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Two pharmacological texts on Whey by Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya' al-Razi (d. 925).

This article offers the first edition and translation of two heretofore
unpublished pharmacological treatises by Abu Bakr al-Razi (d. 925),
namely Fi ittikhadh ma' al-jubn (On How to Administer Whey) and Fi
manafi' ma' al-jubn (On the Benefits of Whey), which seem to have
formed part of a lost volume on dairy products. As it demonstrates,
al-Razi's examination of whey is connected to his philosophical
interest in the complex nature of simple substances such as milk. The
article also highlights how these two treatises built on the Greek
pharmacological tradition by incorporating ingredients from Persia and

Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya' al-Raz! (d. 925) was a prolific author, writing on subjects that pertain to the fields of music, mathematics, medicine, philosophy, and alchemy. (1) While later writers in the medieval Islamicate world dismissed his philosophical endeavors as incompetent and even heretical, (2) he was widely recognized for his medical expertise. Al-Kitab al-Hawi fi l-tibb (The Comprehensive Book on Medicine, henceforth al-Hawi), an anthology of ancient and medieval medical sources, is al-Razi's best-known work, but he authored smaller treatises on individual diseases and materia medica. (3) This paper draws attention to two, as yet unpublished, tracts by al-Razi on whey, entitled Fi ittikhadh ma' al-jubn (On How to Administer Whey) and Fi manafi' ma' al-jubn (On the Benefits of Whey). In the first text al-Razi offered different recipes for the preparation of whey, which he recommended be given to patients suffering, for example, from an excess of black bile or phlegm to restore their temperament; the second text outlines how the purgative power of whey brings about the cure of specific diseases.

The use of whey as a drug or diet is an ancient therapy. It features in the prescriptions of several Hippocratic treatises and is associated especially with the Cnidian "school," whose members seem to have applied it as one of their stock remedies. (4) In his discussion of whey al-Razi cites Dioscorides, Rufus of Ephesus, Galen, and his contemporary Yusuf al-Qass ("Joseph the Priest"). A comparison of these sources with al-Razi's two texts reveals that he supplemented them by including medicinal substances from India and other eastern regions, which reached Muslim centers of learning like Baghdad through trade and conquest.

Al-Razi considered whey, the watery liquid that remains after milk has been curdled and strained, an efficacious remedy for diseases that resulted from a blockage or humoral imbalance in the body, such as melancholy, epilepsy, and pimples. He seems to have given preference to pharmaceutical rather than surgical remedies in his treatment of patients, and so the attention he afforded whey in his medical writings may reflect some key role the dairy product played in his own therapeutic practice. (5) Although Fi ittikhadh ma' al-jubn and Fi manafi' ma' al-jubn are concerned with the effects of whey on the body, al-Razi examined more generally the nature of milk in medico-philosophical works such as al-Shukuk 'ala Jalinus (Doubts about Galen), where he found that milk posed an epistemological problem because it is a naturally occurring complex substance that consists of two components that have opposite effects on the body.

The first part of this article situates these two texts on whey within the context of al-Razi's broader interest in milk. We then argue that the two treatises formed part of a lost volume on dairy that may have been modeled on Rufus's [PI][epsilon][rho][iota] [gamma][alpha][lambda][alpha][kappa][tau][omicron][zeta] (On Milk). Our analysis of the "eastern" ingredients in the texts show, however, that al-Razi adapted his source material to reflect the materia medica available to contemporary practitioners. The last section discusses the manuscripts utilized in the preparation of our edition and translation of the two works, which follow in appendix one and two respectively.


Milk played an important role in al-Razi's pharmacology, on both a therapeutic and an epistemological level. He highlighted the properties of milk and its diverse applications as both a food and a drug in a number of his extant medical writings. His most extensive treatment of the topic is found in book twenty-one of al-Hawi, which lists 911 simple substances with descriptions of their medical uses. (6) Citing Greek and Arabic sources, al-Razi offers information in this text about the nourishing qualities of various types of milk (human, goat, cow, and camel) and their efficacy in curing certain disorders afflicting the eyes and skin. (7) He included a similar, albeit abridged account of the salubrious effects of milk in the dietetic treatise Manafi' al-aghdhiya wa-daf' madarriha (Benefits of Food and Dispelling Its Harmfulness). In accordance with the title, al-Razi's chapter on milk explains how this product improves the condition of some patients, namely, those suffering from a deficiency in moisture, and how it injures others, such as sufferers of colic. (8) In these texts and elsewhere al-Razi paid special attention to the derivatives of milk because they have numerous and even conflicting therapeutic applications, which can only be understood by considering the nature of milk itself. Unlike most medical simple substances, milk is complex by nature, being compounded of wheyish, cheesy, and buttery parts, each of which has a different effect on the body--the buttery part has a fattening effect, for example, whereas whey has a purging effect.

In the third part of his medical textbook, Kitab al-Mansuri fi l-tibb (Book for al-Mansur on Medicine), al-Razi explored the complexity of milk and described the powers of whey. He distinguished between foods that have the capacity to make things thinner or thicker, and identified three categories of thinning substances, ranking them by the degree to which they make things on which they are applied thin. (9) Whey belongs to the third category, which includes foods that thin viscous substances; more specifically, it is part of a sub-species of this category, which comprises salty and non-greasy foods such as garum (muri). (10) This subset of thinning substances has a purging and soothing effect on the stomach. Al-Razi derived this classification of substances from Galen's [PI][epsilon][rho][iota] [kappa][rho][alpha][sigma][epsilon][omega][zeta] [kappa][alpha][IOTA] [DELTA][upsilon][nu][alpha][mu][epsilon][omega][zeta] [tau][omega][nu] [alpha][pi][lambda][omega][nu] [phi][alpha][rho][mu][alpha][kappa][omega][nu] (On the Mixtures and Powers of Simple Medicines, hereafter [PI][epsilon][rho][iota] [kappa][rho][alpha][sigma][epsilon][omega][zeta] [kappa][alpha][iota] [delta][upsilon][nu][alpha][mu][epsilon][omega][zeta],), which includes several theoretical distinctions, such as the concept of a property belonging to something "by essence" and "by accident," and proposes that substances can be grouped according to whether they are thin or thick. (11)

The thinning effect of whey makes it a mild purgative, while, as already noted, butter and cheese affect the body differently. In Fi ittikhadh ma' al-jubn, Fi manafi' ma' al-jubn, and al-Hawi, al-Razi commented on the qualities of various dairy products in order to provide a guideline for administering them in therapeutic practice. In al-Shukuk 'ala Jallnus, however, he considered more fundamental issues raised by the nature of milk, specifically in his discussion of Galen's [PI][epsilon][rho][iota] [kappa][rho][alpha][sigma][epsilon][omega][zeta] [kappa][alpha][iota] [delta][upsilon][nu][alpha][mu][epsilon][omega][zeta]. Al-Razi selected passages from Galen that he believed showed some contradiction, logical flaw, or bias toward a certain theory. (12) He reminded the reader that some medical substances are simple (basit) and others composite (murrakkab), and that even drugs that appear simple, such as milk and vinegar, are in fact composed of two different substances.

