41]

131. ^ 1) The place in Plato's Leges alluded to does not exist.

132. ^ 2) Plato, Rep., III 407-8 (Edelstein, nos. 124,143).

133. ^ 3) Ed. Badawi, p. 2 8 1. 2-3.

134. ^ 4) Mub. and Ibn al-Qifti, p. 21. 3 read Tirmis, but the reading of our text occurs in the Arabic original of the Tabula Smaragdina, cf. Plessner, der Islam, XVI (1927), p. 100 at the beginning of the variants. The word is obviously a distortion of trismegistus.

135. ^ 5) cf. Genesis V 3 ff

136. ^ 6) al-Mubashshir p, 71, 4 from below to the bottom, in a slightly different arrangement.

137. ^ 7) ibid., p. 8 1. 8.

138. ^ 8) Gen V 23.

[Page 42]

139. ^ 1) literally: of perfect arms' length.

140. ^ 2) Mub., p.l01. 3-7.

141. ^ 3) Mub., p. 81. 1-5 tells the above within the context of Hermes' biography, not mentioning his name; the name of Aesculapius was obviously added by arranging his excerpts.

142. ^ 4) Mub. 44 paenult, of Hippocrates, another example of our author's confounding the tradition.

143. ^ 5) Sanguinetti inserts a report by Ibn al-Matrān which according to Müller, appears in MS Paris, Suppl. ar 674 (i) and also in Nicholson's MS (n) on the margin, whereas cod. Monac. Prun, (c) includes it in the text, but some lines later on. As Müller only prints the beginning of this marginal note, which in Sanguinetti's translation fills a whole page, we were unable to render it and must refer the reader to Sang.

144. ^ 6) The text has Lahjad, already corrected by E.F. Seybold, ZDMG, LV (1903), p. 807. The whole matter was discussed anew by D. Pingree, l.c., p. 14 ff., where also part of our text is given in translation. Pingree does not refer to A. Christensen's suggestion that the text speaks of a son of Hoshang whose name was distorted (Les types du premier homme, II, 1934, p. 110).

145. ^ 7) i.e., the Sābians of Harran (Carrhae).

146. ^ 8) cf. also Sven S. Hartmann, Gayomart (1953), p, 107. It is worth mentioning that al-Mutahhar b. Tahir al-Maqdisī, k. al-bad wa-1-ta rikh (see Hartmann, p. 134) expressly dates Gayomart after the Flood.

[Page 43]

147. 1) One of the prophets who preceded Muhammad mentioned in the Qur'an.  [Note to the online edition: there is no indication in the text where this footnote should be inserted.]

148. ^ 2) literally: night and day; on the order in Semitic languages see A. Fischer, "Tag und Nacht" im Arabischen und die semitische Tagesberechnung (Abhandlungen der philol.-histor.Klasse der Sachs.Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften, vo. XXVII no. 21, 1909).

149. ^ 3) Obviously, Ibn al-Qifti's readings, hayakil for hunaljk (where) and barābī for turab (mud) are preferable. The sentence would then mean: "and he built the sanctuaries of the pyramids and the temple towns"; but cf. Pingree, p. 15.

150. ^ 4) Müller is right in deleting the following four words as an ancient marginal note which subsequently was included in the text. Pingree does not refer to Müller's emendation.

151. ^ 5) Sura XUC 57.- Sanguinetti here translates another addition (6 lines) of which Müller again notes the first words only.

[Page 44]

152. ^ 1) This reading, one among many possible ones, was preferred by Müller because of its supposed similarity to Nasirbal. Ibn Juljul, p.8, has Nabriz Bani; ībn al-Qifti, p. 346 omits the passage. Cf. also Pingree, n. 17 and F. Sayyid's attempt of an explanation in n. 4 on p. 9 of his ībn Juljul edition.

153. ^ 2) Gen. X 8-11.

154. ^ * [Literally borders; "teem" is a Qur'ānic term for punishments of prescribed measure. ]

3) literally: borders, in Qur'anic language a term for punishments of prescribed measure. Our translation is only hypothetical, see Wehr's Dictionary, s.v. hadd.

155. ^ 4) literally: natures.

156. ^ 5) The whole account of the three Hermeses was translated by M. Plessner, Hermes Trismegistus and Aran science (Studia Islamica, II, 1954, p. 51 f.), where also a historical analysis is attempted. See also EL NE, s.v. Hirmis.

157. ^ 6) One would expect annahū instead of an; Kopf therefore translated: He was so successful that.

