The Hippocratic Heritage about Moral Duty in Arabic Medicine

Joseph Habbi


The Hippocratic heritage in the Arabic tradition is very rich. We have three different texts about medical moral obligations: an Oath, called `Ahd or Qasam, which is quite similar to the Greek one; a law, called Nam7s, and a Commandment or Will, called wasiyyah, which is probably a pseudo-hippocratic writing. In this article the author explains the functions, the usage and the necessity of the three different texts, using the Arab historiographical tradition to find the real reason for the existence of the different formulas. At the end of the article the Author supplies a translation of the three texts from Arabic to Italian. 

Key words: Hippocratic heritage - Moral duty - Arabic Medicine 

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