Talk:The Canon of Medicine

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Is the Persian word qanun actually a cognate of our word canon? 23:35 15 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Arabic, actually. It means "law". And I believe it's not the cognate, but the root/origin.
Really odd that the full Arabic name of the work is no listed at all. I am guessing it was Al Qanoon Al TibbiFaqeer | Talk to me! 08:54, Oct 2, 2004 (UTC)

Where are these books please? m.

It seems that instead of Galen, a picture of Ibn Sina/Avicenna should be pictured first, as he is the compiler. Shouldn't there be a Ibn Sina/Avicenna picture first? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:18, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Print avalibility[edit]

Is this work still in print? The article makes no mention. -- 01:51, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Auric (talk)


Along with biographies, academic journals, and hospitals, works of chiefly historical importance are usually rated "Low" by the medicine project. This doesn't mean that they weren't important at the time, just that improving an article on this subject is a low priority for the project when compared to (for example) articles on current diseases. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:22, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

While I agree with your assessment, I noticed that Hippocrates was of high-importance, whereas Galen does not have any Wikiproject Medicine template at all. I don't see how Galen and Avicenna are any less important, so I'm curious as to why this is? Does it have something to do with Hippocrates being a featured article? Regards, Jagged 85 (talk) 18:50, 26 July 2008 (UTC)


This article says that Gerard of Cremona translated The Canon into Latin but the article about him clearly states that he has been mistakenly credited and mentions another Gerard Cremonensis as the translator. Does anybody have more insight? Lathrop1885 (talk) 18:22, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Avicenna Worship[edit]

Even skimming this article, one notices a tendency toward Avicenna-veneration (also evident in the main Avicenna article). Although no-one is denying the man's achievements, for he had many, this article should be about the document itself, and *not* how wonderful Avicenna was for coming up with this or that. Example:

- Ibn Sina contributed inventively...
- ...he used to pioneer the idea of...
- Avicenna was the first to describe the...
- Avicenna's contribution to the...

Again, not that any of these are unremarkable by themselves, but that they all occur within the span of 3-4 sentences. Indeed, for most of the article, almost every single paragraph begins with "Avicenna ....." - and this is NOT an article on Avicenna, it is an article on a single document. It ends up reading like fanboy work, which is unfortunate. I've added the coatrack tag and the "too long" tag. Glacialfury (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 02:24, 11 November 2008 (UTC).

This isn't fanboy work, it's rabid religion disguised as 'science'. Apparently 'the qanun' describes most modern medical practices including cancer treatment!

Taditional Knowledge Digital Libarary[edit]

This is a type of Database generated by India Govt to protect country ancient knowledge —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:08, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Volume size in Chinese version is different to what is written here.....[edit]

and verification is needed-- (talk) 04:33, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

If anyone can access to the following article, please add the info to this article -- (talk) 04:40, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

neutral source ?[edit]

Well its better than what we have here AVICENNA x. Medicine and Biology [1] J8079s (talk) 22:09, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Stub and rework[edit]

For background information, please see RFC/U and Cleanup. With 205 edits, User:Jagged 85 is the main contributor to this article by far (2nd: 7 edits). The issues are a repeat of what had been exemplarily shown here, here, here or here. As the last pre-Jagged85 version (06 June 2007) is itself unreferenced I stubbed the article completely. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 18:49, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

Personally I think it was a mistake to unstub this article. Unfortunately other editors have now clearly spent a significant amount of time working on the unstubbed article. I have added back the Jagged_85 tag, anyway, so at least there's a warning.
Although the Canon was clearly important in medieval Western medicine, there is so much dubiously sourced Jagged_85 hyperbole that I am very uncertain what is reliable and what is not. E.g. "Henceforth the Canon served as the chief guide to medical science in the West". Really? It was the chief guide to medical science from the instant it was translated till 1650 or so? Displacing Galen? What about al-Razi? This stuff is so over the top it detracts from the whole article. If anyone else has time to look at toning it down (using good sources) it would be much appreciated. If anyone else has the energy to go through Jagged_85's edits it would be very much appreciated. I guess I'll look at this after Avicenna. When you consider there's al-Razi etc. still to go, the task is pretty monumental, and this is several years in. --Merlinme (talk) 11:26, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

File:IbnSina-Dushanbe.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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reverts by User:Al-Andalusi[edit]

I will WP:AGF and allow them time to undo or correct their revert. J8079s (talk) 04:51, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

I'm not disputing the term "Galenic medicine" per se. Rather, it's your opinionated Euro-centric attempt to dismiss the whole enterprise of Islamic medicine as nothing other than commentaries on Galen (or Ancient Greek medicine), a claim that has been refuted by modern scholarship. Also, Avicenna incorporated in this work Ancient Indian, Ancient Persian and maybe Chinese medicinal knowledge, but you probably don't care about them either. Al-Andalusi (talk) 02:58, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

points of agreement:

  1. Galenic medicine is a common term for medicine of the period.
  2. calling the Canon "a translation with commentaries" would not be accurate.
  3. The role of the Canon is large

Points for discussion:

  1. Galens' role in the Canon is Primary See Iranica The Canon. Galen (and Hippocrates as presented by Galen) had generally dominated Islamic medicine from its beginnings. Galen’s positive ideas about anatomy, physiology, disease, and treatment of disease have the pride of place in the Canon, as they do in all of Islamic medicine. [6] AVICENNA x. Medicine and Biology Also A full text version of the Canon is available on line [7] Galen is named many times
  2. Persian, Indian, and Chinese may play a trivial role in the Canon but I have found no source to tell us what part of the Canon they can be found in. If I do I will add them whether I care or not.

