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August 14, 1967

Moses Maimonides and The Circulation

Author Affiliations

Brooklyn, NY

JAMA. 1967;201(7):564-565. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130070084036

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To the Editor:—  I read with interest the SPECIAL BOOK REVIEW by King entitled "William Harvey and the Circulation" (200:961, 1967). It is conceivable that writers before Harvey alluded to this physiological phenomenon, as perhaps Moses Maimonides (1135-1204) in his Aphorisms.The Medical Aphorisms of Moses (Fusul Musa fi al tibb in Arabic; Pirke Moshe in Hebrew; Aphorismi Rabi Moysi in Latin) is the most voluminous of Maimonides' medical writings. This work is a presentation of a rich collection of medical rules and regulations, selected mainly from the abundant works of Galen and the latter's commentaries on Hippocrates. Maimonides takes issue with many of Galen's views in the most important 25th treatise of this book.Maimonides subdivides blood vessels into arteries, veins, and capillaries when he states, "Arteries in the entire body communicate with veins and interchange some blood and air through these anastamoses which are so narrow as