Liber canonis totius medicineLiber canonis totius medicine
Time 980-1037 AD
Title Avicenna: Persian Muslim physician, scientist and philosopher

Avicenna (or Ibn Sina or al-Shaykh al Rais) is renowned for his medical skills and is also a scholar of philosophy, metaphysics and religion. He writes the Book of Healing and the Canon of Medicine, a multi-volume treatise that compiles and organizes all known Islamic medical knowledge of the era. It becomes the standard medical text in Europe through the 17th century.

Avicenna builds on Galen’s teachings and incorporates Aristotle-style logic into medical diagnosis and treatment. Other Muslim physicians of this era, Rhazes, Ali ibn al-Abbas and Averroes also contribute greatly to medical knowledge.

The Canon of Medicine follows in the footsteps of Hippocrates and Galen. Avicenna attributes disease to imbalances of the four humours (four bodily fluids) or to factors of the psyche, as well as to physical causes. Mental factors are taken into account in diagnosing and treating disease but Avicenna believed that the mind was separate from the physical world.

The Canon of Medicine written in 1012 AD classifies and describes diseases including diabetes and tuberculosis, as well as diseases of the brain including tumors. It proposes causes for diseases, suggesting that tuberculosis is contagious. It also outlines treatments for diseases and methods of hygiene.

Avicenna was a scholar of philosophy, metaphysics and Islam and attempted to integrate science and religion based on these disciplines.

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