[Page 45]

158. ^ 1) Cf. Edelstein, II, pp. 40 ff. and the texts mentioned in the notes.

159. ^ 2) This expression replaces Zeus, see Edelstein, II, pp. 67 ff.: The divine myth.

160. ^ 3) The pagan "gods" is here replaced by "angels", see above.

161. ^ 4) i.e., Johannes Philoponus. About his History and Ishaq Ibn Hunain's dependance upon it see P. Rosenthal, Oriens, VII (1954), pp. 55 ff.

162. ^ 5) This sentence also in Ishaq's History, cf. Rosenthal, l.c., p.70 (translated).

163. ^ 6) cf. Edelstein, II, pp. 53 ff.; Asclepius, the hero of physicians.

164. ^ 7) cf. Above, p. 44 n.4, but, on the other hand, Ishaq, l.c., p. 70 f.

165. ^ 8) On these two sons, Mavhaon and Podalirius, and their role in the Isiad see Edelstein,II, pp. 1 ff.

166. ^ 9) See below, pp. 215 ff. The source of the present quotation is unknown.

[Page 46]

167. ^ 1) Here a lacune must be assumed; Sanguinetti's "l'art medical reposat tout entier jusqu'a ce que sur Hippocrate" is impossible. He himself thought it necessary to reproduce the Arabic text in a note.

168. ^ 2) This etymology was mentioned above.- The present quotation from Galen's Commentary is Rosenthal's fragment B 2e, p. 64 f. He translates laghz "allegorical" instead of "mythical", see his elaborate discussion of the matter in note 40. His argument could not make us to alternate the standard translation, see also Picatrix, p. 292, nn. 3 and 7, with addendum, p. 427

169. ^ 3) Coronis as Phlegyas' daughter already in Hesiod., fr. 123 (Edelstein, I, text 22, and II, pp. 34 ff.). The admittedly questionable redaction of the text, in which Aesculapius appears as son of Phlegyas and Coronis, can hardly be saved by Rosenthal's suggestion to read muhadhdhibaihi instead of mahdiyatihi, "the son of Phlegyas and Coronis who both took care of him"; see his note 42.

[Page 47]

170. ^ 1) The author ascribes to Homer the etymology itself, but in fact it is found in a scholium in Homerum, cf. Edelstein., text 270, and Rosenthal, n. 44.

171. ^ 2) The author obviously means phlegma, which in medical writing is also used for inflammation, see Liddell-Scott, s.v. The verb is phlegein, the usual noun phlox.

172. ^ 3) This etymology connects the name with korennymi, as already Sang, observed. The Greek texts themselves refer the name to her beauty (Edelstein, text 32); actually it is spelled Coronis, which seemed to allude to korone "crown".

173. ^ 4) Obviously Aesculapius.

174. ^ 5) Müller considers the last five words an old gloss; but Rosenthal translates them and places them between "man" and "gets satiated".

[Page 48]

175. ^ 1) see above.

176. ^ 2) The somewhat tortuous styling of the phrase is due to Hunain's intention to allude to the well-known Platonic saying that the aim of philosophy is the assimilation of man to God as far as he is able to do so.

177. ^ 3) This part of Galen's text and Hunain's commentary was translated into German by G. Strohmaier, Die griechischen Gotter in einer christlich-arabischen Uebersetzung (F. Altheim-R. Stiehl, Die Araber in der alten Welt, V I [1968], p. 157.

[Page 49]

178. ^ 1) Remenber Galen's treatise that the good physician must be a philosopher as well.

179. ^ 2) In fact, many statues of Aesculapius show an usually great part of undressed body, cf. the examples in K. Kerenyi, Der gottliche Arzt (1964), also G. Sarton, A History of Science, [I], (1952), pp. 389-391.

180. ^ 3) Arab. shu'ab, but in the description preserved in Ibn Aahshiya's Nabataean Agriculture Aesculapius (he is there named Shifahi, obviously = the Healing!) holds a staff with uqad=knots, cf. Festus, De verborum significatu (Edelstein, text 691): bacillum habet nodosum! Ibn Wahshiya's version is quoted in Picatrix, Arab. p. 355, cf. the translation, p. 370 with notes. (The transliteration Shafahi), 1859 introduced by Chwolson, should be altered, cf. above).

181. ^ 4) see below, Hunain's remark.

