Theoretical and Practical Book by Al-Zahrawi


Abu al-Qasim Khalaf Ibn Abbas al-Zahrawi (936–1013), known in the West as Albucasis, was born in the city of Zahra, near Cordoba, Spain. Regarded as one of the greatest of the Arab physicians, he excelled in the fields of internal medicine, surgery, and ophthalmology. His best known work is his encyclopedia of medicine, Al-tasreef liman ajiza an al-taaleef (The method of medicine), generally referred to as the Al-Tasreef, which included sections on surgery, medicine, orthopedics, ophthalmology, pharmacology, and nutrition. The work described more than 300 diseases and their treatments, and included descriptions of many surgical procedures and the use of more than 200 surgical instruments. In the 12th century, Gerard of Cremona translated the section of the encyclopedia on surgery into Latin. This translation became a medical textbook in Europe and was referenced by physicians up to the late 18th century. Presented here is the first printed edition of the Latin translation, which was published in Augsburg, Germany, in 1519 under the title Liber theoricae necnon practicae Alsaharavii (Theoretical and practical book by al-Zahrawi). The Arabic version of the encyclopedia was published in London in 1778 and in India in 1918.

Last updated: April 3, 2018