The Formation of the Child in the Womb Reproduction and fetal Development in Medieval Arabic-Islamic Medicine

Ursula Weisser


In the following survey of theories of reproduction and pre-natal development in medieval Arabic medicine, the first part outlines the historical and methodological premises, indicates the major Greek sources (Corpus Hippocraticum, Aristotle, Galen) and introduces the Arabic texts relevant to the subject. In the second part three examples taken from Ibn Sinus' Canon medicinae are presented to substantiate the supposition that the particular contribution of medieval Islam in the field of reproduction (which continued into the latin Middle Ages) lay in the merging and harmonisation of data of various origins and concepts developed in different explanatory contexts within the Greek tradition. 

Key words: Greek Medical Heritage - Arabic Medicine - Reproduction Theories 

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