In al-Shukuk 'ala Jalinus al-Razi also made reference to the first book of Galen's [PI][epsilon][rho][iota] [tau][omega][nu] [epsilon][nu] [tau][alpha][iota][zeta] [tau][rho][omicron][phi][alpha][iota][zeta] [delta][upsilon][nu][alpha][mu][epsilon][omega][nu] (On the Powers of Foods), translated into Arabic by Hunayn ibn Ishaq and his nephew Hubaysh. Galen had proposed that some substances have opposite qualities because they are composed of heterogenous parts, although to the senses of smell and taste, for example, they seem to be homogenous. (13) According to Galen, milk is a paradigmatic example of foods that are not naturally simple. Its compound nature is the reason why "even when it is excellent, it sometimes acidifies because of the difference in [temperament of the] bowels, sending back up again fatty belching [...]. Lack of heat is the cause of acidification, excess heat the cause of gas. Both of these exist in milk, because it contains within itself not only a serous nature, but also a fatty and cheesy nature." (14) In order to explain how milk can have opposite effects on the body, al-Razi focused on the separation of the two contrasting components cheese and whey, which can be isolated by adding rennet or oxymel to heated milk, causing the thin parts of the milk to separate from its thick parts. (15) Al-Razi seems only to bring up the subject of milk here in order to criticize Galen's imperfect understanding of another substance that has a dual nature, vinegar. Galen believed that vinegar, unlike milk, could not be isolated into its different components. (16) Al-Razi disagreed on empirical grounds, referring to experiments where he had successfully separated the different parts of vinegar. He contrasted the discussion in [PI][epsilon][rho][iota] [kappa][rho][alpha][sigma][epsilon][omega][zeta] [kappa][alpha][iota] [delta][upsilon][nu][alpha][mu][epsilon][omega][zeta] of the separation of milk into its different components with Galen's assertion that vinegar was insoluble, and argued that Galen had made this claim because he had no knowledge of another type of dissociation (tamyiz), namely, distillation. Vinegar can be separated into its component parts, he noted, but, drawing attention to his own alchemical training to demonstrate the need for an integrated approach to certain philosophical and medical questions, it required the mediation of a retort (qar') and still (anbiq), instruments used in late antique and medieval Islamicate alchemy. (17)


Until the discovery of these two whey treatises, al-Razi's most sustained engagement with the subject of milk in a purely medical context are his chapters in al-Hawi and Manafi' al-aghdhiya. Rather than two independent treatises, Fi ittikhadh ma' al-jubn and Fi manafi' ma' al-jubn seem to have formed part of a lost excursus on dairy. Their joint circulation in the manuscript tradition, which is described below, is one indication of their deriving from a common source. Another is the full description of Fi manafi' ma' al-jubn appearing in all the manuscripts, which identifies it as being min kitab al-alban (from the book of dairy products) by al-Razi.

Of al-Razi's medieval bibliographers, only Ibn Abi Usaybi'a (d. 1270) attributes to him a book on milk, giving the title as Mukhtasar fi l-laban (Abridgement of Milk, or, A Summary of Milk). (18) Thus, al-Razi may have either abridged a prior work or drawn on several different sources to create a separate treatise. Self-abridgement has a long tradition stretching back to antiquity--Galen, for example, composed a synopsis of his sixteen books on the pulse; (19) and Arabic authors also produced abridgements of their own lengthier writings. (20) Although Ibn Abi Usaybi'a's notice may refer to an abridgement by al-Razi of his own Kitab al-Alban, to which the chapters Fi ittikhadh ma' al-jubn and Fi manafi' ma' al-jubn belong, al-Razi is not known to have practiced self-abridgement; indeed, none of his bibliographers mentions him writing epitomes of his own works, and no such text ascribed to him survives. It is more likely that Mukhtasar fi al-laban and Kitab al-Alban designate the same work.

Although there is no evidence that al-Razi composed abridgements of his own works, he did abridge the texts of others. His abridgement of Galen's [PI][epsilon][rho][iota] [kappa][rho][alpha][sigma][epsilon][omega][zeta] [kappa][alpha][iota] [delta][upsilon][nu][alpha][mu][epsilon][omega][zeta] [tau][omega][nu] [alpha][pi][lambda][omega][nu] [phi][alpha][rho][mu][alpha][kappa][omega][nu] (The Therapeutic Method) is extant, and al-Blrunl attributes to al-Razi more summaries: three of Galen--Ikhtisar kitab al-Nabd, Talkhis kitab al-'Ilal wa-l-a'rad li-Jalinus, and Talkhis kitab al-A'da' al-alima li-Jalinus--as well as of Hippocrates (Talkhisuhu li-fusul Buqrat) and pseudo-Plutarch (Talkhisuhu Flutarkhus). (21) Although al-Blrunl terms these different works ikhtisar and talkhis, which can signify distinct types of commentaries, as, e.g., in the context of literature on logic, (22) they are often used interchangeably--note al-Razi's treatment of Galen's [PI][epsilon][rho][iota] [kappa][rho][alpha][sigma][epsilon][omega][zeta] [kappa][alpha][iota] [delta][upsilon][nu][alpha][mu][epsilon][omega][zeta] [tau][omega][nu] [alpha][pi][lambda][omega][nu] [phi][alpha][rho][mu][alpha][kappa][omega][nu], which al-Biruni styles an ikhtisar but the manuscript calls a talkhis. (23) This general activity of abridgement seems to support the interpretation of mukhtasar in Ibn Abi Usaybi'a's entry as "abridgement" while analysis of the sources cited in the two whey works (below) does indeed show that some of their material can be identified with Rufus of Ephesus's fragmentary [PI][epsilon][rho][iota] [gamma][alpha][lambda][alpha][kappa][tau][omicron][zeta] (in Arabic, Fi l-laban).

Nonetheless, the distinction between "abridgement" and "synthesis" may be less determinate in the case of al-Razi than later medieval writers. Although Maimonides asserts that his Mukhtasarat reproduce their source texts verbatim, (24) al-Razi rarely treats his material in this manner. Both Ursula Weisser and Jennifer Bryson concluded from an examination of al-Razi's citations in al-Hawi that he often paraphrased and rearranged his sources, even omitting and adding information to them. (25) A preliminary examination of Ikhtisar kitab Hilat al-bur' also indicates that al-Razi extracted what he considered beneficial for contemporary practice and excised "outdated" discussions, such as Galen's polemics against the Methodist sect. (26) In the two whey texts under discussion, al-RazI incorporated quotations from Dioscorides and Galen as well as information about Indian materia medica (see below) that is very unlikely to have derived from an ancient Greek authority. It is therefore possible that al-RazI loosely copied his source, preserving its structure (that is, section divisions) and themes more than its specific content.


