Story of the object
Al-Qanun fi-l-tibb (The Canon of Medicine) represent the great synthesis between Greek and Arabic medicine. It has been translated from Arabic to Latin by Gerard of Cremona in the 12th century and published six time in Europe form the 15th to 17th century. The Canon is an example of encyclopedic contents offer a systematic organization of topics and a philosophical perspective which captured the attention of lecturer and students of its time and displaced the works of Galen, becoming the most important handbook in the European Medical Schools until the early 18th. In the last 15th century, it passed through fifteen Latin editions and one in Hebrew. Commentaries to the Canon have been written in Arabic, Latin, Hebrew, Persian, Urdu, Uzbek, French, German and English. Its principles influenced Chinese medicine and have been the basis of Unani medicine in India. William Olser defined the Canon as “the most famous medical book ever written”. The Canon is divided in 5 books structured in summae, treatises and chapters, the first book concerns general medical principles, the second one basic substances to produce drugs, and remedies including parts of Galen pharmacology, the third book is on pathology and therapy with some anatomical descriptions, the fourth book is referred to the disease which affect the whole body, the fifth is related to remedies and antodotarium, syrups, medicinal oils, pills and ointment, and short formulation to prepare drugs for specific illness.