Transmission of Classical Medical Texts Through Languages of the Middle-East

Luciana Rita Angeletti


Classical textes i.e. Greek treatise on medicine, reached Western Europe during the Middle-Ages by few ways, mainly either directly from the Hellenistic world, or indirectly through versions in the languages of the Middle-East, especially [Syriac]-Arabic. The comparison between greek manuscripts and translations may be useful for both correction and interpretation of texts. An extraordinary case may arise when the orginial Greek treatise is lost and only the Arabic version is available. This is the case of a Commentarium of Galen on the Hippocratic De Aere aquis et locis. the treatise has recently been found in a manuscript (Tal'at, tibb 550) at the National Library, Cairo, and is the work of translators of the school of Hunayn ibn Ishaq (9th century), the Nestorian physician who had a skilled philological method of transmission ( Byzantine area-Spain mainly at the time of the Emperor Constatinte VII Porphyrogenete, Arabian, Africa-Salernum with Constantine the African) played an important role in the recovery of Classical medicine in the Western World, through both Arabic-Muslim and Arabic-Hebrew physicians. 


Key words: Classical Medicine - Syriac Arabic Translations - Arabian Spain - Salernum School 

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