182. ^ 5) Rosenthal, n. 65, has excellently identified this phrase as the Homeric verses Iliad, 244, 343-4=Od. 5, 47-8=24,3-4. (The holder of the staff is, of course, Hermes, not Zeus). The Arabic "gladdens" (yuqirru a'yun, literally "cools the eyes") is an attempt to imitate the Greek phrase onmata thelgei "entrances the eyes" (G. Highet's translation).

183. ^ 6) Mark the silent correction of the false expression "tree".

[Page 50]

184. ^ 1) The Greek name is althaia, which Dioscorides, III 146 derives from althainein "to cure". It was this etymology that caused the author of the commentary to describe the staff as made from the marsh-mallow "tree"; the Greek sources extant, naturally, say nothing of it. By the way, in Ibn Juljul's History of physicians, p. 12, the story is related to Hippocrates; immediately after it, Hunain's description of the healing power of the marsh-mallow is attributed to Galen himself. Ibn al-Qifti, p. 10 l. 17 ff. reproduces Ibn Juljul's report in full.

185. ^ 2) literally "dragon", and so at all other places in the following text.

186. ^ 3) As Sanguinetti has already stated, this is the opening sentence of the Prognostic. Its Arabic translation by Hunain was published by M. Klamroth, ZDMG, 40 (1886), pp. 204 ff. It was studied anew by Bengt Alexanderson, Die hippokratische Schrift Prognostikon, Ueberlieferung und Text (Goteborg, 1963), pp. 156 ff., and in the apparatus criticus of his edition, pp. 193-231. Our Translation keeps as close as possible to W.H.S. Jones' from the Greek (Loeb Classical Library, 1923), p. 7, As the author of our commentary quotes Hippocrates only as far as his words are relevant in his context, the sentence remains unfinished; it appears in full later on, in our author's account of Hippocrates' Book, below, p. 31.

187. ^ 4) Müller's "Herodotus" is contradicted by many MSS, the reading which was indicated by Sang. is "Ibrodiqtes", i.e., in his view, a corruption of Herodicus (not, as Rosenthal, n. 75, erroneously quotes, Herophilus) , Hippocrates' teacher. But as we have no indication of him having lived an extra ordinarily long time, the meaning of the second name remains obscure; Rosenthal's suggestion "Perdiccas" (II, son of Alexander I of Macedonia, 454-4 13 B.C.)

[Page 51]

188. ^ 1) cf. Rosenthal, n. 76.

189. ^ 2) ibid., n. 81.

190. ^ 3) ibid., n. 83.

[Page 52]

191. ^ 1) cf. al-Beruni, India, transl. Sachau, I, p. 222 (Rosenthal, fr. B 2 c, p. 63 with explanatory note 35).

192. ^ 2) cf. al-Beruni, I, p. 35 and Rosenthal's fr. B 2 a, p. 60, and note 28.

193. ^ 3) Rosenthal, p. 72, takes the participle as passive: "is dried out".

194. ^ 4) Kopf's excellent correction yarwuna instead of yarauna "they are of the opinion" is evident, although not extant in any manuscript.

[Page 53]

195. ^ 1) cf. "cereals", Ceres being the Latin name of Demeter. The author obviously alludes to the etymology familiar in antiquity Demeter = Gemeter -"Mother Earth", see Der kleine Pauly, s.v. Demeter.

196. ^ 2) Rosenthal, n. 91, points to hygiaineon men ariston in Plato's Gorgias, 451E and elsewhere.

197. ^ 3) Rosenthal, n. 92, has the evident correction ayyuha instead of annaha. See also his remarks on abrar (here rendered "blessed") with regard to the Greek original, Poetae Lyrici Graeci, III.595-597 (by Ariphron of Sicyum).

198. ^ 4) Since the verb does not occur without complement, we propose to add li-khairik.

199. ^ 5) We read, contrary to Müller's vocalization, but in accordance with Sanguinetti and Rosenthal, ai "i.e.".

200. ^ 6) We prefer, with Sanguinetti and Rosenthal, mulk rather than milk "property" (as Kopf read), cf. also Rosenthal, n. 95, who quotes almost identical verses by Ariphron and Licymnius (1. isodaimonos anthropois balileodos arkhas!) .

[Page 54]

201. ^ 1) cf. Rosenthal's quotations, p. 74 n. 97.

202. ^ 2) One would expect huwa instead of hiya, cf. Müller, Text, p. 926.

203. ^ 3) 1. wa-yasihh. n. 101, on the wordly, not theological.

204. ^ 4) cf. Rosenthal, signification of this word in our place.

205. ^ 5) Hygieia from hygrotes, cf, Rosenthal's quotations, p. 76 n. 102.

