Our events programme covers a wide range of pharmacy history topics. We hold 3 evening meetings each year, and annual conference, a summer visit, and a joint meeting with a School of Pharmacy. Click on an event below to find out more.
|ONLINE LECTURE BY DR AYMAN ATAT - HISTORY OF PHARMACY IN ARABIC CIVILIZATION, BETWEEN PAST AND FUTURE|
|Online via Zoom and YouTube|
|Monday 13 June 202214:00|
The intercultural dialogue between civilizations has a crucial function in building and developing the knowledge of materia medica. This dialogue appeared either through the translation movements of the main sources, or through the travelling of scientists themselves between civilizations. In the same vein, the Arabic civilization benefited from this dialogue in the progress of its medical and pharmaceutical sciences, especially in the Middle Ages and later.
However, it is crucial to mention that most important sources of simple drugs and materia medica in the Arabic civilization came from Al-Andalus (Spain). The Andalusian writings were the basis for any encyclopaedia of simple drugs that appeared in this historical period. Names like Albucasis (d. 1013AD), Avempace (d. 1138AD), Ibn Zuhr (d. 1162AD), Abū al-Khīr al-Ishbīlī (d. 1179AD), Maimonides (d. 1204AD), and Abū al-ʿabbās al-Nabātī (d. 1239AD) have a great influence in the development of simple drugs’ culture in the Arabic and sequential civilizations.
Since the 8th century, when the first pharmacy (drug store) was established in Baghdad (exactly 754AD), pharmacy separated from medicine and pharmacists started to prepare compound drugs using many processes. The appearance of practitioners of pharmacy showed the need for books dealing with other aspects of pharmaceutical science over and above that concerning simple drugs.
Because of that, many Arabic authors wrote books on preparing different pharmaceutical forms. Names like Sābūr ibn Sahl (d. 860AD) the author of a pharmaceutical encyclopaedia entitled (Al-Aqrabādhīn al-Ṣaghīr), Ibn Jazlah (d. 1100AD) the author of another pharmaceutical encyclopaedia entitled (Minhāj al-Bayān), and Ibn al-Tilmīdh (d. 1165AD) have exerted great influence in the development of materia medica culture in the Arabic civilization.
Between January 2020 and April 2022, he was a guest researcher in the Arabic seminar at FU Berlin, and currently he is a research fellow in the Department for History of Science and Pharmacy at the Technical University of Braunschweig (TU Braunschweig, Germany).
Image credit: "Preparing Medicine from Honey", from a Dispersed Manuscript of an Arabic Translation of De Materia Medica of Dioscorides, 'Abdullah ibn al-Fadl, 1224 CE, Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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