Chapter

Arabian Interlude

Paul U. Unschuld

in What Is Medicine?

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780520257658
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944701 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520257658.003.0042
Arabian Interlude

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Arabian authors incorporated the knowledge of Greco-Roman antiquity, organized it, and added a few of their own thoughts. The view of the organism they found in new medicine had no counterpart in their living environment. This medicine was so foreign to the thinking and worldview of the Muslims that the guardians of the faith soon advised abandoning it and returning to the nonmedical therapeutics oriented toward the sayings of the prophet. It was individual scholars who felt attracted by the variety and the depth of thought in the innumerable writings of ancient authors. But they still remained mere individual scholars, who would never be able to convince their native culture, especially those scholars who represented the original, religious Muslim worldview of this culture. The clinical practice was simply too primitive compared to the procedures they already knew themselves. Arabs again disappeared from the stage of European medicine.

Keywords: Greco-Roman antiquity; living environment; nonmedical therapeutics; native culture; Muslim worldview; clinical practice

Chapter.  621 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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