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June 4, 1960


JAMA. 1960;173(5):546. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020230072012

Although Islamic culture dominated the eastern and western worlds for more than 10 centuries, there was a paucity of medical literature prepared during this long span of history. One is not justified, however, in drawing the obvious conclusion that this implies a sterility of medical culture or an impoverishment of the art of medicine; quite the contrary. Many important observations were made in the medical sciences; the physicians of the Middle Ages bridged the gap in medicine between the classical period and the Renaissance as effectively as did the leaders in other intellectual disciplines. The Arabs translated the Greek texts into their language and pursued independent scientific investigations.

Since few Arabic words or roots remain in modern medical usage, medical history allocates proportionately little emphasis to the writings and achievements of this thousand-year period. One small step to correct this deficiency has been taken by Prof. M. Z. Siddiqi of

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