The section on milk in al-Hawi shows that al-RazI had access to both ancient and contemporary discussions of dairy; he quotes, for instance, from Dioscorides's [PI][epsilon][rho][iota] [upsilon][lambda][eta][zeta] [iota][alpha][tau][rho][iota][kappa][eta][szeta] (2.70), Rufus of Ephesus's [PI][epsilon][rho][iota] [gamma][alpha][lambda][alpha][kappa][tau][iota][zeta], Galen's [PI][epsilon][rho][iota] [kappa][rho][alpha][sigma][epsilon][omega][zeta] [kappa][alpha][iota] [delta][upsilon][nu][alpha][mu][epsilon][omega][zeta] [tua][omega][nu] [alpha][pi][lambda][omega][nu] [phi][alpha][rho][mu][alpha][kappa][omega][nu] (ed. Kuhn, 12: 263-9K) and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (6: 681-9K), Oribasius's [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Medical Compilations, 2: 61), an anonymous work by the Jewish physician Masarjawayh (seventh century), Hunayn ibn Ishaq's (d. 873 or 877) K. al-Aghdhiya, and a text by al-Sahir (early tenth century). (27) In the whey texts, in contrast, only two authorities, Dioscorides and Galen, are mentioned by name--both are cited in Fi ittikhadh ma' al-jubn. There, al-RazI quotes Dioscorides on how to utilize oxymel to obtain whey for the treatment of epilepsy, melancholy, scabies, elephantiasis, and pimples. In so doing, he summarizes the text of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 2.7.3-4, omitting the recommendation to boil the milk in a clay pot ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), to whisk it with a newly cut stick of fig wood ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), and to add two or three kyathoi (1 kyathos [approximately equal to] 47 g) of oxymel to each kotyl (1 kotyl [approximately equal to] 284 g) of milk. (28) Moreover, al-Razi's citation of Dioscorides offers different measurements than the Greek original: the Arabic text instructs the reader to first give the patient nine uqiyya (1 uqiyya [approximately equal to] 33 g) of the whey mixture, and then to drink progressively more until three ratl (1 ratl [approximately equal to] 406 g) and nine uqiyya are reached; the Greek text instructs the reader to administer up to five kotyls of milk. (29) A comparison of this passage in Fi ittikhddh ma' al-jubn with a corresponding citation of Dioscorides in Ibn al-Baytar's (d. 1248) Kitab al-Jami' li-mufradat al-adwiya wa-l-aghdhiya suggests that it was not al-RazI but the Arabic translator of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] who altered the above measures--although Ibn al-Baytar appears to have copied many of his sources from al-Hawi. (30) In Fi manafi' ma? al-jubn, al-RazI also seems to reproduce with minor variations Dioscorides' list of ailments for which whey is a remedy. He does not identify his source, but records that the watery part of milk helps purge sufferers of epilepsy, ulcerous scabies, elephantiasis, and pimples.

The other explicit reference in Fl ittikhadh map al-jubn is to Galen. As with the citation from [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], al-Razi does not give the title of the text from which he is quoting, but includes only Galen's name. The information ascribed to Galen, namely, how cheese taken with safflower (qurtum) or seawater (ma' al-bahr) has a strong purgative effect, is not found anywhere in the surviving Galenic corpus. An identical quotation attributed to Rufus of Ephesus appears in the section on milk in book twenty-one of al-Hawl. (31) Manfred Ullmann has shown that al-Razi derived part of the account of milk in al-Hawl from two fragmentary works by Rufus: a chapter on drinking milk from the volume [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (On Diet) and a monograph [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (On Milk). (32) From a comparison with the Greek fragments of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Ullmann argued that al-Razi's citation about the purgative powers of cheese, safflower, and seawater came from that text's chapter on whey. (33)

Two anonymous quotations follow the "Galenic" reference in Fi ittikhadh ma' al-jubn; each has verbatim parallels with other citations of Rufus on the subject of whey in al-Hawl. (34) This correspondence suggests that they also derive ultimately from the section on whey in Rufus's [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. As Ullmann did not consult al-Razi's chapters on whey when reconstructing the surviving text of Rufus's monograph, he makes no mention of these conflicting attributions. Even so, Hunayn ibn Ishaq relates--in an appendix to his Rlsala in which he lists his Syriac and Arabic translations of Galenic texts--that he discovered many works of Rufus falsely ascribed to Galen. In particular, one manuscript of Rufus's, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (On Jaundice; al-qawl fi l-yaraqan li-Rufus), had Galen's name attached to it. (35) Thus, it is possible that al-Razi had access to a copy of Rufus's [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] that was falsely attributed to Galen. Moreover, al-Razi's handling of his sources in al-Hawi shows that he employed different recensions and even translations of the same text. (36)

Alternatively, al-Razi may have had access to a pseudo-Galenic text that contained material from Rufus. Included in Hunayn's appendix is a list of pseudo-Galenic titles, one of which is Fi l-laban maqala ascribed to Galen. (37) According to Hunayn, this and other works, such as Maqala yubhathu fiha hal al-janin alladhi fi l-rahim hayawan am la (On Whether the Fetus in the Womb is an Animal or Not) and Fi l-bawl (On Urine), could not have been authored by Galen, as they did not possess his "eloquence of words" (fasahat al-kalam) or "force of meaning" (quwwa al-ma'ani). (38) Hunayn argued for the pseudonymous authorship of Fi l-laban on stylistic grounds; the fact that Galen has no mention of this text anywhere in his extant corpus also supports this attribution. Al-Razi may have incorporated citations from it without mention in Fi ittikhadh ma' al-jubn as part of a more systematic investigation into the properties of milk. (39) In this case, the verbatim parallels between these and Rufus's [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] may indicate that the author of the pseudo-Galenic Fi l-laban drew heavily on Rufus's monograph, and the Kitab Mukhtasar fi l-laban listed in Ibn Abi UsaybiVs bibliography may describe an abridged version by al-Razi of the ps.-Galenic Fi l-laban rather than Rufus's [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].

Al-Razi transmits seemingly genuine Galenic material in Fi manafi' ma' al-jubn when he claims that whey cures freckles (kalaf) and pterygium (zafara, an abnormal thickening of the conjunctiva that obstructs vision) when mixed with drugs appropriate to these diseases. (40) While there is no suggestion that this material is a quotation, it reproduces Galen's advice closely, albeit in a summary fashion. Al-Razi's statement differs in that it mentions whey to treat pterygium while Galen lists afflictions resulting from a blow to the eye: black eyes ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) and burst blood vessels ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). The Arabic version of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] produced by Hunayn interprets [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] as synonymous conditions, rendering both terms with the paraphrasis al-ma' al-nazila fi l-'ayn ("water occurring in the eye"). (41) If al-Razi used Hunayn's translation, he may have interpreted this reference to eye-watering as describing an aspect of the condition pterygium.

Significantly, however, the Arabic plural zafara can designate the ocular disease [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("an accumulation of pus in the cornea"), which was known both in Greek and Arabic as "nail" (sg.[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], zufur) because the pus sometimes possessed the form of a nail. (42) As the Greek plurals [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] are very similar, Hunayn may have confused the two and rendered Galen's [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] as zafara, the Arabic equivalent of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. (43) It is also possible that this terminological confusion stems from a scribal error in the Greek manuscript. Regardless of origin, it suggests that al-Razi did not modify his source text.

In addition to [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] al-Razi appears to have included in Fl manafi' ma' al-jubn unattributed material from the early tenth-century physician and translator Yusuf al-Qass, also know as al-Sahir. (44) The statement that whey "expels ulcerous humors, cools the body, [...] clears up cloudy vision (zulmat al-basar) whenever it arises from a bilious humor" has significant correspondences with a quotation in al-Hawi ascribed to al-Sahir, (45) despite the citation in Fi manafi' ma' al-jubn being a more abbreviated version: it omits mentioning that whey treats jaundice, pimples, ulcers, scabies, and pustules that are most painful at night (sharan), perhaps because most of this information is given by the initial excerpt from Dioscorides's [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. (46) Moreover, the text in Fi manaf' ma' aljubn states that whey expels melancholic remnants generated from the "combustion of black bile" (ihtiraq al-sawda') rather than yellow bile (al-safra'), as in al-Hawi. These citations likely come from al-Sahir's only known medical composition, a two-volume, fragmentary compendium (kunnash) that allegedly covered materia medica and various diseases of the body. (47) The use of al-Sahir and the inclusion of substances coming from Persia, India, and even China, as discussed below, demonstrate that al-Razi interwove ancient and contemporary information in his two chapters on whey to present a more updated account of milk.


