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Sept 23, 1968

Moses Maimonides' Treatise on Poisons

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY.

JAMA. 1968;205(13):914-916. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140390038010

The Treatise on Poisons and Their Antidotes was written by Moses Maimonides, in two parts, at the request of his lord protector, the Visier Kadhi Al Fadhil,1 also known as Abu-Rahim ben 'Ali el Beisani,2 in the Muhammadan month of Ramadhan in the year 595 (corresponding approximately to July 1198). Maimonides himself states this in the introduction to his work, where he also mentions that he entitled his discourse Treatise to the Honored One or Treatise of Fadhil:

It was in the month of Ramadhan in the year 595 that His Highness addressed his humble servant and said: "It occurred to me yesterday that someone might be bitten by a poisonous animal and the poison spread throughout his body... and he would die... therefore, I order you... to write a short and concise manual of first aid to the bitten person."

In compliance with the command and wish