Israeli Isaac ben Salomon Known as Isaac Judaeus and Abu Yakub ibn Sulaiman Alisrili before 832932 ce

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A Jewish physician, born in Egypt, Israeli had his major impact in Tunis where he died. As a student of 'Ishak ibn 'Amran al-Baghdadi, he incorporated the traditions of Greek medicine as understood by contemporary Jewish and Muslim physicians. He was court physician to the last Aghiabite prince, Ziyadat Allah, and in 909 ce became the official physician to the Fatimid caliph Ubaid Allah al-Mahdi and, as such, had enormous influence in the medical world of his day. He was the author of, among many other medical works, a treatise on disease and its cures, Kitab al-adwiya al-mufrada wal-aghdhiya, the last three sections of which were translated into Latin as De diaetis particularibus. This was the first dedicated book on dieting published in Europe. His works' initial impact on Christian Europe came with their translation into Latin in 1087 by Constantine of Carthage (the African), who claimed that he had written the works himself. His dieting book was then translated into Hebrew from the Latin as Sefer ha-Ma'akalim and was first published from a manuscript in Padua in 1484. This book was immediately translated into the vernacular, and a German translation by Valentin Schwendes appeared in 1498 (Nägele 2001). It was only in 1515 that these works were finally attributed to Isaac Judaeus, who was one of the most influential interpreters of Greek medical knowledge for the Muslim world. Many of his works were written in Arabic as well as Hebrew.

See also Greek Medicine and Dieting

References and Further Reading

Nägele, Susanne (2001) Valentin Schwendes "Buch von menicherhande geschlechte kornes und menicherley fruchtte." Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann. Wüstenfeld, Heinrich Ferdinand (1840) Geschichte der arabischen Ärzte und Naturforscher, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht.

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