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Inventory Of Practical Materia Medica Of The Genizah People, Its Analysis, And Comparisons With The Theoretical Inventory

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Chapter Summary

The reconstructed inventory of practical materia medica is based on medicinal substances that feature in prescriptions and letters written by medical practitioners of the Jewish community of Cairo, and recorded in lists of materia medica written by pharmacists, drug sellers, and drug traders. These medicinal substances were identified, learned, arranged in a mini database and analysed. The data collected here is informative regarding the medieval trade routes, the mercantile and industrial echelons, and supply and demand in the market. This chapter discusses the reconstructed inventory of practical materia medica, which is based upon documents such as prescriptions, lists of materia medica, and 'medical' letters. It considers the theoretical inventory of materia medica, which is based on medieval medical books found in the Genizah. The presentation, analysis, and comparison of these two issues are the core of the chapter, although other related subjects are addressed too.

Keywords:Cairo; Genizah; Jewish community; medical letters; medical practitioners; medicinal substances; practical materia medica; prescriptions; theoretical inventory



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