The rigorous intellect which made Maimonides, also known as Rambam, famous as an expositor of Jewish law and theology also served him in his capacity as a physician and medical essayist. Although the latter role of Maimonides is widely recognized, most of his health related manuscripts remained untranslated until a few years ago. This volume reaps the benefits of those recent translations from Arabic, analyzing in detail the vast store of medical knowledge accumulated by one who personally attended to the health of the vizier of Egypt. Dr. Fred Rosner probes Maimonides views on subjects ranging from ophthalmology and hemophilia to obstetrics and dentistry. The discussion even extends to the therapeutic efficacy of chicken soup. In one chapter, Rosner conclusively demonstrates that The Physician's Prayer said to be written by Maimonides was in fact composed by a German named Marcus Herz in 1783. But even that spurious attribution is evidence of the lasting impact and legacy of one of the Western most world's extraordinary minds.
By Fred Rosner
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