One issue raised by studies on medieval pharmacology concerns the question of whether pharmacological writings are innovative or display an excessive reverence for tradition, especially the Greek tradition. (48) Historians of medicine have often pointed to the medical writings of al-Razi as paradigmatic examples of the critical spirit of medicine in the medieval Islamicate world. According to Selma Tibi, although al-Hawi is primarily a collection of notes excerpted from the works of earlier authors, al-Razi's originality and creativity is evident in the way he selected the material, which came to Baghdad "from all parts of the known world." (49) In Fi ittikhadh ma' al-jubn, al-Razi included many ingredients, mainly Indian and Persian, that are absent from Greek sources. One of these is the myrobalan, a kind of plum (Ar. ihlilaj or halilaj). This fruit was frequently used as a purgative in ancient Indian medicine; the Ayurvedic Caraka Samhita lists the yellow, black, Kabuli, and bleric kinds of myrobalan as main ingredients of several preparations. (50) Myrobalan became so widely used in Arabic medicine by the time of al-Razi that it appears as a general remedy for many types of bodily obstructions. In al-Aqrabadhin Sabur ibn Sahl (d. 869) includes it in several purgative preparations. (51) Al-Razi also refers to ingredients from India that appear less frequently in Arabic pharmacological texts, such as tabashlr, which designates chalk resulting from the combustion of bamboo. (52) This particular substance features in a number of works composed around the lifetime of al-Razi as a treatment for fevers, cough, edema, jaundice, chest ailments, and other diseases. (53)

Camphor (kafur) is another ingredient mentioned in Fi ittikhadh ma' al-jubn that is absent from Greek medical sources. The cultivation of the camphor tree and the medicinal uses of its oil were common in early China and Japan. Camphor became known in the Middle East during the Sasanid period (224-651), when it was applied as a perfume and a condiment rather than as a remedy. (54) Its medical properties were recognized by al-Razi's near contemporaries--al-Kindi (d. ca. 870), for example, uses camphor to prepare a dressing for the liver and the spleen and recommends it for the treatment of eye diseases and sore throat and as a toothpaste. (55) Sabur ibn Sahl also employs camphor in dressings for the liver, while noting its efficacy in curing back pain and blisters that appear in the mouth. (56)

Also imported from eastern regions and unknown to the Greeks was an aloe (sabir suqutri) that came from the eponymous archipelago Socotra in the Indian Ocean. In addition to using this aloe against headaches and stomach pains, Sabur ibn Sahl believed it had the power to clear eyesight and to purify the body of bad residues. (57) The final eastern ingredient appearing in al-Razi's account of the preparation of whey is milh hindi ("Indian salt"). Arab physicians used a great variety of salts, many of which also came from Iraq, Syria, and Iran. To treat insanity, pleurisy, and paralysis, al-Kindi advised doctors to give patients red and black Indian salt mixed with opium. (58)

By including eastern ingredients alongside preparations known from Greek authors, al-Razi showed that he considered medical knowledge to be in perpetual progress. Enriching the knowledge of the ancients with the findings of Indian medicine may be one of the reasons behind al-Razi's composing two treatises on whey, possibly as part of a larger work on milk.


Fi ittikhadh ma' al-jubn and Fi manafi' ma' al-jubn are preserved in four manuscripts:

(1) Istanbul, Suleymaniye Kutuphanesi, [section]ehid Ali Pa[section]a 2092 (757/1356, ta'liq), fols. 65b-66b, abbreviated hereafter as A;

(2) Istanbul, Suleymaniye Kutuphanesi, Bagdatli Vehbi Efendi 1488 (1058/1648, shikasta), fols. 198b-199a, abbreviated hereafter as B;

(3) Tehran, Malek Library 4573 (1086/1675, naskh tending toward ta'liq), fols. 31-32, abbreviated hereafter as M;

(4) Tehran, Ketabkhane-ye Majles-e Sana 38 (eleventh/seventeenth century, naskh), fols. 146-48, abbreviated hereafter as S. (59)

In his catalogue of manuscripts in private holdings in Aleppo, Paul Sbath listed a Mukhtasar fi l-laban by al-Razi that was owned by the Manuk family, heirs of the Armenian Catholic druggist al-Shammas Elias. (60) This may well refer to the aforementioned work on milk that included these two treatises on whey, but none of the private manuscripts identified by Sbath has been found (except for the ones that he personally owned). This has fueled doubts whether he actually saw any of the manuscripts that he described, such that the reliability of Sbath's catalogue has been called into question. (61)

In the four manuscripts that we examined, Fi ittikhadh ma' al-jubn immediately precedes Fi mandfi' ma' al-jubn; thus, they appear to have been copied together as a unit. The two tracts circulated with other medical works, not only by al-Razi but also by Qusta ibn Luqa (d. ca. 912), Ibn Sina (d. ca. 1037), and Nasir al-Din Tusi (d. 1274). (62) Together, these treatises, which are concerned with pharmacological and therapeutic subjects, comprise a medical majmu'a ("collection"). Although the four manuscripts are not exact copies of each other, in addition to the treatises on whey all four contain many of the same texts by al-Razi. Each manuscript includes al-Razi's work on the correct way to consume fruit (Fi taqdim al-fawakih qabl al-ta'am wa-ta'khiriha). Manuscripts B, M, and S both have complete or partial copies of Kitab Man la yahduruhu l-tabib (Everyman His Own Doctor), al-Murshid (The Guide), (63) Bur' al-sa'a (Cure in an Hour), while B and M also contain complete or partial copies of Fi l-fasd (On Bloodletting), Fi taqaslm al-'ilal (On the Division of Diseases), and al-Shukuk 'ala Jalinus. Manuscripts M and S share Fi ikhtilaf al-dam (On the Diversity of Blood), Fi l-sakanjabin (On Oxymel), and Fi l-mumiya (On Bitumen). M contains several texts ascribed to al-Razi that are not in the other three manuscripts: Kitdb al-Bah (Book of Sexual Intercourse), Awja' al-mafasil (Pains of the Joints), al-Furuq (Differences), al-Fa'ida (A Useful Lesson), Fi l-qawlanj (On Colic), and al-Aqrdbadhin (The Dispensatory).

While all the manuscripts were copied in Iran, the texts of Fi ittikhadh ma' al-jubn and Fi manafi' ma' al-jubn in B, M, and S seem to derive from a different exemplar than the version in A. That is to say, B, M, and S show peculiar errors and lacunae in common as against A. The copies of Fi ittikhadh ma' al-jubn in all three manuscripts omit the passage about curdling goat milk with oxymel as well as the term wazn ("measure"); (64) moreover, their texts of Fi manafi' ma' al-jubn do not read the initial aqulu that appears in A. The dating of B and M reveals that the latter manuscript was copied twenty-seven years after the former. Notwithstanding this proximity in time, the whey treatises in M were not transcribed directly from B because they do not reproduce all of its errors: for example, Fi manafi' ma' al-jubn in M reads allati which is missing from B. Accordingly, the scribes of both manuscripts seem independently to have had access to the same exemplar. Manuscript S does seem to have been copied from M since it postdates the latter and reproduces all of its errors.

