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Medical Texts: Medieval Period

(638 words)

Author(s): Langermann, Y. Tzvi
The earliest medieval texts that exhibit Hebrew medical vocabulary were deliberately formulated to appear older than they were. ספר יצירה sep̄er yeṣira ‘Book of Creation’ mimics the style of the Mishna and appropriates some language from the Talmud. ספר אסף sep̄er ʾasap̄ ‘Book of Asaf’ mimics a biblical style. Though the origins of both remain controversial, the former probably originated in the Middle East during the early Islamic period, the latter written about the same time, but in Byzantium. Medicine at this time in particular con…

Bakr al-Mawṣilī

(625 words)

Author(s): Langermann, Y. Tzvi
Bakr b. al-Qāsim b. Abī Thawr al-Mawṣilī, a philosopher of the early fourth/tenth century, has left us a single short treatise, Fī l-nafs (“On the soul”), preserved uniquely in MS London, British Library Add. 7473, fols. 6r–12r. This tract takes the form of a letter to Bakr's former teacher, Abū ʿUthmān Sāʿīd b. Yaʿqūb al-Dimashqī (d. after 302/914). Bakr's relationship with him provides the only clue to Bakr's floruit, which must have been around the turn of the fourth/tenth century. The letter was written by Bakr a…
Date: 2019-03-21

Ibn Kammūna

(2,456 words)

Author(s): Langermann, Y. Tzvi
Saʿd b. Manṣūr Ibn Kammūna (d. 683/1284) was a Jewish philosopher active mainly in Baghdad. Life He was born early in the seventh/thirteenth century into a Jewish family, probably in Baghdad. There are grounds for supposing that his family had a tradition of erudition, and Saʿd early received schooling in both Jewish and Islamic letters. There is strong evidence that, like many others, especially intellectuals, Ibn Kammūna fled westwards from the advance of the Mongols, finding temporary refuge in Aleppo, in ab…
Date: 2019-03-21