The Dispensatory of Ibn at-Tilmīḏ

Arabic Text, English Translation, Study and Glossaries


This book offers a critical Arabic edition, annotated English translation, introductory study, and two-way glossaries of the famous dispensatory composed around the middle of the 12th century CE by the Nestorian physician Ibn at-Tilmīḏ. The dispensatory, recognized as a masterpiece already by mediaeval contemporaries, soon after its appearance became the pharmacological standard work in the hospitals and apothecs of Baghdad and the wider Arab East, replacing, after almost 300 years, the vademecum of Sābūr ibn Sahl. The dispensatory of Ibn at-Tilmiḏ marks the apogee and the conclusion of centuries of medico-pharmacological development in the Arab world, and it is therefore absolutely essential for a critical understanding of mediaeval Arabic medicine and pharmacy in particular, and premodern science in general.
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Biographical Note

Oliver Kahl, Ph.D. (1993) in Middle Eastern Studies, University of Manchester, works on the history of Arabic science, in particular medicine and pharmacy. He has published widely on these and related subjects, including The Small Dispensatory of Sābūr ibn Sahl (Brill, 1994 and 2003).

Review Quotes

"Characteristic of Kahl’s scholarship for which others in the field will be grateful is the general index of technical terms provided in English-Arabic/Arabic-English lists covering the following areas: substances and products, pathology and anatomy, generic drug names and finally a botanical index of English-Latin/Latin-English terms. The care involved in this work clearly reflects Kahl’s expressed concern for the 'dearth of reliable medico-pharmacological glossaries derived from the sources.'" ( David Waines, Bibliotheca Orientalis)"Wissenschaftshistorikern, Medizinhistorikern und Kulturhistorikern, die sich met dem arabischen Mittelalter befassen, ist mit diesem Buch eine bedeutende Quelle und ein unentbehrliches Hilfsmittel erwachsen." Peter Heine, Orientalistische Literaturzeitung


Arabists, historians of science (especially medicine and pharmacy), cultural historians, and all those interested in the structures of premodern scientific traditions.

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