Tuesday 12 March 2013

Kitab fi al-adwiyah al-mufradah

Unless your Arabic is up to it the title of this post will mean nothing in and of itself.  But I should like to draw your attention to a fascinating feature from McGill Publications that I just came across while researching early Herbals

The translation of Kitab fi al-adwiyah al-mufradah is 'The Book of Simple Drugs',  it was written in Al-Andalus (Moorish Spain) in the 12th century by Abu Ja’far al-Ghafiq (d.1165).  One of the foremost Arab physicians and scholars of
his time, Abu Ja’far al-Ghafiq drew heavily on the work of earlier Greek botanists including Dioscorides (1st century CE) and Galen (2nd century CE), and earlier fellow Muslim scholars including Abu Hanifah al-Dinawari (d.895), Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi (d.925), and Ibn Samajun (d.1001). 

The manuscript is unicum - that is to say the only known copy of this work, and  is now housed in the McGill University's Osler Library of the History of Medicine.

The Ghafiqi Project hosted at McGill aims is to produce a three-volume work, a facsimile of the original manuscript, a translation and a collection of scholarly commentary.


  1. Toby, do you have any idea when the Ghafiqi Project may be completed? It looks beautiful!

  2. Unfortunately I don't - and also the last link has gone weird since I posted. However if you follow it and search for Ghafiqi on the page you'll find some more information and the email links for members of the team. I am sure they'll be able to help. If you find out more please do comment.