Meyerhof, Max

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MEYERHOF, MAX (1874–1945), ophthalmologist and medical historian. He was born in Hildesheim, Germany. In 1903 he went to Egypt and served as chief of the Khedivial Ophthalmic Clinic. He returned to Germany in 1914 to serve as a medical officer in the German army and after the war settled in Hanover as a practicing oculist. He returned to Cairo in 1923 and stayed there until his death. During his lifetime, Meyerhof published over 300 books, monographs, and treatises on ophthalmology and medical history. He made special studies of the various eye diseases endemic in Egypt and North Africa, especially of trachoma and its complications, of glaucoma, lepra of the eye, etc. His book Ueber die ansteckenden Augenleiden Aegyptens appeared in 1909. He also wrote on the history of ophthalmology and pharmacology among Spanish Muslims and Jews and did research on medieval Arab medicine from unpublished documents in Cairo and other libraries. He edited and translated the Arabic text of the famous medieval ophthalmologist Ḥunain ibn Iṣḥāq, The Book of the Ten Treatises on the Eye (1928), and was one of the first to study Maimonides as a physician; he translated and published for the first time Maimonides' glossary of drugs L'Explication des noms de drogues (1940). In recognition of his many services as an oculist and medical historian, Meyerhof received many honors and decorations from medical societies all over the world. Meyerhof also contributed to the organization of medical care for the poor in Egypt.


S.R. Kagan, Jewish Medicine (1952), 527f.; I. Fischer (ed.), Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Aerzte, 2 (1933), s.v.; Works of Max Meyerhof (1944), compiled by U. ben Ḥorin.

[Suessmann Muntner]