[Page 55]

206. ^ 1) This is the end of Rosenthal's fragment B 2 e, which began on p. {blank}

207. ^ 2) Ed. Badawi, p. 28 f. Although our text is better in several places, it has obviously not been compared by him.

208. ^ 3) literally: the days.

[Page 56]

209. ^ 1) The readings of both names are corrupt in our text; Müller's suggestion,which we adopted, was meanwhile justified by Ibn Juljul, p. 15, and Ibn al-Qifti, p. 72.

210. ^ 2) The reading "Greece" in Ibn Juljul seems more likely; the difference can be explained by graphical reasons.

211. ^ 3) The variants in the manuscripts of our text, in Ibn Juljul and Ibn al-Qiftī are considerable, none of them pointing to one of the names connected in the legends with the invention of the Greek alphabet (see D. Diringer, The Alphabet, 2nd ed. reprinted, 1953, p. 450 f.).

[Page 57]

212. ^ 1) Jud.IV-V; the reading Barak is distorted in our text, but confirmed by both Ibn Juljul and Ibn al-Qifti.

213. ^ 2) This list of six Asclepiads also occurs in Abu Sulaiman al-Mantiqi's Siwan alhikma, MS Istanbul, Murad Molla 1408. fol. {blank}, Qifti, p. 13. The whole passage, as stated in these two sources, stems from John the Grammarian (Yahya al-Nahwī, Johannes Philoponus), cf. F. Rosenthal, Oriens, VII, 1954, pp. 56 ff. As the work of John needs a reconstruction on the basis of the excerpts preserved in these sources and the Fihrist, he only occasionally used those sources, namely, where with their help the correct names can be regained.

214. ^ 3) The following pages contain a great many Greek physicians. As far as their identity cannot be doubted, the real Greek names have been inserted even where the Arabic transliteration would suggest a different pronounciation. For less well-known physicians references have been noted. Where the identity is not fully certain, question marks have been added. All other names appear in literal transcription of the Arabic consonants. (It should be kept in mind that at the beginning of a name may be read with any of the vowels, while in the middle or at the end of a word it can denote a w and y can mean u or au and i or ai respectively.)

215. ^ 4) A physician of this name is quoted by Galen; our text omits the i.

216. ^ 5) This is the reading given in Müller's text; there are several physicians bearing this name. We rather should prefer the reading Chryses, who was one of Hippocrates' ancestors.

217. ^ 6) This name also occurs in the list of alchemists given in the Fihrist, p. 353, cf. J.W.Fuck, Ambix, IV, 1951, p. 92, no. 30, with note, p. 120.

218. ^ 7) This criticism is rather amusing, in view of the horrible distortion of chronology commited by John himself throughout the whole chapter, cf. also our author's remarks, below, p. 61, and Rosenthal, p. 77 n. 2 .

[Page 58]

219. ^ 1) This name,which occurs several times in this context, was, for the sake of convenience, rendered with vowels, which are, of course, hypothetical.

220. ^ 2) Cf. p. 57 n. 2.

221. ^ 3) The following was translated by Rosenthal, l. c., pp. 75 from the version preserved in Ishaq Ibn Hunain's History of Physicians.

222. ^ * [No medical namesake of the famous Eleatic philosopher is known.]

4) No medical namesake of the famous Eleatic philosopher is known.

223. ^ 5) A physician of this name appears in Galen's De compositione medicamentorum secundum locos, VII (ed. Kuhn, vol. XIII, p. 60); the Arabic tradition concerning him is listed in Steinschneider, Virchow's Archiv, CXXIV (1891), p. 477, cf. also Ibn al-Qifti, p. 55.

224. ^ 6) The same list also in the Fihrist, p. 287 f., and Siwan al-hikma.

[Page 59]

225. ^ 1) See above, p. 58 , n. 5.

226. ^ 2) The grandfather of the great Hippocrates.

[Page 60]

227. ^ 1) There are several physicians of this name.

228. ^ 2) One would expect Mthyn ws, or the "Elder" mentioned on the foregoing page should be spelled Mnyth'ws.

229. ^ 3) This is obviously the correct reading instead of Dhywfyl in Müller's text, see immediately.

230. ^ 4) It is hardly necessary to point out that this account of the rise of the three main sects in Greek medicine, Empiricists, Dogmatists, Methodists is, from the chronological point of view, as untenable as the whole genealogy of ancient physicians presented here.

