Ibn Abi Usaibia update

I may be on holiday this week, but the sky is leaden grey, and has been so for a week, apart from a few hours yesterday.  So I’m working on OCR’ing Ibn Abi Usaibia’s History of Physicians.

I’ve reached page 353, where begins the entry on Hunayn ibn Ishaq, the great translator of Greek medical works into Arabic.  I hope this will be interesting.

In truth I am relieved to reach this point.  The last 50 pages have been all about the physicians of the early Abbasid period; venal, money-grubbing, treacherous, self-important and — one and all — evidently incompetent.  Reading about the palace intrigues in which all took part has been tedious enough. 

The interesting thing is that, because most of them had no medical skill, they placed their patient in danger.  They all had the same patient too — the Caliph — who alone had the money to hire them.  So the Abbassid ruler who hired them was at more danger than any of his subjects!

UPDATE: I have just reached p.400 of Ibn Abi Usaibia. 


2 thoughts on “Ibn Abi Usaibia update

  1. The encouragement is appreciated! We all owe access to this to you, of course.

    I have just finished doing page 422 — into Thabit ibn Qurrah now –, and since it’s now late, that’s probably it for today. But I shall keep plugging away.

    By the way, I had an email from our friend to whom I sent a copy of the DVD, saying that he hadn’t forgotten that he was going to give feedback on the quality of the translation, but just hadn’t completed it yet. Academics tend to be busy, of course, and it will be interesting to see what he says.

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