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Ibn Biklārish, Junas (Jonah) ben Isaac


IBN BIKLĀRISH, JUNAS (Jonah ) BEN ISAAC (end of 11thcentury), Spanish physician and authority on materia medica. Ibn Biklārish worked as a court physician for the Hod dynasty of Saragossa. In 1106 he completed what is probably the most important Arabic pharmacological treatise, the Kitāb al-Mustaʿīnī. This was dedicated to al-Mustaʿīn bi-Allah, the fourth Hod governor of Saragossa (d. c. 1110). It is a work of close to 500 pages, larger than folio size, containing in tabular form the names of hundreds of medicaments; their nature and function; their names in Greek, Persian, Syriac, Latin, and sometimes in Berber; and lists of substitute drugs with their properties and methods of use. The introduction to the tables, which is rich in pharmaceutical explanations based on *Galen, *Dioscorides, and others, shows Ibn Biklārish to have been one of the outstanding medical men of his time. *Maimonides apparently made use of the Kitāb in his Glossary of Medicines, although without mentioning it by name. There are three manuscripts extant, at Leiden, Madrid, and Naples.


G. Sarton, Introduction to the History of Science, 2 pt. 1 (1931), 235.

[Martin Levey]

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