The textual tradition of Fi ittikhadh ma' al-jubn and Fi manafi' ma' al-jubn appears to consist of two branches, one represented by B, M, and S and the other by A. The errors and variant spellings of certain medical substances (e.g., asqiitari for squtari) in A are not present in B, M, and S, suggesting that the exemplar on which the three manuscripts are based does not stem from this particular manuscript. Instead, the texts on whey in B, M, and S were probably copied from a lost intermediary witness that derived from the same archetype from which the version in A ultimately comes. The scribe of this lost intermediary may have introduced the lacunae mentioned above or utilized another intermediary copy that already had these errors. Thus, the integrity of A indicates that it is a more reliable witness of al-Razi's two compositions, whereas M and S, with their additional lacunae, represent the least reliable ones.


The weights and measures that are used in the two texts are: tassuj ([approximately equal to] 0.125 g); daniq ([approximately equal to] 0.5 g); dirham ([approximately equal to] 3 g); mithqal ([approximately equal to] 4.5 g); uqiyya ([approximately equal to] 33 g); ratl ([approximately equal to] 410 g); and the nonspecific unit of juz ("part"). On tassuj, see G. W. Freytag, Lexicon arabico-latinum..., 4 vols. (Halle: C. A. Schwetschke et Sons, 1837), 3: 55. The gram equivalents for a daniq and the following measurements have been taken from O. Kahl, "Fragments of an Anonymous 'Old Dispensatory' in al-Razi's Kitab al-Hawi," Journal of Semitic Studies 49,2 (2004): 292.

When transcribing Arabic numerals, we have corrected the manuscripts' readings to reflect classical usage--for example, we have replaced thalatha with thalatha. The manuscripts offer two variant spellings of the Arabic term for myrobalan (halilaj and ihlilaj). For the sake of uniformity, we have chosen to follow halilaj, because this form appears most frequently in manuscript A, our most secure manuscript. Finally, it should be noted that the expression ran kulli wahid is always abbreviated in M and S simply with the letters mini, kaf, and dal.

Fi ittikhadh ma' al-jubn


Fi manafi' ma' al-jubn


On How to Administer Whey

This chapter is on how to administer whey by him (may God have mercy upon him).

If you want to administer whey to balance the hot temperament and to soothe inflammation of the intestines and the rest of the body, then it must be obtained following this recipe: Take the milk, heat [it], and whisk [it] until it almost boils. Next, one takes two uqiyya of oxymel that has been chilled by snow and one uqiyya of the juice of unripe grapes; sprinkle [this] over [the preparation] and then leave [it] to cool while covered. Next, mix what has curdled with its liquid and strain [it] through a filter, so that it seeps and falls in drops. Give this to drink together with the following medicinal powder: one part of rose and half a part of chalk. Give the equivalent of the weight of two dirhams of this to drink. If the liquid [obtained] from the seeds of broad beans was added to whey, and the aforementioned medicinal powder sprinkled in it with a small quantity of aloe and a pill of camphor, it would have a stronger soothing effect.

If the substance is complete, take the milk of a young goat that has been feeding on cold and moist grasses, such as endive, coriander, purslane, lettuce, and winter barley, and soaked, crushed barley with a small quantity of coriander; bring [this] to a boil in a jug on a very small flame or in double boilers. Whisk [it] with a stick of willow until it nearly boils, and then sprinkle over it three uqiyya of oxymel that has been chilled by snow. Leave it to curdle, and then cut it with a knife, blend [it together], and filter [it] by letting it drip. Of it, give at first three uqiyya to drink, until seven--or even nine--uqiyya are reached according to what [the patient] can endure. Do not make [the patient] swallow it in one go but little by little, and before this he should take three dirhams of yellow myrobalan, which has been pulverized like an eye-drug and crushed with almond oil, with the same quantity of sugar. Give this [following] drug to drink from cups: two dirhams of yellow myrobalan; one dirham of socotra aloe; rose and tragacanth, one-quarter dirham of each; one tassuj of scammony; one-half daniq of dodder.

If you desire [whey] for mange, scabies, ulcers, pustules that are most painful at night (sharan), and cloudy vision that comes about due to a bilious humor, then administer it with oxymel according to the manner that we have described. Give it to drink unadulterated for two or three days in the right manner, and on the fourth [day] with this medicinal powder: yellow, black, and chebulic myrobalan, a dirham of each; dodder, one and a half dirham; absinthe, one dirham; aloe and agaric, one-half dirham of each; and Indian salt, one-quarter dirham. Give to drink one-half or two-thirds of the entire [mixture] in proportion to the strength [of the patient]. Some ancients mentioned that one should drink ten dirhams of this medicinal powder the first time and then twenty dirhams the second time.

If you desire [whey] for chronic melancholic diseases, freckles, tetters, and evil thoughts, then administer it according to this recipe: Take the milk and add to it one daniq of the rennet of a young goat in two ratl of milk; then cover until it curdles. Next, cut it with a knife and sprinkle into it two daniqs of crushed white salt and hang it until it becomes liquid, then clarify a second time. [The patient] drinks it with this medicinal powder: chebulic, black, and yellow myrobalan, one part of each; dodder, cassidony, violet, borage, half a part of each; black salt, one-fourth of a part; crush, sift, and give five to ten dirhams of the entire [mixture] to drink. If the condition is very virulent, then have him drink with the divine remedy of Logadios (iyaraj lughadhiya), every day one mithqal. (42)

If [whey] is wanted for phegmatic residues, (43) a blockage in the liver, and edema, then administer it according to this recipe: Take fresh milk and add to it the weight of one daniq of salty rennet and one uqiyya of crushed and sifted safflower kernels. Cover and leave [it] to curdle, and then cut [it] and sprinkle on it one half of a dirham of salt soaked in naphthalene (44) and hang [it] until it dissolves the material. Next, clarify [it] and add to it three uqiyya of boiled oxymel; boil and clarify a second time. Clarify with this medicinal power, whose recipe is as follows: black myrobalan, mastic, anise, celery seeds, fennel, black salt--each as much as needed.

Dioscorides says: Administer whey for epilepsy, melancholy, mange, elephantiasis, and pimples with oxymel. Drink nine uqiyya of it at a time until one reaches three ratl and nine uqiyya. The person drinking it [should] walk between intervals. (45)

Galen says: Adding safflower to cheese makes it a stronger purgative. (46) When it is cooked after [whey] has been obtained, one adds [salt] to it, then [it is] a stronger purgative. (47)

If someone requires purging and cannot endure purging drugs, then give [it] to drink with sea water, because it also purges them salubriously. (48)

He says: Squirting cucumber mixed with [whey] makes it powerful. (49)

He says: One should not fear administering it in the height of summer, as one should fear purging drugs. (50)

I say: If one gives a purging drug with [whey] to drink, let him examine the one to whom the remedy was administered, because it is a great mistake to [give a purging drug to] those suffering from diarrhea. However, when taken on its own, no harm occurs. You can mix [the whey] with salt at the beginning. (51)

Some say: If administering whey for melancholic diseases, in this case black myrobalan, dodder, and Indian salt in vinegar are useful, [for] one obtains oxymel from it. Next, sprinkle this oxymel on milk while it is boiling, administer whey, and give it to drink with drugs that purge black bile.

On the Benefits of Whey

This chapter by him--may God have mercy--from the Book of Dairy Products is on the benefits of whey.