[Page 61]

231. ^ 1) If Apollonius Biblas of Antioch (ca. 100 B.C.) is meant (cf. K. Deichgraber, Die griechische Empirikerschule, 1930, repr., 1965, p. 172), the punctuation should be altered into [']bfls.

232. ^ 2) This reading, only extant in Müller's app. Crit., seems preferable to Fylnbs of the text, for Philippus would have been written without y (replaced by u). On Philinus see already above p. 7 with n. 3.

233. ^ 3) Deichgraber, l.c., p. 409, quotes from one of those passages in Galen's commentary on Epidemics VI only preserved in Hunain's Arabic translation (CMG V 10,2,2, p. 212) a certain MNSNSUS, who might be the same person.

234. ^ 4) cf. Celsus, VI 9.

235. ^ 5) See Diller, PW, s.v.

236. ^ 6) The author's criticism is directed against the existence of the pre-Hippocratic books, but had better been directed against John's chronological ignorance, which caused Müller to doubt the authenticity of John's report, and Meyerhof to ascribe all this to our author himself (Joannes Grammatikos [Philoponos] von Alexandrien und die arabishce Medizin, Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archaologischen Instituts fur agyptische A1tertumskunde in Kairo, II, 1, 1931, pp. 13-15). See above, p. 57 with n. 7. It may be remarked that John's genealogy of physicians has features in common with the Biblical genealogies from Adam to Noah (Gen V) and from Noah to Abraham (Gen XI 10-32).

237. ^ 7) From here, John's report continues, but our author failed to mark it.

[Page 62]

238. ^ 1) See above, p. 25 with n. 1.

239. ^ 2) Probably the father of Hippocrates.

240. ^ 3) Müller already suggested Philagrius.

241. ^ 4) cf. Pape-Benseler, Worterbuch der griechischen Eigennamen, 1911, I. p. 470a about this name appearing in Hippocr. Epid., 2,2,14.

242. ^ 5) Diog. Laert. VIII, 1,47 (Loeb); Plinius, XIX, 30, 94 (Loeb) identifies him with the philosopher.

243. 6) The last two names already appeared before in the same list.  [Note to the online edition: no insertion point is indicated for this footnote.]

244. ^ 7) One of Galen's authoritier in anatomy.

245. ^ 8) To be corrected into Heraclides.

246. ^ 9) Rosenthal, p. 77, suggested Megareus; a physician named Megareus is quoted Hippocr. Epid. 4, 20.

247. ^ 10) Rosenthal's suggestion Euergus, although supported by Hippocr. Epid. 7,55 (perhaps a corruptela of Eueygetes, cf. Pape-Benseler,s.vv.) seems unlikely for graphical reasons.

[Page 63]

248. ^ 1) The author alludes to John the Grammarian's genealogical statement partly reproduced in the foregoing chapter.

[Page 64]

249. ^ 1) Some of the Greek sources read Cleomyttades; Müller's suggestion Dleomontades according to the Arabic is unfounded.

250. ^ 2) This passage is, as the figures prove, a literal quotation from the second Pseudo-Hippocratic letter. See also H. Schoebe, Bruchstucke einer neuen Hippokratesvita (Rheinisches Museum, LVIII, 1903, p. 63.)

251. ^ 3) This statement confirms the version of the second Pseudo-Hippocratic letter, while the common tradition omits Praxithea and makes Hippocrates a son of Phaenarete, The letter version alone is given in PW, s.v. Hippokrates. If it is right, the physician's mother is a namesake of Socrates' mother!

252. ^ 4) This expression substitutes the wording of the letter: "from gods".

253. ^ 5) Here ends the literal quotation from the second Pseudo-Hippocratic letter.

254. 6) Read with Ishaq Ibn Hunain, the siwān al-hikma and Ibn al-Qiftī sittin sana instead of sanatain "two years" of our text.  [Note to the online edition: the insertion point of  this footnote is not indicated in the manuscript.]

255. ^ 7) This passage derives from John the Grammarian, see above, p. 63 n. 1.

[Page 65]

256. ^ 1) The last two paragraphs are Rosenthal's fragment B 3 g (see above), p. 80 f.

257. ^ 2) See above, p, 10 (Arabic). The quotation is probably from the work mentioned there.

258. ^ 3) His source probably read "a daemon".

259. ^ 4) Cf. the tradition (hadīt): "There are three fathers, he who begot you, he who taught you, and he who educated you, but the best of these is the teacher", quoted in M. Plessner, Der OIKONOMIKOS des Neupythagoreers "Bryson" (1928), p. 130.

