On Coitus was composed at the request of an unknown high-ranking official who asked for a regimen that would be easy to adhere to, and that would increase his sexual potency, as he had a large number of slave girls. It is safe to assume that it was popular in Jewish and non-Jewish circles, as it survives in several manuscripts, both in Arabic and Judaeo-Arabic. The present edition by Gerrit Bos contains the original Arabic text, three medieval Hebrew translations, two Latin versions from the same translation (edited by Charles Burnett), and a Slavonic translation (edited by Will Ryan and Moshe Taube).
Gerrit Bos (Ph. D. 1989) is Professor Emeritus of Jewish Studies at the University of Cologne, Germany. He is widely published in the fields of Jewish studies, Islamic studies, and medieval science and medicine in Arabic and Hebrew texts. He is the editor of the bookseries
Medical Works of Moses Maimonides, and also works on a series on medical-botanical Arabic-Hebrew-Romance synonym texts written in Hebrew characters, an edition of Ibn al-Jazzar’s Zad al-musafir's (
Viaticum), and an edition of Marwan Ibn Janah's,
Kitab al-Talkhis. He has written four books about Medieval Hebrew Medical Terminology.
Scholars of Hebrew, (Judeo-) Arabic, and Latin medical literature of the Middle Ages; anyone interested in medieval medicine and the transmission of scientific knowledge in premodern times.