Iatrochemistry and Paracelsism in the Ottoman Empire in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

in Intellectual History of the Islamicate World
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The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries saw the spread of iatrochemistry. In the second half of the seventeenth century, European iatrochemical knowledge was introduced into the Ottoman Empire through translations from Latin into Arabic. This study addresses the adoption and adaptation of this new knowledge by examining these works, as well as the medical compendium of Dāwūd al-Anṭākī and the only book written by Ibn Sallūm himself. European medical texts underwent a transformation process on a textual as well as on a conceptual level, especially regarding Paracelsism. Even before that, Dāwūd al-Anṭākī’s book already contains alchemical procedures and mineral remedies for internal application, which might be described as a precursor of medical chemistry.

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References

2

See Friedrich/Müller-Jahncke, Geschichte, pp. 306–311, 322–325.

3

İhsanoğlu, “Ottoman Science,” 2.

4

Günergun/Raina, Science, pp. 1, 2, 9. On transmission of knowledge between Europe and the Ottoman Empire see Brentjes, Travellers from Europe; Küçük, Contexts and constructions.

6

See Shefer-Mossensohn, Ottoman Medicine, pp. 185–187.

9

See Shefer-Mossensohn, Ottoman Medicine, pp. 182–185.

11

Ullmann, Medizin, p. 129.

12

Käs, Mineralien, p. 193. For example ʿaqrab (scorpion) as a pseudonym for sulfur (kibrīt), ʿuqāb (eagle) for ammoniac salt (nūshādar), al-unthā (female) for mercury (ziʾbaq), ʿalam (banner) for arsenic (zirnīkh) etc. (al-Anṭākī, Tadhkira, vol. 1, pp. 239, 184).

22

Ibid., p. 290.

25

Käs, Mineralien, p. 192.

29

Ibid., vol. 1, p. 333.

30

Ibid., vol. 2, p. 125.

31

Ibid., vol. 1, p. 117. The detailed preparation and other aspects of using mercury internally against syphilis are discussed in my contribution “Healing with mercury: the uses of mercury in Arabic medical literature.”

33

Ibid., vol. 2, pp. 48–49.

34

Ibid., vol. 1, p. 62; This remedy was already mentioned by Ibn Sīnā (see Qānūn, vol. 5: p. 2282).

35

Ibid., vol. 1, p. 62.

36

Bahāʾ al-Dawla, Khulāsat al-tajārib, p. 300; Elgood, “Translation of a Persian,” p. 484; see Thomann, “Early Persian Medical,” pp. 971–996.

37

Yūsufī, Ṭibb-i Yūsufī, p. 77.

41

Ibid., vol. 1, p. 198.

43

Bachour, Oswaldus, pp. 35–44.

44

Ibid., pp. 72–75.

45

Ibid., pp. 73–75.

46

Ibid., pp. 36–43; 49–50. Miri Shefer indicates that Ibn Sallūm knew Latin because “he made several statements in his writings concerning this” (Shefer, “An Ottoman Physician,” p. 137). Presumably she means the citations in the preface of al-Ṭibb al-kīmiyāʾī al-jadīd in the first person narrative. Those phrases are verbatim translations from Sennert’s De chymicorum cum Aristotelicis et Galenicis consensu ac dissensu, as a comparision with the Latin text revealed (see Bachour, Oswaldus, pp. 112, 115–120, 326–328; Sennert, De Chymycorum, pp. 1–35).

47

See Bachour, Oswaldus, p. 74.

49

See Bachour, Oswaldus, p. 75.

53

For a detailed explanation see Bachour, Oswaldus, pp. 107–113.

54

See ibid., pp. 144–151. Other evidence of the unity of al-Ṭibb al-kīmiyāʾī al-jadīd and al-Kīmiyāʾ al-malakiyya is the complementary structure, evidenced by anaphoric text references in al-Kīmiyāʾ al-malakiyya as well as by the omission there of recipes already mentioned in al-Ṭibb al-kīmiyāʾī al-jadīd. A further error that was circulated in terms of the text history was the notion that al-Ṭibb al-kīmiyāʾī al-jadīd was a part of Ibn Sallūm’s encyclopaedic work Ghāyat al-itqān fī tadbīr badan al-insān (see Bachour, Oswaldus, pp. 87–90).

57

Bachour, Oswaldus, pp. 121–122.

58

Ibid., pp. 155–159, 206–224.

61

Bachour, Oswaldus, p. 364.

63

Ibid., pp. 82–85.

64

Ibid., pp. 85–87.

65

Ibid., pp. 134–137.

66

See ibid., pp. 107–134, 151–224.

67

See ibid., pp. 168–176.

68

For more details see Bachour, Oswaldus, pp. 225–266.

70

For more details see Bachour, Oswaldus, pp. 270–319.

71

Ibid., p. 321; for more details see ibid., pp. 319–329.

75

For more details see ibid., pp. 329–359.

76

Ibid., pp. 359–362.

81

Ibn Sallūm, Ghāyat al-Bayān (Arab.), p. 16.

93

Bachour, Oswaldus, pp. 50–60. A discussion of chemical preparations used by Ibn Sallūm follows.

105

Shefer, “An Ottoman Physician,” p. 144.

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