Lives of the Physicians


Muaffaq-addin Abu Al-Abbas Ahmad Ibn Al-Qasim Ibn Khalifa Al-Khazraji, better known as Ibn Abī Usaybiah (died circa 1269 AD), was an Arab physician and historian, who was born in Damascus, Syria. The son of an oculist, he studied medicine in Syria as well as in Egypt. Uyūn ul-Anbā fī Ṭabaqāt ul-Aṭibbā (Lives of the physicians) is an encyclopedia containing biographies of known Greek, Roman, Indian and Muslim physicians from ancient times to around 1245 AD. The work is divided into 15 chapters, the first of which is a general treatment of the medical profession. Ibn Abī Usaybiah lists some of the moral qualities required of physicians, such as complete discretion, intelligence, sound personal ethical standards, and the like. The remaining chapters of the book identify and classify physicians, such as the Persian polymath Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi (commonly known as Rhazes), and philosophers not primarily thought of as physicians, such as Aristotle and Pythagoras.

Last updated: March 7, 2014