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Transmitting Medicine across Religions: Jean of Avignon’s Hebrew Translation of the Lilium medicine

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Chapter Summary

The method of translation used by the author to transmit terms and ideas, which are laden with religious meanings and connotations within the context of medical thinking, exemplifies both the difficulties inherent in the transmission of scientific knowledge across cultures and the solutions proposed to resolve such problems. The challenge of transmitting knowledge across religions is found with particular complexity in this translation by Jean of Avignon, himself a convert from Judaism to Christianity. Jean's decision to produce a translation of the Lilium medicine is not surprising. Bernard of Gordon, the author of the Lilium medicine, who was a professor of medicine in Montpellier and the author of several well-known and influential works, was a central figure of Latin medicine. Jean of Avignon's translation is generally faithful to Bernard of Gordon's original, with respect to both structure and content.

Keywords: Bernard of Gordon; Jean of Avignon; Judaism; Lilium medicine



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