November 1966

The Medical Formulary or Aqrabadhin of Al-Kindi.

Author Affiliations

By Martin Levey, MD. Price, $8.50. Pp 410, with illustrations. The University of Wisconsin Press, 430 Sterling Ct, Madison, Wis, 1966.

Arch Intern Med. 1966;118(5):515-516. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.00290170103034

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As long as disciples like Dr. Martin Levey are around, the late John Fulton will be immortal. He inspired his students with a love of medical history that sent them back to the primary sources. In this case, Dr. Levey has translated a medical formulary compiled by the ninth century Arab philosopher Abu Yusuf Ya'qub ibn Ishaq al-Kindi. The manuscript, which is reproduced in facsimile and interpretively translated on facing pages, was only recently discovered. It is a copy of al-Kindi's work (though not attributed to him until a 13th century bibliography of his writings appeared); even if one were to question the authenticity, the formulary permits Dr. Levey to deduce many important facts about medieval Arab medicine by studying the etymology of the names of the ingredients. Though he was familiar with many early Greek writings, al-Kindi owes more to Persian, Akkadian and other near- and middle-Eastern civilizations. Undoubtedly,

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