Peter E Pormann is primarily concerned with the transmission of the Greek medical and scientific heritage into the Islamic world and the use of information technologies to facilitate its study. He has published on medicine and philosophy in late antique Alexandria, Greek-Syriac-Arabic translation technique, the history of mental illness, hospital provisions in tenth-century Baghdad, Arabic philosophy, and the reception of Graeco-Roman thought in the modern Middle East.
At Manchester, he is currently pursuing three major research projects:
- Arabic Commentaries on the Hippocratic Aphorisms (ERC, €1.5m).
- The Syriac Galen Palimpsest: Galen's On Simple Drugs and the Recovery of Lost Texts through Sophisticated Imaging Techniques (with Drs Bill Sellers and Siam Bhayro; AHRC, £1m)
- Genealogies of Knowledge: The Evolution and Contestation of Concepts across Time and Space (with Professors Mona Baker, PI, and Luis Pérez=González; AHRC, £1m)
Other projects include the edition, translation, and study of the Medical Compendium by al-Kaskarī (fl. ca. 920s); the edition of the Arabic version of Galen’s On the Affected Parts together with colleagues at Cairo University; and the preparation of a monograph Arab Athena: Classical Receptions in the Modern Middle East.
He also has an interest in Hebrew studies and Jewish life in England during the High Middle Ages and the Renaissance; his catalogue of the Hebrew manuscripts of Corpus Christi College, Oxford has recently been published by Boydell & Brewer.