An Epistle of Averroes: “On the Conservation of Health”

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Herraiz-Oliva P., Yavuz M.

1. Uluslararası Prof.Dr. Fuat Sezgin İslâm Bilim Tarihi Sempozyumu, İstanbul, Turkey, 13 - 15 June 2019, pp.62

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.62


Ibn Rushd, also known as Averroes, was an eminent philosopher and physician in 12th century al-Andalus. In the Latin Europe of the Middle Ages, he was called the “Commentator” referring to his commentaries on Aristotle’s philosophy. His main medical work, Kitab al-Kulliyat fi al-Tibb, which is well known as Colliget in Latin, is a comprehensive textbook which deals with various topics of medicine in a condensed form. Al-Kulliyat contains the following books inside: I Anatomy, II Physiology, III Pathology, IV Semiotics, Symptoms. V Nutrition and Remedies, VI Hygiene, and VII Therapeutics. However, in addition to this major work he also had many minor works under the general titles of paraphrase or comments focusing on Galenic Medicine. In this study, we will investigate a neglected Averroistic text: Hifz al-Sihha (On the Conservation of Health) through its unique codex in Real Biblioteca del Monasterio del Escorial, Spain. We will analyse and explain its content and how it relates to other medical and scientific works of Ibn Rushd. In doing these, we hope to provide current scholarship with a better understanding of this brief text and its context in Averroes’ works as a physician, so that we gain a better knowledge of the development of medieval medicine in the Islamic West.