Salmawaih ibn Bunan

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Salmawaih ibn Bunan (died 840) was an Assyrian Nestorian Christian physician who translated works of Galen from Greek into Arabic.[1] He flourished at the time of the Abbasid caliphs al-Ma'mun (r. 813–833) and al-Mu'tasim (r. 833–842), serving as private physician to the latter.[2] It is reported that al-Mu'tasim trusted Salmawaih to such an extent that he called him "father", and that he prayed in person over Salmawaih's grave when he died.[3]

He was a patron of the fellow Nestorian physician and translator Hunayn ibn Ishaq, helping him in his translation of Galen's On The Therapeutic Method.[4] His scientific work included studies on the harmful effects of aphrodisiacs.[5] He was a rival of the fellow Nestorian physician Ibn Masawayh.[5]


  1. ^ De Lacy O'Leary How Greek science passed to the Arabs "How Greek Science Passed to the Arabs" online 2002- Page 166 "Hunayn had many other friends and clients, mostly physicians of Jundi-Shapur and those who had removed to Baghdad and used the Arabic language, like Salmawaih ibn Bunan an alumnus of Jundi-Shapur who became court physician to ..."
  2. ^ Sarton 1927, p. 573.
  3. ^ Bosworth 1991, p. 207 (note 609).
  4. ^ Sarton 1927, pp. 573–574.
  5. ^ a b Sarton 1927, p. 574.


  • Bosworth, C.E., ed. (1991). The History of al-Ṭabarī, Volume XXXIII: Storm and Stress Along the Northern Frontiers of the ʿAbbāsid Caliphate: The Caliphate of al-Muʿtasim, A.D. 833–842/A.H. 218–227. SUNY Series in Near Eastern Studies. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-0493-5.
  • Sarton, George (1927). Introduction to the History of Science, Volume I. From Homer to Omar Khayyam. Baltimore: Carnegie Institution of Washington. OCLC 874972552.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)