I say: The watery [part] of milk is useful as a purgative because whoever is unable to be given a sharp drug (namely, sufferers of epilepsy, ulcerous scabies, elephantiasis, and pimples) (52) to drink is purged by it, for [whey] expels ulcerous humors, cools the body, opens blockages in the liver and spleen, expels melancholic remnants that are generated from the combustion of black bile, (53) clears up cloudy vision whenever it arises from a bilious humor, and moistens black bile. It is especially beneficial to lepers and sufferers of epilepsy because it fattens those who possess a hot and dry temperament, but it also expels the bad humor and moistens [the body]. [Whey] is useful as a food, and it is beneficial against jaundice. One gives it to drink together with myrobalan for scabies, and together with dodder (54) it purges black bile. When wounds that contain hot pus are washed with whey instead of water, it is good; it [also] clears the blood produced under the skin and the black bile that arises from a bruise, whether it is used as a wash or as a poultice. It also cures freckles and a gathering of pus in the cornea [or pterygium] after it is mixed with drugs that are appropriate to [these diseases]. (55) It is also employed as a clyster because it washes and clears hot, irritating materials. God knows best.






The research for this article was funded by a small grant from the Leverhulme Trust. We wish to thank Reza Pourjavady and Shohreh Ziaee for their assistance in obtaining digital copies of the manuscripts held at the Sana Library and Malek National Library and Museum in Tehran. Furthermore, this article has greatly benefited from the comments of the JAOS anonymous reviewers and editor.

(1.) Al-Biruni identifies 184 works by al-Razi in his Fihrist kutub al-Razi, ed. P. Kraus (Paris: Matba'at al-Qalam, 1936). On al-Razi's life and works, see M. Ullmann, Die Medizin im Islam (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1970), 129-37; F. Sezgin, Geschichte des arablschen Schrifttums (hereafter, GAS), 9 vols. (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1967-84), 3: 274-94; L. Goodman, art. "al-Razi, Abu Bakr Muhammad b. Zakariyya'," in Encyclopedia of Islam, 2nd ed. (hereafter EI2), 12 vols. (Leiden: Brill, 1960-2004), vol. 8.

(2.) The charge of heresy was based on al-Razi's rejection of prophecy; see M. Rashed, "Abu Bakr al-Razi et le kalam" MIDEO 24 (2000): 39-54; idem, "Abu Bakr al-Razi et la prophetie," MIDEO 27 (2008): 169-82. See also al-Biruni, al-As'ilah wa'l-Ajwibah (Questions and Answers): Including the Further Answers of Al-Biruni and Al-Mas'umi's Defense of Ibn Sina, ed. S. H. Nasr and M. Mohaghegh (Kuala Lumpur: International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization, 1995), 13, for Ibn Sina's dismissal of al-Razi's theological works in his correspondence with al-Biruni.

(3.) For example, on the difference between smallpox and measles (Kitab al-Judari wa-l-hasba) and on gout (Fi awja' al-niqris).

(4.) Ancient sources report that the medical schools of Cnidus and Cos were rivals; the former was allegedly founded by Hippocrates and the latter by Euriphon. For a critical assessment of the evidence for the existence of these two schools, see I. M. Lonie, "Cos versus Cnidus and the Historians: Part 1," History of Science 16,1 (1978): 42-75; idem, "Cos versus Cnidus and the Historians: Part 2," History of Science 16, 2 (1978): 77-92. On the role of milk in Hippocratic therapeutics, see K. Deichgraber, "Zur Milchtherapie der Hippokratiker (Epid. VII)," in Medizingeschichte in unserer Zeit: Festgabe fur Edith Heischkel-Artelt und Walter Artelt zum 65. Geburtstag, ed. H.-H. Eulner et al. (Stuttgart: Enke, 1971), 36-53; V. Langholf, Medical Theories in Hippocrates: Early Texts and the "Epidemics" (Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1990), 15, 30-35.

(5.) C. Alvarez-Millan ("Practice versus Theory: Tenth-Century Case Histories from the Islamic Middle East," Social History of Medicine 13,2 [2000]: 303) observed that no surgeries are recorded in al-Razi's case histories in his Kitab al-Tajarib.

(6.) For the section on milk, see al-Razi, Kitab al-Hawi fi l-tibb, 21 vols, in 22 (Haydarabad: Da'irat al-Ma'arif al-'Uthmaniyya, 1955-71), 21: 414-59.

(7.) For al-Razi's sources, see the section on Sources, below.

(8.) Al-Razi, Manafi' al-aghdhiya wa-daf' madarriha (Beirut: Dar Ihya' al-'Ulum, 1982), 33.

(9.) Al-Razi, Kitab al-Mansuri fi l-tibb, ed. H. B. al-Siddiql (Kuwait: Ma'had al-Makhtutat al-'Arabiyya, 1987), 111-22.

(10.) Ibid., 113.

(11.) On this distinction, see A. Debru, "Philosophie et pharmacologic: La dynamique des substances leptomeres chez Galien," in Galen on Pharmacology: Philosophy, History and Medicine, ed. idem (Leiden: Brill, 1997), 85-102. Galen also composed a short treatise, riepi [PI][epsilon][rho][iota] [lambda][epsilon][pi][tau][omicron][nu][omicron][upsilon][sigma][eta][zeta] [delta][iota][alpha][iota][tau][eta][zeta] (On the Thinning Diet), which discusses the different types of food that can be used to thin humors. On this text, see J. Wilkins, "The Contribution of Galen, De Subtiliante Diaeta (On the Thinning Diet)," in The Unknown Galen, ed. V. Nutton (London: Institute of Classical Studies, Univ. of London, 2002).

(12.) Al-Razi, Kitab al-Shukuk 'ala Jallnus, ed. M. Muhaqqiq (Tehran: Ma'had al-Dirasat al-Islamiyya, Jami'at Tihran, 1993), 50.

(13.) Galen, [PI][epsilon][rho][iota] [kappa][rho][alpha][sigma][epsilon][omega][zeta] [kappa][alpha][IOTA] [DELTA][upsilon][nu][alpha][mu][epsilon][omega][zeta] [tau][omega][nu] [alpha][pi][lambda][omega][nu] [phi][alpha][rho][mu][alpha][kappa][omega][nu], in Claudii Galeni Opera Omnia, ed. C. G. Kuhn, 20 vols. in 22 (Leipzig: Knobloch, 1821-33), 6: 692; tr. M. Grant, Galen: On Food and Diet (London: Routledge, 2000), 167. On the Arabic translation of this Galenic work, see G. Bergstrasser, "Hunain ibn Ishaq uber die syrischen und arabischen Galen-Obersetzungen," in Abhandlungen fur die Kunde des Morgenlandes 17,2 (1925): 35.

(14.) Galen, [PI][epsilon][rho][iota] [kappa][rho][alpha][sigma][epsilon][omega][zeta] [kappa][alpha][IOTA] [DELTA][upsilon][nu][alpha][mu][epsilon][omega][zeta] [tau][omega][nu] [alpha][pi][lambda][omega][nu] [phi][alpha][rho][mu][alpha][kappa][omega][nu], ed. Kuhn, 6: 691; tr. Grant, 167.

(15.) Ibid., ed. Kiihn, 6: 694; tr. Grant, 168.

(16.) Galen, Kitab al-Adwiya al-mufrada, Escorial MS arabe, 793a, fols. 161a-b.

(17.) See, for example, Zosimos, [PI][epsilon][rho][iota] [tau][OMICRON][upsilon] [theta][epsilon][iota][omicron] [upsilon][delta][alpha][tau][OMICRON][zeta],, in Collection des anciens alchimistes grecs, ed. M. Berthelot and Ch. E. Ruelle, 3 vols. (Paris: G. Steinheil, 1888), 2: 141.

