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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter presents an overview of the book, which focuses on medical drug therapy in medieval times and the interplay of tradition and innovation that characterize its development. In order to appreciate that development, which began with literate Arabic medicine and led to Latin medical scholasticism, the book concentrates on a few diseases and follow their treatment methods, starting from an Arabic medical encyclopedia of the 11th century, proceeding through a number of Arabic and some Latin commentaries, and concluding in the 15th century. The book concentrates on the type of medicine which was practiced by doctors from the highest to the middle level of the professional scaleliterate practitioners, from whose ranks arose also the greatest medical authors of the time, especially the encyclopedists.

Keywords: Arabic medicine; Latin medical scholasticism; pharmacotherapy



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