Tuesday, January 28, 2014

000008 - Ibn Abi Usaibia, Arab Physician and Historian

Ibn Abi Usaibia
Ibn Abi Usaibia, or Ibn Abi Usaybi'ah or Ibn Abi Usaybi'a, ( [1194] 1203-1270) (Arabic: ابن أبي أصيبعة موفق الدين أبو العباس أحمد بن القاسم بن خليفة الشعري الخزرجي‎, Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa Muʾaffaq al-Dīn Abū al-ʿAbbās Aḥmad Ibn Al-Qāsim Ibn Khalīfa al-Khazrajī) was an Arab physician, bibliographer and historian. He was born at Damascus, a descendant of the Banu Khazraj tribe and the son of an oculist, and studied medicine at Damascus and Cairo. In 1236 he was appointed physician to a new hospital in Cairo, but he surrendered the appointment the following year to take up a post given him by the amir of Damascus in Salkhad near that city. There he lived and died.

Ibn Abi Usaibia owes his fame to a collection of 380 biographies which are of value for the history of Arabic science.

Ibn Abi Usaibia wrote ʿUyūn ul-Anbāʾ fī Ṭabaqāt ul-Aṭibbāʾ (Arabic: عيون الأنباء في طبقات الأطباء‎), or Lives of the Physicians, which in its first edition (1245-1246) was dedicated to the vizier of Damascus. This he enlarged, though it is uncertain whether the new edition was made public in the lifetime of the author. A European edition was published by August Müller (Königsberg, 1884). This work is notable as a source for Aristotle's biography. Its material on Pythagoras' biography is included as an appendix.

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