The Book of Medicine Dedicated to Mansur and Other Medical Tracts


Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Zakariya al-Razi (also known by Latinized versions of his name, Rhazes or Rasis, 865–925 AD) was a Persian polymath, physician, and philosopher. He was born in Rayy, south of present-day Tehran, Iran. After studying philosophy, at around the age of 30 he began studying medicine under the supervision of Abu Al-Hassan al-Tabari. He became the head of a Rayy hospital and later headed a hospital in Baghdad. Al-Razi was known in the fields of medicine and chemistry, which he combined to prescribe medications for numerous ailments. Al-Razi’s Kitab al-Mansouri (Book of medicine dedicated to Mansur) is a short, general textbook on medicine in ten chapters, which he dedicated in 903 to the Samanid prince Abu Salih al-Mansur ibn Ishaq, governor of Rayy. The work was rendered into Latin as Liber ad Almansorem by Gerard de Sabloneta, a 13th-century Italian, who specialized in translating Arab medical texts and who is said to have translated the work of the great Islamic scholar ibn Sīnā, or Avicenna (980–1037), into Latin by order of Emperor Frederick II. The first Latin printed edition of Al-Mansouri was produced in Italy in 1481. This edition from 1500, containing the translation of Al-Mansouri along with other medical tracts by various Arab, Greek, and Jewish authors, was printed in Venice by Johannes Hamman.

Last updated: June 17, 2014