Ibn Abi Usaibia: an analysis of authority

Douglas Galbi has been working on the text of Ibn Abi Usaibia, and has come out with some interesting metrics on how the author sees the authority of various people mentioned in it.

Galen of Pergamon dominates among Greek figures in History of Physicians.  References to Galen measure 0.55 on an authority index in which references to Allāh / God measure one.  The three next most frequently referenced Greek figures are Hippocrates, Aristotle, and Plato.  They have authority indices of 0.26, 0.22, and 0.10, respectively.  Galen himself emphasized the authority of Hippocrates.  Hence the relatively frequent references to Hippocrates are partly an effect of Galen’s authority.   Aristotle, who wrote extensively on anatomy, taxonomy, and philosophy, is a much bigger figure than Galen in modern Western classical studies.  But references to Aristotle in History of Physicians are less than half as frequent as references to Galen.


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