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July 29, 1933

The Book of Delight.

Author Affiliations

By Joseph Ben Meir Zabara. Records of Civilization, Sources and Studies. Volume XVI. Translated by Moses Hadas. With an introduction by Merriam Sherwood. Cloth. Price, $3.25. Pp. 198. New York: Columbia University Press, 1932.

JAMA. 1933;101(5):395. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740300063043

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This volume is a document from the eleventh and twelfth centuries which affords an excellent illustration of the wit, science and literary resources of Spanish Jewish society of that period. For the physician it is especially of interest because of certain medical discussions. In chapter 8 there is the usual good advice relative to the avoidance of excesses in eating. Chapter 9 is devoted wholly to a knowledge of medicine of the period. There are thirty-two questions in a medical catechism showing how simple was the actual knowledge of the period. For instance, the questioner asks "How many are the canals of the bowels?" The answer is "Three; one lengthwise to receive the food, and one diagonal to retain it until it be digested, and the third crosswise to force the food on and expel it when it hath been digested." On the other hand there is much of wisdom

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