(18.) Ibn Abi Usaybi'a, 'Uyun al-anba' fi tabaqat al-atibba', ed. A. Muller (Cairo: al-Matba'a al-Wahbiyya, 1882), 321 1. 6. Abu Rayhan al-Biruni (d. ca. 1051) did not mention this title in his catalogue of al-Razi's works (see n. 1 above). For the genre of mukhtasar, see A. Arazi and H. Ben-Shammay, art. "Mukhtasar," EI2.

(19.) Galen, [SIGMA][upsilon][nu][omicron][psi][iota][zeta] [pi][epsilon][rho][iota] [sigma][phi][upsilon][gamma][mu][omega][nu], ed. Kuhn (n. 13 above), 9: 431-549.

(20.) Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 1111), for example, summarized his forty-book Ihya' 'ulum al-din into a more accessible work of forty chapters: Kitab al-Arba'in fi usul al-din (Misr: al-Matba'a al-'Arabiyya, 1925).

(21.) Al-Razi's Ikhtisar (or Talkhis) kitab Hilat al-bur' (Abridgement of The Therapeutic Method), which is preserved in MS Escorial arabe 801 (fols. 1-74), is currently being edited by Pauline Koetschet, Nashwa Deif, and Imane Hamid. For al-Biruni's list of al-Razi's abridgements, see ed. P. Kraus, 15-16, nos. 107-13. Ps.-Plutarch's (ca. 150-200) [PI][epsilon][rho][pi] [tau][omega][nu] [alpha][rho][epsilon][sigma][kappa][omicron][nu][tau][omega][nu] [phi][iota][omicron][sigma][omicron][phi][omicron][iota][zeta] [phi][upsilon][sigma][kappa][omega][nu] is itself an epitome of Aetius's (first century B.C.E) doxography [PI][epsilon][rho][iota] [alpha][rho][epsilon][sigma][kappa][omicron][nu][tau][omega][nu] [xi][upsilon][nu][alpha][gamma][omega][gamma][eta]. On the Arabic translation of ps.-Plutarch's work, see H. Daiber, Aetius Arabus: Die Vorsokratiker in arabischer Uberlieferung (Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1980).

(22.) Ikhtisar describes "a condensation which follows for the most part the wording of the original" and talkhis a summary that either "presents something precisely" or "presents the essential points of a book": D. Gutas, "Aspects of Literary Form and Genre in Arabic Logical Works," Glosses and Commentaries on Aristotelian Logical Texts: The Syriac, Arabic and Medieval Latin Traditions, ed. C. Burnett (London: Warburg Institute, 1993), 35-36, 39-43.

(23.) On the fluidity of these terms, ibid., 32.

(24.) "In these aphorisms, I have not adhered to the method that I followed in the Abridgements (al-Mukhtasarat), in which I quoted Galen's very words (a'taytu fiha bi-nass kalam Jalinus), as I stipulated in the introduction" (Maimonides, Book of Medical Aphorisms: Treatises 1-5, ed. and tr. G. Bos [Provo: Brigham Young Univ. Press, 2004], 2 11. 15-16).

(25.) U. Weisser, "Zur Rezeption der Methodus medendi im Continens des Rhazes," in Galen's Method of Healing: Proceedings of the 1982 Galen Symposium, ed. F. Kudlien and R. J. Durling (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1991), 123-46; J. Bryson, "The Kitab al-Hawi of Razi (ca. 900 AD), Book One of the Hawi on Brain, Nerve, and Mental Disorders: Studies in the Transmission of Medical Texts from Greek into Arabic into Latin" (Ph.D. diss., Yale Univ., 2001), 21-66.

(26.) MS Escorial arabe 801 (see n. 21 above), fols. 3b-4a.

(27.) For these citations, see al-Razi, al-Hawi, ed. Haydarabad, 21: 414 1. 5-417 1. 9; 440 1. 3-447 1. 7; 420 1. 18-4231. 9; 426 11. 3-6; 444 11. 11-14; 439 11. 4-7; 443 11. 14-16; 448 1. 12-451 1.7.

(28. A Greek-English Lexicon (H. G. Liddell et al., 9th ed. [Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1940]) gives the weights of a kyathos and a kotyl (s.v. [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) as respectively one-twelfth and one-half of an imperial pint. These measurements have been converted into grams (568 g [approximately equal to] 1 imperial pint) for ease of comparison.

(29.) The Arabic measurements are taken from O. Kahl, Sabur ibn Sahl's Dispensatory in the Recension of the 'Adudi Hospital (Leiden: Brill. 2009). 14. While weights and measures used in places such as Syria and Islamic Egypt derived from late antique Roman standards, each region of the medieval Islamicate world had a different system of weights (L. Chipman, The World of Pharmacy and Pharmacists in Mamluk Cairo [Leiden: Brill, 2010], 88). For further details about the problems that this multi-standard system created in the field of Arabic pharmacology, see S. Hamarneh, "The First Recorded Appeal for Unification of Weight and Measure Standards in Arabic Medicine," Physis 5 (1963): 230-48.

(30.) See Ibn al-Baytar, al-Jami' li-mufradat al-adwiya wa-l-aghdhiya (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyya, 1992), 2: 413 11. 23-24. On Ibn al-Baytar's use of al-Hawi as a source of ancient and early medieval material, see, e.g., K. van Bladel, "The Bactrian Background of the Barmakids," in Islam and Tibet: Interactions along the Musk Routes, ed. A. Akasoy, C. Burnett, and R. Yoeli-Tlalim (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2011), 77. On the Arabic translations of Dioscorides's [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], see M. Ullmann. Die Medizin im Islam (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1970), 257-63; idem, Untersuchungen zur arabischen Uberlieferung der Materia medica des Dioskurides (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2009), 13-39, 69-78.

(31.) Ed. Haydarabad, 21: 446 11. 8-10.

(32.) M. Ullmann, "Die arabische Oberlieferung der Schriften des Rufus von Ephesos," in Aufstieg und Niedergang der romischen Well, ed. W. Haase and H. Temporini, pt. 2, vol. 37.2 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1972-<1998>), 1318-19.

(33.) Ibid., 1333, fragments 92, 93. The Greek fragments of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] are found in Aetius of Amida's [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Sixteen Books on Medicine), which contains a chapter entitled "From Rufus and Galen on Milk" (bk. 2, [section][section]86-103). For the Greek text, see Aetius of Amida, Libri medicinales, ed. A. Olivieri, 2 vols. (Leipzig: Teubner, 1935-50), 1: 180-89.

(34.) Al-Razi, al-Hawi, ed. Haydarabad, 21: 466 11. 11, 14 respectively. These citations correspond to Ullmann's fragments 96 and 108 ("Arabische Oberlieferung," 1334-35).

(35.) See G. Bergstrasser, "Neue Materialien zu Hunain ibn Ishaq's Galen-Bibliographie," Abhandlungen fur die Kunde des Morgenlandes 19,2 (1932): 89 1. 2. Bergstrasser's text of Hunayn's appendix has "theriac" (tiryaq) rather than "jaundice" (yaraqan). The latter reading is preferable because in his transcription of Hunayn's Risala Ibn Abi Usaybi'a records ('Uyun al-anba', 101 1. 22) yaraqan and because Rufus does not appear to have composed a treatise on theriac. For a list of Rufus's known works, see Ullmann, Medizin im Islam, 72-76.

(36.) Bryson, "Kitab al-Hawi of Razi," 47-64.

(37.) Bergstrasser, "Neue Materialien," 90 1. 12.

