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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

If we were to compare Arabic pharmacology to a building, we would be looking at a very elaborate and complex architectural structure, made by using materials and styles from different parts of the world and joining them together in an ingenious though somewhat idiosyncratic fashion. This chapter briefly investigates Ibn at-Tilmīḏ’s dispensatory. It tries to put down a rough template and briefly delineates the historical position and scientific significance of that text in the general framework of mediaeval Arabic pharmacology. It is not known when exactly Ibn at-Tilmīḏ wrote his dispensatory, but biographical accounts point to the fourth decade of the 6th/12th century as the presumable time of compilation. The dispensatory of Ibn at-Tilmīḏ thus already stands near the end of a relatively long chain of inventive pharmacological development in the Arab world, and insofar as clinical pharmacology is concerned undoubtedly marks the apogee of this genre of scientific literature.

Keywords: Arabic pharmacology; dispensatory; Ibn at-Tilmīḏ’; pharmacological development

10.1163/ej.9789004156203.i-349.5
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004156203.i-349.5
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