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Medical Services and ʿAbbasid Ladies

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The ʿAbbasid harem was at the center of several important studies, particular attention was given to the political activity and networking of notable women, mothers, sisters and wives of caliphs. Similarly, the charity activity and endowments of different ʿAbbasid ladies was studied and compared to male charity activity. Nonetheless, these activities (political networking and endowments) had implications hitherto not addressed; medical services are a case in point. This paper examines several medical choices and medical endowment made by ʿAbbasid ladies between the 8th–10th centuries. The paper will explore the implications these activities had for the transmission and appropriation of Galenic medicine in the early Abbasid period. In particular the paper will discuss the dedication of a medical book to Shujaʿ, the mother of Mutawwakil.

Affiliations: 1: Ben Gurion University, Haifa University Sapir


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