Captured by Tatars as a young man and sold to the Sultan’s court, the Polish-Ottoman court musician and interpreter ʿAlī Ufuḳī (Albert/Wojciech Bobowski, c. 1610–1675) was a bicultural personality with widespread interest in different areas of learning. His priceless notation collection (MS Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Turc 292) also contains a wealth of medical texts both European and Ottoman, copied or excerpted from existing sources, as well as personal notes and case descriptions. European and Ottoman medical knowledge is presented side by side as encountered and found worthwhile by ʿAlī Ufuḳī, who evidently had access to drugs and treated at least himself. Among a group of personal observations, case studies from plague outbreaks of the 1640s stand out for their historical importance. MS Turc 292 is the personal document of a transcultural personality capable of benefiting from a diverse environment that encouraged transfer and exchange of knowledge.
Rütten, “Early Modern Medicine,” p. 62; Shefer-Mossensohn, Ottoman Medicine, likewise states that in early modern Ottoman society, medicine was “a subject of high intellectual status and at the same time also a popular, oral, and empiric activity” (p. 3) and that “medical knowledge was part of the package that made an Ottoman intellectual” (p. 193).
Ben-Zaken, Cross-Cultural Scientific Exchanges, 27. He goes on to describe a “dialectical interplay of ideas, fears, and emotions,” in which it is easy to imagine ʿAlī Ufuḳī as an actor. Those processes were most probably not as straightforward, frequent and deep as Ben-Zaken suggests, but his statement quoted here can be applied to the special case of ʿAlī Ufuḳī and his personal connections. See also Haug, “Being More than the Sum of One’s Parts.”
Fioravanti, Della Fisica, p. 2. In his Dello Specchio di scienzia universale (p. 360), Fioravanti claims to have written I dodeci rimedij secreti della nonciata. See Eamon, The Professor of Secrets, p. 299. This work, nonexistent according to Eamon (ibid.) is referenced in MS Turc 292, including the capricious orthography of “Annunciata.”
Musa Hamon, ed. İzgöer, 16. Yüzyıl Osmanlı Tabibi Musa bin Hamon ve Diş Tababetine Katkısı, pp. 20, 110. Comparing the substances used in this prescription to the state of the art in Musa Hamon’s time may be a lead worth following.