[Page 66]

260. ^ 1) cf. Suda,s.v. Democritus, and E.Zeller, Die Philosophie der Griechen, I 26, p. 1050 fn.

261. ^ 2) His son-in-law.

[Page 67]

262. ^ 1) Instead of this Islamic passage, the original reads: "I swear by Apollo the physician, by Aesculapius, Hygieia, Panacea and by all the gods and goddesses"; cf. W. H. S. Jones' translation in Hippocrates (Loeb Classical Library), I p. 299, which I have used throughout the text of the Covenant as far as the Arabic literally agrees with the Greek.

[Page 68]

263. ^ 1) The translation is not certain, the Greek original kata bion anthropon itself being understood differently:  Jones translates "in my intercourse with men," whereas Muri (see below) says "im Leben der Menschen," and Diller (see below) "im Umgang mit Menschen." Rosenthal (see below) translates from  the Arabic "betreffs der Tatigkeit von Leuten." Perhaps Jones and Dillwer are right, but there may be a misunderstanding on the part of the unknown translator into Arabic (see the analysis of his language by Bergstrasser, Hunain, 1913, p. 72 f ).

264. ^ 2) In rendering the text of the Covenant, we have also used the German translations from the Greek by W. Mūri. Der Arzt im Altertum (Tusculum-Bucherei, Mūnchen, 1962), pp. 8-11, and H. Diller, Hippokrates Schriften Rowohlts Klassiker, Reinbek, 1962), p. f., as well as that made from the Arabic by F. Rosenthal, Das Fortleben der Antike im Islam (Bibliothek des Morgenlandes, Zurich und Stuttgart, 1965), pp. 250-252.

265. ^ 3) We again follow Jones' English translation (vol. 2, pp. 263-265), Diller's German translation from the Greek (l. c., p. 96 f.), and Rosenthal's from the Arabic (l. c., p. 252 f.). See, howerver, Bergstrāsser's negative judgment on this anonymous Arabic part, l. c., p. 79; nevertheless, we feel no entitled to correct its mistakes in the text itself, see our following remark.

266. ^ 4) Arabic salb iyaha, which may also mean "to become denying it." But we doubt that the translator should have chosen the above phrase for rendering the correct sense of apoleipetai.

267. ^ 5) pheme. literally "by word, by fama." The Arabic translator probably chose ism name as counterpart of fi'l "fact." Greek ergo "work:" both Arabic words also mean "noun" and "verb."

268. ^ 6) li-yantabi'a, Greek emphysiotheisa. The Arabic root tb' means "to impress," but is related to tab' "nature." Jones: "becoming second nature:" in the Greek to be sure there is no equivalent to {blank}e's mind." {blank}idomathie.

[Page 69]

269. ^ 1) paidomathie.

270. ^ 2) The further elements of the comparison are missing in the Arabic translation, cf. the Greek original.

271. ^ 3) This time, the Greek text has logos, see above, p. 68, n. 5.

272. ^ 4) This positive statement is missing in the Greek text.

273. ^ 5) The paragraphs of the Law do not, in all cases terminate as the original does; the final paragraph is missing in Arabic altogether.

274. ^ 6) This "testament" has much in common with De medico and De decenti habitu, both edited and translated by Jone, Vol. 2, pp. 310 ff. and 262 ff.,the latter also with German translation by W. Muri (see p. 68, n. 2), pp. 24 ff. The Greek original of it is not extant; for bibliographical details see Steinschneider, Ar. ub., p. 313, on the Arabic translation Bergstrāsser, l.c. p. 79. An extract is given in Persian in the Quabus name, where the title is "Testaments;" see R. Levy's English translation (A Mirror for princes, 1951, p. 172). A German translation from our text gave Rosenthal, l. c., p. 253 f.

[Page 70]

275. ^ 1) The original of this book is lost; an Arabic epitome was discovered and, together with other fragments, edited by P. Kraus (Bulletin of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Egypt, Vol. V 1, 1937, Sectio Arabica, Cairo, 1939); additional fragments were published by S. M. Stern (Classical Quarterly, 1956, pp. 91 ff.) See R. Walzer, New Light on Galen's moral philosophy and A Diatribe of Galen (both in Greek into Arabic, 1962, pp.142-163 and 164-174). Book 1 of Galen's four books work was translated from Kraus' edition into German by Rosenthal, l. c., pp. 120-133. The present quotation was edited by Kraus, l. c., p. 18 f.

To be added: remaining footnotes, once missing page of manuscript obtained.

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Early Church Fathers - Additional Texts