Point of disagreement:

  • whole enterprise of Islamic medicine: Ibn Khaldun tells us [8] Galen is the leading ancient authority on medicine. His works have been translated (into Arabic). He is said to have been a contemporary of Jesus and to have died in Sicily on his wanderings while in voluntary exile. His works on medicine are classics which have been models for all later physicians. He goes on father down the page; The medicine mentioned in religious tradition is of the (Bedouin) type. It is in no way part of the divine revelation. (Such medical matters) were merely (part of) Arab custom and happened to be mentioned in connection with the circumstances of the Prophet, like other things that were customary in his generation. They were not mentioned in order to imply that that particular way of practicing (medicine) is stipulated by the religious law. Muhammad was sent to teach us the religious law. He was not sent to teach us medicine or any other ordinary matter.

My points are these:

  1. There is nothing Islamic inherent in in either type.
  2. You seem to want to build a new type of medicine based solely on contributions from Muslims.
  3. What have you got against Galen?
  4. What have you got against the Greeks? Romans? Jews? Christians?

WP:Assume good faith J8079s (talk) 07:43, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

I'm amused at the hypocrisy displayed here; preaching "AGF" in the very same paragraph where you wrote: "What have you got against the Greeks? Romans? Jews? Christians?" and made accusations of making up stuff. Your post is a good example of WP:OR as there are really no valid arguments presented here. But even worse are the distortions: I never said nor implied anything close to the claim that "Galenic medicine is a common term for medicine of the period". Ibn Khaldun's views regarding the medicine practiced in early Islam (7th-century Arabia) were presented as though they describe that of Avicenna's period. You also conveniently left this part out: "There have been leading physicians in Islam of surpassing skill [over Galen], such as, for instance, ar-Razi, al-Majusi,and Avicenna".
"Islamic medicine", "Arabic medicine" or a variation of both are the terms used in academia to refer to the tradition of medicine developed in Muslim countries. But it seems that you are strongly disputing this established fact to the point of accusing other editors of making it up. Please don't spam Wikipedia with such views, and the above scribble won't help. When in doubt, see WP:FRINGE. Al-Andalusi (talk) 03:22, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
"Greco-Islamic" and Greco-Arabic are also quite common. I a sorry you choose to "edit war" over this. We probably need a different venue as this may be going beyond the scope of The Canon of medicineJ8079s (talk) 04:24, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Both of which are entirely different than just calling it "Galenic medicine" as you insist. But I guess it's too late for you, given that you've already exposed your bigotry above. Al-Andalusi (talk) 18:25, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
  1. That the "Canon" is the most influential Galenic document of the Middle Ages [[9]] should not be taken as an attempt to falsify any other construct.

Islamic medicine as a target page in wikipedia;1)re-directs are to be avoided. 2) there are two types of medicine that could be construed as Islamic readers should not be forced to follow the link. These are technical issues and should not be taken as endorsing or condemning any WP:POV J8079s (talk) 22:49, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

I have used "medicine" for grammar, if you feel it must say Islmaic use this construct: {{Medicine in the medieval Islamic world|Islamic medicine thank youJ8079s (talk) 16:18, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

why the lede needs to change[edit]

The construction encyclopedia of Islamic medicine "encyclopedia" is an WP:Easter egg "Islamic medicine" is a redirect to the same page Medicine in the medieval Islamic world. Medicine in the medieval Islamic world ⋅needs to be linked in the lede. The page has other problems mostly technical. Substantial changes should use talk.J8079s (talk) 04:24, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Canon's massive overhaul[edit]

I have selected Canon of Medicine for editing because it was such an important medical text and the wikipedia article has very little concerning its actual content. This book was the textbook in medicine for hundreds of years and is even in use in smaller capacity today. I think this text deserves a closer inspection, and I intend on adding significant detail to the Wikipedia article.

I have found an English translation of the source material. Because of having access to this source, mistakes have been made very obvious. For example, many of the headings and chapters are misnamed or completely out of order.

I intend on laying out as much of the book as possible and giving a brief overview of what is in it. It is also my intention to find additional photos and other third party sources. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Paullittle1979 (talkcontribs) 11:32, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

I have been filling out content material so that we have a complete overview of the Canon. I have desired to post pictures of the source material in Arabic, however each page is indiscernible from the next. There are no pictures, diagrams, or such. So I'm coming to the decision that showing additional photos would be superfluous.

