METI releases latest Maimonides translation

02.16.2016 | Morgan Davis

Layout 1I’m pleased to announce the publication of a fourth volume of medical aphorisms by the eminent medieval physician and Jewish theologian Moses Maimonides (1138–1204). Maimonides, like every medical practitioner of his time, studied the works of Galen, the Greco-Roman physician of the second century. Maimonides condensed much of Galen’s medical advice into the collection of aphorisms of which this volume is just one part. One of the most fascinating things about Maimonides’s work is that he was heavily indebted to earlier medical scholars—quoting from the works of ancient and medieval physicians like Ibn Wafid, Ibn Sina, and Marwan ibn Janah for much of his material—but as a doctor in his own right he didn’t simply repeat after them. He critically engaged with them. When he disagreed with their prescriptions, he said so and offered his own advice on topics including women’s diseases, the regimen of health in general, physical exercise, bathing, foods and beverages and their consumption, and drugs, all of which are addressed in this volume. Once again, Gerrit Bos, the Dutch-born scholar and leading authority on the medical writings of Maimonides, has generated a critical edition of the Arabic text which is paired with his own lucid English translation on facing pages. At the Middle Eastern Texts Initiative, Angela Barrionuevo once again oversaw the major aspects of production for this volume with help from Muhammad S. Eissa, Felix Hedderich, Sandra Thorne, and Don L. Brugger. Special mention should be made of David Calabro who painstakingly reviewed and revised an index of over 260 plants and plant products mentioned in the treatises. And thanks also to Andrew Heiss for his beautiful work with the typesetting. Maimonides, Medical Aphorisms: Treatises 16–21 is published by Brigham Young University Press and distributed worldwide by the University of Chicago Press. It is available through our website and through major online book retailers.  

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Davis Morgan 08 (2)D. Morgan Davis has been affiliated with the Maxwell Institute’s Middle Eastern Texts Initiative since its launch in 1993 and became the project’s director in 2010. He holds a BA in Near Eastern Studies from Brigham Young University, an MA in history from the University of Texas at Austin, and a PhD (2005) in Arabic and Islamic studies from the University of Utah.