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January 6, 1962


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1014 St. Paul St., Baltimore 2

JAMA. 1962;179(1):99. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050010101024

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To the Editor:—  I read with great interest the editorial on Avicenna (JAMA177:704 [Sept. 9] 1961). The editorial was indeed interesting and informative. I question, though, the correctness of the statement that Avicenna was "the most famous physician of the Arab world." Wouldn't it be more correct to say that he was the most famous physician of the Muslim world, because, after all, was not Avicenna a Persian, and Persians like to call themselves "Aryans" and not Arabs? I am aware of the vast intermingling and merging of the various races of mankind and am cognizant to the fact that there is no such thing any more as an entirely "pure race." But if Avicenna was a Persian, shouldn't we keep the record straight and call him a Persian?Possibly the confusion arises because most of Avicenna's writings were in Arabic rather than Persian, as Arabic seems to

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