Exhibitions and Public Programs

Islamic Culture and the Medical Arts

Medicine is a science from which one learns the states of the human body with respect to what is healthy and what is not, in order to preserve good health when it exists and restore it when it is lacking.

Ibn Sina, the opening to the Qanun fi al-tibb

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[The Online Version of]
A Brochure to Accompany an Exhibition
In Celebration of the 900th Anniversary
of the Oldest Arabic Medical Manuscript
In the Collections of the National Library of Medicine

By Emilie Savage-Smith
University of Oxford

National Library of Medicine
Bethesda, Maryland

Table of Contents

The physician, with his medical art and his drugs,
Cannot avert a summons that has come,
What ails the physician that he dies of the disease
That he would have cured in time gone by?
There died alike he who administered the drug and he who took it,
And he who imported and sold the drug, and he who bought it.

Verses upon the death in Baghdad of the physician Yuhanna ibn Masawayh in 857 (243 H).

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Last updated: 15 April 1998