Commentary on the First Part of Avicenna’s “Canon of Medicine” and “Chapter on the Limbs” by Giano Matteo Durastante


This volume contains a Latin commentary on the first part of Avicenna’s Al-Qānūn fī al-ṭibb (The canon of medicine) by the Italian physician and philosopher Giovanni Battista da Mónte (known as Montano, 1498–1551), published in Venice in 1557. Montano was born in Verona. After first working in Brescia, he taught medicine at the University of Padua. He translated various works from Greek into Latin and wrote numerous commentaries on treatises by Hippocrates, Galen, and Avicenna, most of which were published posthumously by his followers. He is considered to be the founder of clinical medicine in Padua, where he used to lecture at the bedside of the sick. Avicenna was the Latinized name of the Persian polymath Abū Alī al-Ḥusayn Ibn Sīnā (980–1037), whose canon was translated into Latin and remained part of the standard curriculum for medical students in Europe for centuries. Avicenna was born in Afshana, a village near Bukhara (present-day Uzbekistan). His family moved to Balkh several years after his birth, which enabled him to receive an excellent education in this culturally and intellectually important capital city. By the time he was 18, he was thoroughly schooled in the Greek sciences. His professional life as a physician began at that time, when he was summoned to the Sāmānid court to treat Nūḥ b. Manṣūr (ruled 976–97), launching him on a career that involved the practice of medicine in different courts for the rest of his life. A prolific author, Ibn Sīnā wrote on topics as varied as metaphysics, theology, medicine, psychology, earth sciences, physics, astronomy, astrology, and chemistry.  The second work in this volume, De membris capite (Chapter on the limbs), is by Giano Matteo Durastante, a physician and professor of medicine from Monte San Giusto in eastern Italy, who flourished in the second half of the 16th century.

Last updated: May 11, 2015