In the field of materia medica and its applications, Islamic writers surpassed their earlier models,primarily because their broader geographic horizons brought them into contact with drugs unknown to earlier peoples,such as camphor,musk,sal ammoniac, and senna.In later Arabic works,medicinals were used that came from as far afield as China,Southeast Asia,the Himalayas, southern India, and Africa.
Islamic medicine was built on tradition,chiefly the theoretical and practical knowledge developed in Greece and Rome.Galen (d.,ca. 210 AD) and Hippocrates (5th century BC) were preeminent authorities,followed by Hellenic scholars in Alexandria.In order to make the Greek tradition more accessible,
understandable, and teachable, Islamic scholars translated,then ordered and made more systematic the vast and sometimes inconsistent Greco-Roman medical knowledge by writing encyclopedias and summaries.
Thus,it was through Arabic translations that the West learned of Hellenic medicine.
Avicenna’s Canon of Medicine, was very popular in Europe, and during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries,the Canon of Medicinewas published more than thirty-five times! Books were illuminated.Even if Muslims transferred the making of the paper from China,they innovated by using linen instead of expensive and less durable parchment and papyrus.
Muslims have always based their technology, science and art on what pre-existed,then refined it and gave them a practical and stylized form.
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