1. What were the main languages spoken in the medieval Islamic world?
2. Who spoke Syriac and where did they live? (cf. also p. 18)
3. How is islamic medicine related to medical theory, the provision of medical care and the teaching of medicine in Eur
4. What online sources do the authors recommend for information on Islamic medicine and its practitioners?

Chapter 1

1. What is the aim of this chapter?
2. What were the two main influences on the development of medicine in Islam?
3. What is a hadith, and why is the use of this kind of evidence for early medical practice problematic?
4. Who was Hippocrates, and where and when did he live?
5. Make a chart connecting the four humours with the four primary qualities (class exercise cf. p.17).
6. What were the three plus one major organs?
7. Is Figure 1.1 a problem for Belting? Why or why not?
8. Who was Galen, and where and when did he live?
9. Who were the Sassanians, and where and when did they live? What was their religion?
10. Who was Sergius of Resh Ayna, and where and when did he live?
11. Where was Gundishapur, and what is wrong with the idea that the first hospital was built at there?
12. In addition to Greek medicine, what were the main foreign medical traditions that contributed to Islamic medicine?
13. What is wrong with the idea that Nestorian Christians sponsored the medical translation movement?
14. What is wrong with the idea that medical translation centered on the House of Wisdom?
15. What is the difference between verbum de verbo and sensum de sensu translations?
16. Who was Hunayn ibn-Ishaq, when and where did he live, and which method of translation did use?
17. What methods were used to translate technical medical terms from Greek to Arabic and other languages?


Chapter 2

In this chapter look for evidence for and against the ‘rise and decline’ thesis.

1. From the chart on p.43, determine the dominant humor, based on environmental influences, for the day you read this question.
2. What are the four temperaments?
3. In addition to the influence of the heavens, what other major factors affect your humoral balance?
4. What is the difference between Ibn al-Nafi’s theory of pulmonary blood flow? How do they differ from William Harvey?
5. Who was Rhazes? When and where did he live? What did he think about sex?
6. Who was Avicenna? When and where did he live? What was his most important medical book?
7. What were the two most important books on pharmacology inherited by Islamic medicine?
8. What were the two main things examined in medical diagnosis?
9. Name two diseases first described by Islamic physicians.
10. What was the difference between an epidemic and a pestilence?
11. Is there a clear answer to the question of whether Islamic physicians accepted contagion as a means of transmission?
12. Was it illegal to perform human dissections in medieval Islam?
13. What were the main subjects treated in books on surgery?
14. What is the difference between Prophetic medicine and Galenic medicine? Does the history described here support or undermine the ‘rise and decline’ thesis?


Chapter 3

Vocabulary: deontological (p.94) = a theoretical position in ethics that judges actions according duties or obligations defined by clearly stated rules; trachoma (p.104) = "a contagious bacterial infection of the eye in which there is inflamed granulation on the inner surface of the lids"

1. During the first centuries after the founding of Islam, did Islamic people consult only Islamic physicians?

2. After the founding of the caliphate, what were the most important avenues for studying medicine? Were these limited to practitioners of Islam?

3. Who wrote the Canon of Medicine?

4. How was medical practice regulated and certified?

5. Why did the answers to (2) and (4) lead to a problem with charlatans?

6. What were the highest and lowest social status available to physicians?

7. Where would Islamic physicians practice their medicine?

8. Where and when did hospitals begin? Where were they concentrated? Do the dates of founding and renovation given here count for or against the rise/decline thesis?

9. What was new and different about Islamic hospitals (bimaristan) in comparison to earlier Christian hospices?

10. How did relationships among Islamic, Jewish and Christian doctors change over the history of the caliphate?

12. How could "It … be argued that health care, both in medieval Islamic and in early modern European societies, was for the most part provided by women"?

13. How does the work of al-Razi undermine the 'Bookshelf thesis'?

14. What was the English name of the father of Ali ibn Isa? What does this suggest about the original religious affiliation of the family?

15. On balance, is it fair to say that Islamic rulers supported public health? Why or why not?

Copyright (c) Peter Barker 2016