In the meantime, I am reading critical responses to Canon to bridge the content material with it's reception in a historical concept. How did it differ Canon differ from Galen's medical volumes? How did it differ from Hippocrates or Aristotle?

Presentist wording[edit]

Presentist wording has been a major issue in the past in articles relating to science in Medieval Islam. A lot of that content was removed with the Jagged_85 cleanup a few years ago. This article still has some content which reads to me as grafting modern terminology onto a thousand year old text, specifically:

  • Neuroanatomy and neurophysiology as a section heading
  • The statement that "The Canon of Medicine deals with evidence-based medicine, experimental medicine,[51] clinical trials, randomized controlled trials,[52][53] efficacy tests,[54][55] risk factor analysis, and the idea of a syndrome in the diagnosis of specific diseases.[56]" from the Book 2 (materia medica) section.

Because presentist wording is sometimes also found in the sources, I'm not sure what the best course of action is here.Dialectric (talk) 11:55, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

Improvements & Expanding[edit]

This is really well fleshed out so far. I have no suggestions on how to improve this more. I can't wait to see how User:Paullittle1979 improves books 3-5. Theboywiththednatattoo (talk) 03:03, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

The Canon of Medicine makes one of the earliest references to headaches caused by perfume odors[edit]

In Volume III, the chapter beginning on p. 298 is titled,

Chapter on treatment of headaches caused by external wind which penetrated into the head

The first two sections of the chapter, in order are

- on treatment of headache caused by external bad vapors which inflicted the head 298

- On treatment of headache caused by perfume odors 298

@Ocdnctx:That's fine but not terribly helpful; if you wish the information to go into the article in some form please either suggest an edit or make a WP:BOLD edit yourself. Thanks --Merlinme (talk) 12:02, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Gerard of Cremona[edit]

Iranica says: "Book 1 is available in English, based on the twelfth-century Latin translation of Gerard of Cremona (with its own departures from the Arabic text) in O. C. Gruner, A Treatise on the Canon of Medicine, Incorporating a Translation of the First Book, London, 1930." [10] However this source says: "When [the fourth book, on surgery] was translated into Latin in the 13th century by Gerard of Cremona or Gerard de Sabloneta..." [11] I'm confused. Can anyone else shed any light? Were different books from the Canon translated into Latin at different times, by different people? --Merlinme (talk) 13:35, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Catholic Encyclopedia says: "he was able to translate not only the "Almagest", but also the entire works of Avicenna, into Latin...Whether he is the author of original treatises is uncertain. The works sometimes attributed to him are almost certainly to be ascribed to Gerard of Sabionetta, who lived in the thirteenth century." [12] That would seem to imply to me that the translations are by Gerard of Cremona, 12th century, but the "original treatises" are probably by Gerard of Sabionetta, 13th century. --Merlinme (talk) 13:48, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
Britannica also supports Gerard of Cremona translating the Canon in the 12th Century. [13]. --Merlinme (talk) 13:50, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
User:Fiedorczuk: The sources I've listed above are not without some uncertainty, e.g. Britannica says "attributed to" Gerard of Cremona. If you can find good recent scholarship that says the translation is 13th century rather than 12th then I'd be happy to have the text changed. However I'm going to need to see a better source than an essay on by "alyssame", an unidentified student with one essay credit: [14] By no stretch of the imagination is that a WP:Reliable Source. --Merlinme (talk) 15:59, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
The reference given on the Gerard of Cremona page is to Nicholas Ostler, Ad Infinitum, p. 211, which is viewable on Amazon: [15]. If you search for Cremona you can read p. 211 which clearly states the Canon of Medicine translation is the work of the later Gerard. As far I can tell Ostler is a reliable source, and a recent one at that. However Ostler's remark is unreferenced; given that it is more or less contradicted by other sources re: the Canon, I'd be happier if if this was supported by more than one source (or at least if it was clear what the original source is for the change in thinking from 12th to 13th century translation of the Canon).--Merlinme (talk) 16:15, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
MerlinmeThis is fine. You may wish to update the Gerard of Cremona Wikipedia page which states that “Gerard de Cremona has been mistakenly credited as the translator of Avicenna's Canon of Medicine” citing Nicholas Ostler, Ad Infinitum: a biography of Latin as the source for this statement.Fiedorczuk (talk) 16:20, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
Ostler doesn't say "Gerard de Cremona has been mistakenly credited as the translator of Avicenna's Canon of Medicine", though. He says there were two men, both called Gerard of Cremona, one working in the 12th century who translated astronomy and other science, one working in the 13th century who focused on medical works. The 13th century one is "also known as Gerard de Sabloneta", but it is still correct to call him Gerard of Cremona.
At the moment Ostler seems to be on his own in the sources we have available in clearly stating that the Canon was translated by the 13th century Gerard. Ostler does appear to be a high quality source though. The simplest thing in the absence of other evidence is probably to make an edit reflecting the confusion, which I'll do now. --Merlinme (talk) 18:10, 27 February 2014 (UTC)