Kitāb Taḥrīm dafn al-aḥyāʾ, the
Book on the Prohibition to Bury the Living, written by the Nestorian physician ʿUbaidallāh Ibn Buḫtīšūʿ (d. c. 1060 CE), deals with the causes, signs and treatments of apparent death. Based on a short pseudo-Galenic treatise, whose Greek original is lost, ʿUbaidallāh’s Arabic commentary is a comprehensive and in many ways unique piece of scientific writing that moreover promotes a psychological understanding of physical illness. Oliver Kahl’s present book offers a critical Arabic edition with annotated English translation of ʿUbaidallāh’s work on apparent death, framed by a detailed introductory study and extensive glossaries covering all relevant terms; for comparative purposes, the Arabic and Hebrew recensions of the lost Greek prototype are presented in an appendix.
Oliver Kahl, Ph.D. (1993), Manchester University, is Research Fellow in the Department of Semitology at the University of Marburg. His work focuses on the history of Arabic medicine and pharmacy, and he has published widely on these and related subjects.
Gerrit Bos (Ph. D. 1989) is Professor Emeritus of Jewish Studies at the Martin-Buber-Institut für Judaistik, University of Cologne, Germany.
Arabists, Hebraists, classical scholars, historians of medicine, pharmacy and psychology, cultural historians, and all those interested in the transmission of scientific knowledge in premodern times.