Yuhanna ibn Masawaih (يوحنا بن ماسويه), also written Ibn Masawaih, Masawaiyh, and in Latin Mesue, Masuya, Mesue Major, Msuya, and Mesue the Elder was a Syriac physician from the Academy of Gundishapur. According to The Canon of Medicine for Avicenna and 'Uyun al-Anba for the medieval Arabic historian Ibn Abi Usaybi'a, Masawaiyh's father was Syrian and his mother was Slavic.
He became director of a hospital in Baghdad. He composed medical treatises on a number of topics, including ophthalmology, fevers, headache, melancholia, diatetics, the testing of physicians, and medical aphorisms.
Masawayh became personal physician to four caliphs. He composed a considerable number of Arabic medical monographs, on topics including fevers, leprosy, melancholy, dietetics, eye diseases, and medical aphorisms.
It was reported that Ibn Masawayh regularly held an assembly of some sort, where he consulted with patients and discussed subjects with pupils. Ibn Masawayh apparently attracted considerable audiences, having acquired a reputation for repartee.
Many anatomical and medical writings are credited to him, notably the "Disorder of the Eye" (Daghal al-'ain), which is the earliest Systematic treatise on ophthalmology extant in Arabic and the Aphorisms, the Latin translation of which was very popular in the Middle Ages.
He died in Samarra in 857 CE.
For his life and writings, see:
- J.-C. Vadet, "Ibn Masawayh" in, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd edition, ed. by H.A.R. Gibbs, B. Lewis, Ch. Pellat, C. Bosworth et al., 11 vols. (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1960-2002) vol. 3, pp. 872-873
- Manfred Ullmann, Die Medizin im Islam, Handbuch der Orientalistik, Abteilung I, Ergänzungsband vi, Abschnitt 1 (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1970), pp. 112-115
- Fuat Sezgin, Medizin-Pharmazie-Zoologie-Tierheilkunde bis ca 430 H., Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums, Band 3 (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1970), pp. 231-236.
- Elgood, Cyril (2010-10-31). A Medical History of Persia and the Eastern Caliphate: From the Earliest Times Until the Year A.D. 1932. Cambridge University Press. pp. 94–. ISBN 978-1-108-01588-2. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
- Withington, Edward Theodore (1894). Medical history from the earliest times: a popular history of the healing art. The Scientific Press, Ltd. pp. 141–. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
- Beeston, Alfred Felix Landon (1983). Arabic literature to the end of the Umayyad period. Cambridge University Press. p. 501. ISBN 978-0-521-24015-4. Retrieved 20 Januari 2011.
- Dunlop, D. M. (1971). Arab civilization to A.D. 1500 , Part 1500. the University of Michigan. p. 220. ISBN 978-0-582-50273-4.
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