The Alexandrian Summaries of Galen’s On Critical Days

Editions and Translations of the Two Versions of the JAWĀMIʿ, with an Introduction and Notes


Galen's impact on Islamic civilization, mainly on medicine but also on physics and philosophy, was enormous. His most important books were mediated through "summaries" which not only shortened, but in some cases also revised Galenic teachings. Several versions of these summaries exist, and their appreciation is critical for a proper understanding of the development of medieval science. This book presents the first editions, translations, and studies of the remaining summaries to On Critical Days. In Galenic theory, fevers develop towards a crisis which will determine the fate of a patient. The cycle of crisis is known through observation, but the search for the cause leads Galen and his later interpreters into the fields of astrology, arithmology, and more.

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Biographical Note

Gerrit Bos (Ph. D. 1989) is Professor Emeritus of Jewish Studies at the Martin-Buber-Institut für Judaistik,
University of Cologne, Germany

Y. Tzvi Langermann (History of Science, Harvard, 1979) is Professor of Arabic at Bar Ilan University in Israel. He has published widely on medieval Jewish and Islamic science and philosophy.

Table of contents

Table of Contents

1. Preface
2. The "Summaries" and Other Recensions of Galen
3. The "Summaries" of On Critical Days
4. The Arabic Versions of the “Alexandrian Summaries” of Galen’s On Critical Days
5. The Translation of the Arabic Text
6. The Hebrew Version of Shimshon ben Shlomo
7. Translation of the Hebrew Version
8. Arabic Glossary and Index
9. Hebrew Glossary and Index
10. General index
11. Bibliography