The Firdaws al-ḥikma (the Paradise of Wisdom) was composed by ʿAlī ibn Rabbān al-Ṭabarī who, as the nisba suggests, was born in northern Persia, on the southern shores of the Caspian Sea, and probably died in the second half of the ninth century. The patronymic Ibn Rabbān was interpreted by historian of medicine Ibn al-Qifṭī (thirteenth century) as an honorific title for Jewish scholars conferred to al-Ṭabarī’s father. This, however, is to be regarded as an ex post reconstruction, because al-Ṭabarī most probably was a Christian who later converted to Islam (hence the bitterness of his anti-Christian polemics in order to show the veracity of his faith). After his adhesion to a local rebellion, he was admitted to the Caliph’s service in the new capital of Samarra, and served under al-Muʿtaṣim, al-Wāṯiq and al-Mutawakkil from 833 to 861. The Caliph al-Mutawakkil (reigned 847 to 861) made al-Ṭabarī his table companion, and probably played an important role in his conversion as well.1 Al-Ṭabarī was one of the many foreign intellectuals (highly educated scholars who used Arabic as their scientific language) with a multilingual background who went to Baghdad and played a crucial role in the massive transmission of ancient and late antique knowledge into the Arabo-Islamic culture.

The Paradise of Wisdom: Streams of tradition in the first medical encyclopaedia in Arabic

Lucia Raggetti
2020

Abstract

The Firdaws al-ḥikma (the Paradise of Wisdom) was composed by ʿAlī ibn Rabbān al-Ṭabarī who, as the nisba suggests, was born in northern Persia, on the southern shores of the Caspian Sea, and probably died in the second half of the ninth century. The patronymic Ibn Rabbān was interpreted by historian of medicine Ibn al-Qifṭī (thirteenth century) as an honorific title for Jewish scholars conferred to al-Ṭabarī’s father. This, however, is to be regarded as an ex post reconstruction, because al-Ṭabarī most probably was a Christian who later converted to Islam (hence the bitterness of his anti-Christian polemics in order to show the veracity of his faith). After his adhesion to a local rebellion, he was admitted to the Caliph’s service in the new capital of Samarra, and served under al-Muʿtaṣim, al-Wāṯiq and al-Mutawakkil from 833 to 861. The Caliph al-Mutawakkil (reigned 847 to 861) made al-Ṭabarī his table companion, and probably played an important role in his conversion as well.1 Al-Ṭabarī was one of the many foreign intellectuals (highly educated scholars who used Arabic as their scientific language) with a multilingual background who went to Baghdad and played a crucial role in the massive transmission of ancient and late antique knowledge into the Arabo-Islamic culture.
Systems of Classification in Premodern Medical Cultures: Sickness, Health, and Local Epistemologies
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Lucia Raggetti
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/793865
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