Yuhanna ibn Bukhtishu

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Yuhanna ibn Bukhtishu (Johannes Bukhtishu) was a 9th-century Persian[1] or Syriac[2] physician from Khuzestan, Persia.[3][4]

Yuhanna ibn Bukhtishu‘ (or Bakhtishu‘) was a member of a prominent family of Nestorian Christian physicians originally from Jundishapur in Khuzastan who worked in Baghdad from the 8th through the 10th centuries. The name is composite of middle Persian Bukht (saved)[5] and Syriac Ishu' (Jesus), which means saved by Jesus or one whose saviour is Jesus.

Yuhanna ibn Bukhtishu was the illegitimate son of Jabril Ibn Bukhtishu (d. 870CE) who was physician to the caliphs al-Ma'mun, al-Wathiq and Al-Mutawakkil in Baghdad.[6]

Ibn Bukhtishu‘, who worked in Baghdad about 892CE, is known to have written a treatise on astrological knowledge necessary for a physician, but the treatise is now lost. It is uncertain whether he was in fact the author of a treatise on materia medica that is attributed to him in the extant copies, of which The National Library of Medicine has one.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Manfred Ullmann, Die Medizin im Islam, Handbuch der Orientalistik, Abteilung I, Ergänzungsband vi, Abschnitt 1 (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1970), p. 111
  • Fuat Sezgin, Medizin-Pharmazie-Zoologie-Tierheilkunde bis ca 430 H., Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums, Band 3 (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1970), p. 258
  • Ibn Abi Usaybi'ah, 'Uyun al-anba' fi tabaqat al-atibba', ed. A. Müller, 2 vols. (Cairo and Königsberg: al-Matba'ah al-Wahbiyah, 1882–1884) vol. I p. 202.

For the family of physicians, see Lutz Richter-Bernburg, "Boktisu" in Encyclopædia Iranica, ed. Ehsan Yarshater, 6+ vols. (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul and Costa Mesa: Mazda, 1983 to present), vol. 4, pp 333–336.


  1. ^ Philip Jenkins, The Lost History of Christianity, (HarperCollins, 2008), 78.
  2. ^ Bonner, Michael David; Ener, Mine; Singer, Amy (2003). Poverty and charity in Middle Eastern contexts. SUNY Press. p. 97. ISBN 978-0-7914-8676-4. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  3. ^ Islamic Culture and the Medical Arts, U.S. National Library of Medicine
  4. ^ The first Persian Muslims, who replaced the Persian Christian physicians (bukhtishu' and Maswaih or Masua), was Ahmad b. Al-Tayib al-Sarakhsi (died 900).(Frye, Richaard, Heritage of Persian, Mazda Publishers Inc, fourth edition published in 2004, pages 163-164)
  5. ^ D. N. MacKenzie, A Concise Pahlavi Dictionary, London, 1971
  6. ^ "Islamic Medical Manuscripts: Bio-Bibliographies - Y". National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health.