|Toledo. Restuarant at|
Hotel del Cardenal
(Former y the Translators School)
Photo by: jsjones 89
He was born in Lombardy. He learned Arabic in order to become a translator in the internationally famous Translators School of Toledo founded by Archbishop Raimundo, which existed between the 12th and 13th centuries. There, works were officially translated not only from Arabic but also from Hebrew and Greek into Latin.
Gerard joined the school in 1150 and spent most of his life in Toledo. His translations were numerous including astronomy, mathematics and medicine. Gerard’s medical translations were not only his best works but the most prolific. He translated at least twenty-one medical writings, among them Ibn S’na’s Canon, and numerous works by al-Rāzī.
While Europe was in the dark ages, under the patronage of the early Abbasiyyah caliphs, pharmacists were formally separated from physicians. Al-Rāzī was one of the few pharmacists who added very valuable contributions to medicine, pharmacy and culinary art. In his Mnafi' al-Aghthiyyah he emphasized general regulations for healthy living. He discussed breads, waters, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, spices, meats, and fishes. He explained in detail different species, methods of preparation, physical properties, therapeutic action, and when they were useful and when not. He described the disadvantages of frequent consumption of wines leading to alcoholism, which he thought often causes many serious diseases as epilepsy, paralysis, senile tremor in older people, cirrhosis, hepatitis, mental disorders, visionary distortions, obesity, debility, and impotence.
Photo from: Lamson Library
Gerard translated all of Avicenna’s works including Al-Qanun fi'l-Tibb (“The Canon of Medicine”) and Kitab Al-Shifa (Book of Healing), which recommends chicken broth as an excellent food and a medication. The former work was published around 1150. The latter is an immense medical encyclopedia of five volumes and over one million words on ancient and Muslim theories.
As a result, Gerard’s translations had an immeasurable impact upon Latin medicine of the Middle Ages. Thanks to the advanced state of Islamic Medicine, many of Cremona’s translations became medieval texts in medical schools and still are highly regarded by the medical profession today.
[ES: “Abu’l ‘Ali al-Husayn.” Dec 24, 02; ES: Kaf. Oct 26, 14; and Metlitzki. 1977:36;]
|A Treat for the Healthy|
as Well as the Ailing
Photo by: Lord-Williams
½ lb blanched and peeled almonds
seeds from a melon (optional)
1 chicken breast
¼ c rosewater
¼ c sugar
Add chicken broth. Mix well and strain the mixture though a metal strainer several times as the liquid is very thick. and finally through a cloth.
Add sugar and bring the mixture to a boil. Serve warm or cold.