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The Key to Medicine and a Guide for Students (Miftah al-tibb wa-minhaj al-tullab) (PB)

As the title indicates, The Key to Medicine and a Guide for Students was an introduction to medicine, intended for students. After extolling the virtues of having a profession in general and of medicine in particular, Ibn Hindu (d. 423/1032) discusses various disciplines that a medical student should be familiar with, including a lengthy digression into philosophy and logic. He then deals with matters specifically medical, devoting separate sections to anatomy, diseases, pulse, and names of medicinal substances.

The book was written in the early 11th century by a physician who was also the author of a treatise on philosophy and famous for his Arabic poetry – his anthology is said to have amounted to 15,000 couplets or more! For a medieval work, Ibn Hindu’s book is refreshingly meticulous in its analysis and modern in its outlook.

About the translator
Aida Tibi was born in Tulkarm, Palestine and studied in Beirut before earning a BA (Hons) in Classical Arabic at the University of London (1968), a MA in Classical Arabic in 1970 from the same institution, and a DPhil in Oriental Studies from the University of Oxford (1975). Her doctoral thesis focussed on a 12th-century manuscript about famous women in early Islam, with the Arabic text published by al-Dar al-‘arabiyya li’l-kitab (Libya/Tunisia) in 1978 under the title al-Hada’iq al-Ghanna’ fi akhbar al-nisa’. She served as Lecturer in Arabic and Islamic History at the University of Tripoli, Libya, and is now living in Oxford with her husband, Dr Amin Tibi.


Publisher: Garnet
Author: Ibn Hindu (d. 423/1032)
Pages: 153


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