The new online exhibition: An Odyssey of Knowledge: Medieval Manuscripts and Early Printed Books from the National Library of Medicine is our featured Cool Site for July 2010.
Medicine in the Old World arose from many components: the classical Greek tradition, its Christian re-elaboration, the contributions of the Arab World, and the unique medieval synthesis of them all. The exhibition uses significant images from 21 early manuscripts and five early printed books belonging to the National Library of Medicine to show how these cultures around the Mediterranean Sea contributed to the creation of medical knowledge in Europe.
Access the exhibition here.
These pages are a journey through time and space, as medical knowledge moved around and across the Mediterranean Sea. Mare nostrum—Our Sea—divided societies into several groups, but it could be crossed, making cultural contact, trade, and the exchange of ideas possible.
This odyssey of knowledge examines how medical science took root in Southern Europe, was absorbed and modified by local medical practice and knowledge, and spread into the hinterland and beyond. It shows how European medicine is the result of the confluence of different streams of thoughts—from classical antiquity to pre-modern science, from Greece to Western Europe, and from discoveries based on reason to those rooted in tradition and experience.
From the National Library of Medicine website.
Hunayn Ibn Ishaq (808–873), Isagoge (Introduction). This introduction to medicine written in Arabic by Hunayn Ibn Ishaq and translated into Latin by Constantine, draws on a similar Greek work by Galen. Manuscript E 78, f. 1 recto.