Decline and decadence in Iraq and Syria after the age of avicenna? Abd al-latīf al-baghdādī (1162-1231) between myth and history

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Abd al-Latīf al-Baghdādī's (d. 1231) work Book of the Two Pieces of Advice (Kit̄rb al Nasī h.atayn) challenges the idea that Islamic medicine declined after the twelfth century AD. Moreover, it offers some interesting insights into the social history of medicine. Abd al-Latīf advocated using the framework of Greek medical epistemology to criticize the rationalist physicians of his day; he argued that female and itinerant practitioners, relying on experience, were superior to some rationalists. He lambasted contemporaneous medical education because it put too much faith in a restricted number of textbooks such as the Canon by Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna, d. 1037) or imperfect abridgments.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages28
JournalBulletin of the History of Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010