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Chapter Summary

The daily work with the prescriptions, the letters and lists of materia medica enabled to get closer to medical practitioners among the Genizah people. This unique and substantial collection of prescriptions and lists of materia medica, along with hundreds of fragments of medical and pharmacological books to reconstruct both the inventory of practical materia medica of one minority community of the medieval Mediterranean. By reconstructing these inventories the author was able to assess the gap in numbers between them and even isolate and identify what these substances are and analyze them: 87(64%) of plant origin, 38 of animal origin(27.9%), and 11(8.1%) of inorganic origin. After studying the prescriptions and lists of materia medica, he was able to ascertain, focus on, analyze, and set out the most frequently used substances. Substances of animal and inorganic origin, and more particularly medicinal plants, played a major part in the lives of Genizah people.

Keywords:Genizah; materia medica; medical letters; medical practitioners; medicinal plants; pharmacological books; prescriptions



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