On the Medical Works of Barhebraeus: With a Description of the Abridgement of Ḥunain’s Medical Questions

in Aramaic Studies
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?


While the Syriac polymath Gregory Barhebraeus (1225/6–86) is better known for his contributions in other fields, his original training was probably in medicine, and he is known to have written a number of works on the subject. No Syriac work on medicine by Barhebraeus is known to have survived, but four such works written in Arabic have, and references to matters related to medicine are also to be found in his works in other fields. In this article, we present a brief overview of what is known about the medical works of Barhebraeus, along with a somewhat more detailed description of one of the surviving works, namely his abridgement of Ḥunain’s Medical Questions.

On the Medical Works of Barhebraeus: With a Description of the Abridgement of Ḥunain’s Medical Questions

in Aramaic Studies



  • 27

    Barṣaum‘Kitāb taḥrīr Masāʾil Ḥunain’ pp. 148–154; Yūḥannā Dōlabānī R. Lavenant S. Brock and Samir Khalil Samir ‘Catalogue des manuscrits de la Bibliothèque du Patriarcat syrien orthodoxe à Ḥomṣ (Auj. à Damas)’ Parole de l’ Orient 19 (1994) pp. 555–661 here p. 589; see also the Arabic version of the catalogue in Ġrīġūriyūs Būlus Bahnām Nafaḥāt al-ḫuzām au ḥayāt al-baṭriyark Iġnāṭiyūs Afrām (Mosul 1959) pp. 125–167 here pp. 151 f. The French translation of Dolabani’s catalogue is no doubt wrong in telling us that the manuscript is in Garshuni since the script is not mentioned in the Arabic version of the catalogue and Barṣaum tells us in his 1940 article (p. 151) that the manuscript is in a clear Fārisī hand (bi-ḫaṭṭ fārisī ğayyid ğamīl ğalī). Barṣaum also tells us in the same article (p. 151) that he had purchased the manuscript ‘in the summer of last year’ but that article may have been written in 1939 rather than 1940 and the date of purchase is given as ‘1938’ in Iġnāṭiyūs Afrām al-awwal Barṣaum Kitāb al-luʾluʾ al-manṯūr fī tārīḫ al-ʿulūm wa-l-ādāb as-suryānīya 4th ed. (Holland [Glane/Losser]: Bar Hebraeus Verlag 1987) p. 428 (Ignatius Aphram I Barsoum The Scattered Pearls: A History of Syriac Literature and Sciences trans. Matti Moosa 2nd revised ed. [Piscataway: Gorgias Press 2003] p. 479).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 28

    Luwīs ŠaiḫūKitāb al-maḫṭūṭāt al-ʿarabīya li-katabat an-naṣrānīya (Beirut: Imprimerie catholique1924) p. 10 with reference to a manuscript in Baghdad. Sbath Al-Fihris part 1 p. 15 (no. 63) mentioning a manuscript in the possession of the heirs of Rizq Allāh Bāsīl in Aleppo.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 30

    Joosse‘A Newly-Discovered Commentary’ p. 513.

  • 36

    Di Vincenzo text p. 7 l. 8 f. Meyerhof and G.P. Sobhy fasc. 1 text p. 13 l. 5 f.; translation p. 59. Cf. Galen De simplicium medicamentorum[temperamentis ac] facultatibusVI.1.63 (Kühn XI p. 840).

  • 38

    Joosse‘A Newly-Discovered Commentary’ p. 513.

  • 39

    Joosse‘A Newly-Discovered Commentary’ p. 517.

  • 41

    Barṣaum‘Kitāb taḥrīr Masāʾil Ḥunain’ p. 152. Here and in what follows the text of the Dublin manuscript will be presented as it is in the manuscript without correcting the orthographical errors and deficiencies. Where it seemed necessary and helpful the standard forms are then supplied in brackets.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 43

    G. BergsträsserḤunain ibn Isḥāḳ und seine Schule (Leiden: Brill1913) p. 6.

  • 47

    N. Yaguchi‘Funain ibun Isuhāku cho “Igaku no shitsumon shū” ’Kyoto Bulletin of Islamic Area Studies 3/2 (2010) pp. 416–477. The questions are not numbered in the edition by Abū Rayyān et al. or the translation by Ghaliounghi.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 57

    Wilson and Dinkha (eds.) text p. 93 (fol. 129v) cf. ibid. introduction p. xvi f.; Chabot ‘Version syriaque’ pp. 90 and 125. The break occurs in Chapter V between Questions 40 and 41 (according to Yaguchi’s numbering).

  • 60

    Cf. Micheau‘Les traités médicaux’ p. 172.

Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 58 58 2
Full Text Views 209 209 1
PDF Downloads 11 11 1
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0