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Drawings and Pharmacy in Al-Zahrawi's 10th-Century Surgical Treatise   By: (1925-)

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In the fascinating book "Drawings and Pharmacy in Al-Zahrawi's 10th-Century Surgical Treatise" by Sami Khalaf Hamarneh, the author delves deep into the world of medicine during the Islamic Golden Age. Focusing on the works of renowned surgeon Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi, Hamarneh sheds light on an often-overlooked aspect of his treatise - the remarkable illustrations and insights into pharmacy.

Hamarneh masterfully brings to life the creativity and innovation found in Al-Zahrawi's surgical treatise. The author's research and analysis offer a fresh perspective on the thought process of this ancient surgeon, revealing his meticulous attention to detail and his profound understanding of medical knowledge at the time. By examining the drawings in the treatise, Hamarneh unveils valuable information about surgical techniques, instruments, and pharmaceutical preparations that were essential for successful surgeries.

One of the standout features of this book is the author's ability to seamlessly interweave history, medicine, and art. Hamarneh's ability to decode and interpret the intricate drawings found in Al-Zahrawi's treatise is truly commendable. Through his insightful commentary, he highlights the importance of these illustrations in deciphering the techniques and tools employed by Al-Zahrawi. This skillful blending of disciplines enriches the reading experience and allows readers to appreciate the holistic approach taken by the great surgeon centuries ago.

Furthermore, Hamarneh's analysis of the pharmacy aspect of Al-Zahrawi's work is enlightening. The inclusion of detailed descriptions and explanations of the various pharmaceutical preparations and ingredients adds depth to our understanding of medical practices in the 10th century. By examining the therapeutic methods employed by Al-Zahrawi and the rationale behind them, the author showcases the surgeon's impressive knowledge in the field of pharmacy.

Despite the expertise and passion evident in Hamarneh's work, the book occasionally becomes overly technical, potentially deterring casual readers or those without a strong background in medicine or history. However, the author's ability to strike a balance between academic rigor and accessibility is praiseworthy. Hamarneh provides clarity and context when discussing complex topics, ensuring that readers are engaged and able to comprehend the subject matter.

Overall, "Drawings and Pharmacy in Al-Zahrawi's 10th-Century Surgical Treatise" is a captivating and enlightening read for anyone interested in the history of medicine or the Islamic Golden Age. Through the keen observations and astute analysis of Sami Khalaf Hamarneh, Al-Zahrawi's work takes on a new dimension, revealing not only the surgical prowess and knowledge of this ancient master but also his artistic sensibilities and pharmaceutical expertise. This book is a valuable addition to the literature on medical history and provides a comprehensive exploration of an often forgotten aspect of Al-Zahrawi's influential treatise.

First Page:

Transcriber’s note: Following table describes the meaning and the origin of the characters enclosed in square brackets which do not have their correspondents in the English Alphabet: [=a] letter a with a macron (straight line) above (Arabic) [=i] letter i with a macron (straight line) above (Arabic) [=u] letter u with a macron (straight line) above (Arabic) [h.] letter h with a dot below (Arabic) [s.] letter s with a dot below (Arabic) [t.] letter t with a dot below (Arabic) [T.] letter T with a dot below (Arabic) [s,] letter s with a cedilla (comma like symbol) below (Turkish) [S,] letter S with a cedilla (comma like symbol) below (Turkish) [)g] letter g with a breve (u shaped symbol) above (Turkish)

Drawings and Pharmacy in al Zahr[=a]w[=i]’s 10th Century Surgical Treatise

by Sami Hamarneh

Paper 22, pages 81 94, from




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