Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research (2004): Supplement 2:
2nd International Congress on Traditional Medicine and Materia Medica
Avicenna and his literary
Taavoni S.1, Mortazavie S.J.2
1Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IRAN 2Iran News TV Channel
Abu Ali Hossein Ebn Abdullah Ben Ali Ben Sinna entitled as Shayhk-o-Rayeis in the East and well known in the west by the name of Avicenna was born in a place called Afsharneh near the city of Bokhara in 980 AD but resided in the city of Balkh. He was five years old when his father took him to the city of Bokhara to study Holy Quran where his extraordinary memory became apparent and he memorized the Holy book very quickly. Then he studied literary and oratory disciplines and later learned Algebra, Mathematics and Geometry under the guidance of a master called Mahmoud. Afterwards, he became the pupil of Abul-Hassan Koushyar and learned every thing that he knew about astrology in less than a year. Therefore, he turned his attention toward theology and philosophy. Abu Sahl who was an expert physician himself, persuaded Avicenna to study medicine and he became a general physician at the age of 16. His multi-dimensional studies included Quranic disciplines, Law, Logic, Theology, Mathematics, Astrology and Medicine. He did not reach the age of 60, but his literary works influenced Europe for many years. Some of his books are regarded prominent in these fields. Although Avicenna had many entanglements and worries like captivity, he was able to write 476 books and articles in the above-mentioned sciences, which 246 of these books and articles are still available and are kept in various libraries throughout the world. His medical books written in 8 volumes have had immense effect on the development of medicine in the world, particularly in Europe. His first medical book was written in the context of Honain’s medical practices and it is available only in form of handwriting. Then he wrote a book about colic, which was his specialty and later he completed the books of Ghanoon (Canon) and the limits of medicine. His article about cardiac medicine and drugs is regarded as one of his prominent literary works after his books of Ghanoon (Canon) and Shafaa (Remedy). His other book called Al-Mabdah contains an especial chapter about psychology. The books written by Razi and Avicenna were the only medical books taught in European medical colleges from 12th to 17th centuries and the book of Canon was considered as a reference book by the researcher throughout the world even in late 18th century.
The above article is a brief glance at the life of Avicenna, his literary works and a selection of his suggestions and prescribed drugs in the field of gynecology and obstetrics taken from his book of canon.