(38.) Ibid., 89 11. 3-5. The first title refers to the ps.-Galenic Ei [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Whether the Fetus is a Living Creature). On the dating of this ps.-Galenic text, see H. Wagner, "Galeni qui fertur libellus Ei zoon to kata gastros" (Ph.D. diss., Univ. of Marburg, 1914). While a number of texts on uroscopy are attributed to Galen, Fi l-bawl may refer to [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] of Magnus of Emesa (fl. ca. 370), which was translated into Arabic by 'Uthman al-Dimashqi (d. ca. 900).

(39.) Personal notes in al-Hawl (e.g., 21: 443 1. 10: 446 1. 4) suggest that al-Razi wanted to inquire into the subject of whey in more detail.

(40.) Galen, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], ed. Kuhn, 12: 266K.

(41.) MS Escorial arabe 793, fol. 161a, 1. 8. On the Arabic version of v, see M. Ullmann, Worterbuch zu den griechisch-arabischen Ubersetzungen des 9. Jahrhunderts (Harrassowitz: Wiesbaden, 2002), 32.

(42.v P. Pormann, The Oriental Tradition of Paul of Aegina's Pragmateia (Brill: Leiden, 2004), 177-78, where the etymological explanation of the plural form zafara is also found.

(43.) Ibid., for an example of another text that confused these terms, taken from the Syriac-Arabic dictionary Kitab al-Dala'il of Bar Bahlul (tenth century).

(44.) Several medieval sources, including Ibn Abi Usaybi'a ('Uyun al-anba', 1: 203 11. 15-17), relate that Yusuf received the sobriquet al-Sahir ("the Vigilant") on account of either his nocturnal study habits or a tumor on his forehead that prevented him from sleeping. On al-Sahir, see Ullmann, Medizin im Islam, 124; Sezgin, GAS, 3: 268-69.

(45.) Al-Razi, al-Hawl, ed. Haydarabad, 21: 449 11. 8-11.

(46.) On this excerpt, see text at the begining of this section.

(47.) Ibn Abi Usaybi'a, 'Uyun al-anba', 1: 203 11. 19-22.

(48.) See, for example, H. M. Paavilainen, Medieval Pharmacotherapy, Continuity and Change: Case Studies from Ibn Sina and Some of His Late Medieval Commentators (Leiden: Brill. 2009), 4.

(49.) S. Tibi, The Medicinal Use of Opium in Ninth-Century Baghdad (Leiden: Brill, 2006), 106. See also A. King, "The New materia medica of the Islamicate Tradition: The Pre-Islamic Context," JAOS 135, 3 (2015): 499-528.

(50.) Charaka Samhita, 6 vols. (Jamnagar: Shree Gulabkunverba Ayurvedic Society, 1949), 1: 480-81; see also M. Levey, Early Arabic Pharmacology: An Introduction Based on Ancient and Medieval Sources (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1973), 14-15.

(51.) See Kahl, Sabur ibn Sahl's Dispensatory, nos. 125, 139, 140, 141, 145, 147, 148.

(52.) W. Schmucker, Die pflanzliche und mineralische Materia Medica im Firdaus al-Hikma des Tabari (Bonn: Univ. Press, 1969), no. 464; E. Lev and Z. Amar, Practical Materia Medica of the Medieval Eastern Mediterranean according to the Cairo Genizah (Leiden: Brill, 2008), 107.

(53.) Kahl, Sabur ibn Sahl's Dispensatory, nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 12 (to quote only a few preparations that include tabashir).

(54.) Lev and Amar, Practical Materia Medica, 123.

(55.) M. Levey, The Medical Formulary or Aqrabadhin of al-Kindi (Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1966), nos. 11, 24, 61, 77, 89, 91, 104, and 152.

(56.) Kahl, Sabur ibn Sahl's Dispensatory, nos. 2, 3, 8, 81, 86, 136, 199, 203, 204, 288.

(57.) Ibid., nos. 169, 170.

(58.) Tibi, Medicinal Use of Opium, 200; A. Dietrich, Die Dioskurides-Erklarung des Ibn al-Baitar: Ein Beitrag zur arabischen Pflanzensynonymik des Mittelalters (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1991), 4: 163-66.

(59.) In his account of the witnesses of these two texts, Sezgin (GAS, 3: 290) omits mention of A. He also identifies the shelfmark for S as 3258; it is now listed under the shelfmark 38. Ramazan [section]e[section]en (Nawadir al-makhtutat al-'arabiyya fi maktabat Turkiya, 3 vols. [Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-Jadida, 1975-82], 1: 216-17) records that A contains a copy of both treatises on whey, but fails to mention B.

(60.) P. Sbath, Al-Fihris (catalogue des manuscrits arabes), 3 vols. in 2 (Cairo: Imprimerie al-Chark, 1938), 1: 100.

(61.) G. Roper, Worldwide Survey of Islamic Manuscripts (London: Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation, 1994), 3: 635.

(62.) For instance, M contains five texts attributed to Ibn Sina: al-Urjuza fi l-tibb, Fusul tibbiyya, al-Adwiyya alqalbiyya, Hifz al-sihha, and Fi l-qawlanj, and one from Qusta ibn Luqa, al-Fa'ida. Manuscript A contains a treatise entitled Amr al-nadj that is attributed to Nasir al-Din Tusi.

(63.) This book also circulated under the title Kitab al-Fusul; see A. Z. Iskandar, "Rhazes' Kitab al-Murshid aw al-Fusul (The Guide or Aphorisms), with Texts Selected from His Medical Writings," Revue de l'Institut des Manuscrits Arabes 7, 1 (1961): 1-125, 173-213.

(64.) All omissions and variants can be found in the apparatus, below.



























(28.) Cf. al-RazI, al-Hawi, 446 11. 8-9: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]














(42.) The expression "divine remedy" translates the Arabic iyaraj, which is a transliteration of the Greek [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. Hieras are pharmacological preparations in which the dominant bitter ingredients are disguised by aromatics and spices. See Levey, Early Arabic Pharmacology, 72. On the preparation of iyaraj lughadhiya, see Kahl, Sabur ibn Sahl's Dispensatory, 176-77; Pormann, Oriental Tradition, 43-44.

(43.) Cf. Ullmann, Arabische Uberlieferung, 1333, fragment 86.

(44.) Naphthalene (al-milh al-nafti) is used, for example, in Ibn al-Tilmidh's al-Aqrabadhin. See Kahl, Dispensatory of Ibn al-Tilmid, 243 n. 207.

(45.) Cf. Dioscorides, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], bk 2, ch. 70, [section][section]3-4; al-Razi, al-Hawi, 21: 415 1. 11-416 1. 2.

(46.) Cf. Ullmann, "Arabische Uberlieferung," 1333, fragment 92.

(47.) As indicated in the apparatus, the passage is corrupt; we are therefore following al-Razi, al-Hawi, 446 11. 8-9.

(48.) Cf. Ullmann, "Arabische Uberlieferung," 1333, fragment 93.

(49.) Ibid., 1333, fragment 96.

(50.) Ibid., 1335, fragment 108.

(51.) Ibid.

(52.) Cf. Dioscorides, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], bk. 2, ch. 70, [section][section]3-4; al-Razi, al-Hawl, 21: 415 11. 11-13.

(53.) Cf. al-Razi, al-Hawl, 21: 449 11. 8-11

(54.) Cf. Ullmann, "Arabische Uberlieferung," 1334, fragment 95.

(55.) Cf. Galen, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], ed. Kuhn, 12: 266.
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Author:Das, Aileen; Koetschet, Pauline
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Date:Jan 1, 2017
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