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November 11, 1961


JAMA. 1961;178(6):657-658. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040450121018

The great Maimonides, the Jewish-Arabian physician (known also as Abu Imran Musa ibn Maimun ibn Abd Allah), was born in Cordova, Spain, in the Western Caliphate in 1135.1 The decadence of Arabian medicine was generally apparent at the time of his youth, but acceptance of leadership by the Italian and French schools of medicine was more than a century away. Maimonides was born in a family of scholars. Although he obtained much of his early education from his father, there is no evidence that his father practiced medicine. In Cordova, the center of Jewish learning for several centuries, Jews and Arabs were given equal opportunity to study philosophy, theology, law, and medicine. Medicine was but one of the several intellectual disciplines and was not segregated as a specific calling or profession. Although Maimonides took full advantage of the intellectual freedom offered by the Arabs, he was subject to the

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