Medical dictionaries and glossaries were composed by a number of medieval Islamic scholars, many of them focusing upon medical terminology.
In 1518/924 Muḥammad ibn Yūsuf al-Harawī composed in Arabic an alphabetical medical dictionary and encyclopedia. It covered anatomical and pathological terms and concepts, medicinal substances, and prominent physicians, with all the entries arranged alphabetically. NLM has one copy of this comprehensive medical dictionary (MS A 6), catalogued below.
In addition, NLM has two copies (MS A 16 and MS A 84) of the only known treatise by Mas‘ūd ibn Muḥammad al-Sijzī, who worked sometime before 1334/734. His treatise is a relatively short introduction to the medical art, written in Arabic, that focuses upon medical terminology. It consists of three sections: the first concerns medical and pharmaceutical terms and the names of diseases, the second is on medicinal substances and how they might be prepared, while the third concerns compound remedies and their various types and methods of preparation. This treatise was catalogued earlier with the general medical encyclopedias, since, in the course of the treatise, all the basic medical, physiological, and pathological ideas current at the time are explained (MS A 16, item 1) (MS A 84; item 1).
For a discussion of medieval Islamic medical glossaries and dictionaries, see Ullmann, Medizin, pp. 234-241 and 288-292.
In 1518/924 Muḥammad ibn Yūsuf al-Harawī composed in Arabic an alphabetical medical dictionary and encyclopedia titled Baḥr al-jawāhir. It covered anatomical and pathological terms and concepts, medicinal substances, and prominent physicians, with all the entries arranged alphabetically. NLM has one copy of this comprehensive medical dictionary (MS A 6).
al-Harawī also wrote a lexicon titled Jawāhir al-lughah, in three chapters: the first explaining terminology for parts of the body (in alphabetical order), the second on the names of simple and compound drugs (also in alphabetical order), and the third names of diseases, presented in order from head to toe according to their locations. An autograph copy of Jawāhir al-lughah exists in which the author states that he completed the correction of the treatise in 898/1492 (London, Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine, MS Arab. 143).
The Baḥr al-jawāhir is a very different treatise than Jawāhir al-lughah. It was written later, in 924/1518, and it has no subdivisions, but rather presents all the medical terminology together in alphabetical order, with the explanations of the numerous anatomical, pathological and medicinal terms mostly in Arabic but sometimes in Persian. For a comparison of the two treatises, see A.Z. Iskandar, "Jawahir al-lughah wa-Bahr al-jawahir: mu‘jaman mukhtalifan lil-tabib Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Harawi" [in Arabic], al-Mashriq (1963) vol. 57, pp. 331-334 and 7 plates; also Iskandar, "Wellcome, pp. 68-9.
In the introduction to his Baḥr al-jawāhir, al-Harawi lists the sources he consulted. In addition to various general dictionaries, such as al-Qamus by Firuzabadi (d. 1414), the author consulted for medical sources the Qānūn and its commentaries and Shifa' [both by Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna)], al-Minhaj [either the K. Minhaj al-dukkan by Ibn al-‘Attar al-Kuhin or K. Minhaj al-bayan fi-ma yasta‘miluhu al-insan by Ibn Jazlah], al-jami‘ [probably K. al-jami‘ li-mufradat al-adwiyah wa-al-aghdhiyah by Ibn al-Baytar], al-Taqwim [by Ibn Butlan], al-Hawi al-kabir [by al-Rāzī], and al-Mujiz [by Ibn al-Nafis] and its commentaries. Al-Harawi then adds that for what he did not find in these books, he relied upon discussions with learned physicians and the experienced authorities (bi-al-sama‘ min al-atibba' al-‘alimin wa-al-‘ulama’ al-mutajarrabin). In the course of the work itself, a large number of authorities are cited by name.
For other copies, see Ullmann, Medizin, p. 237 note 4; Iskandar "UCLA", p. 39; Iskandar, "Wellcome, pp. 86-88; GAL-S, vol. 2, p. 592 no. 1; and Savage-Smith, "Bodleian"", MS Ouseley 174; Palo Alto, California, Stanford University, Lane Medical Library, MS Z 292, copied in 27 Muharram 1229/ 19 January 1814.
An edition of the treatise was published in 1830 as The Buhr-ool Juwahir: a medical dictionary by Mohammad bin Yoosoof, the physician of Herat, ed. by Hukeem Abdool Mujeed, Calcutta, 1830.
Baḥr al-jawāhir fī taḥqīq al-muṣṭalaḥāt al-ṭibbīyah (MS A 6, item 1)
The opening of a medical dictionary written in 1518/924 by Muḥammad ibn Yūsuf al-Harawī. The copy is undated, probably 17th century.m
Arabic (with occasional Persian). 403 leaves (fols. 1b-403a). Dimensions 20.5 x 14.0 (text area 16.0 x 9.2) cm; 13 lines per page. The title Baḥr al-jawāhir is given fol. 3a. The author's name is supplied on fol. 1b as Muḥammad ibn Yūsuf al-tabib al-Harawī.
The copy is undated and unsigned. The appearance of the paper, ink, and script suggests a date of the 17th century.
A complete copy. Several folios are out of order: fols. 17/24, 25/32, 105/112, and 313/320 have been interchanged; a folio is missing between fols. 35 and 36; fol. 127 should be inserted between 192 and 193; fol. 288 should be inserted between 296 and 297. The text is written in medium-small ta‘liq in black ink with headings in red.
The brown glossy paper has very indistinct horizontal laid lines and no visible chain lines. The edges have been trimmed from their original size. The paper is severely worm-eaten and repairs have been made to many of the leaves.
The volume consists of 422 leaves. Fol. 422b is blank. Item 1 (fols. 1b-403a) is here catalogued; item 2 (fols. 403b-422a) is an anonymous Persian treatise on talismans (MS A 6, item 2).
The volume was purchased in 1941 by the Army Medical Library from A. S. Yahuda, who acquired it from dealer in Aligarh (ELS No. 1715; Med. 26).
Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of incun. & MSS. entry A 6, pp. 298-9.
NLM Microfilm Reel: FILM 48-110 no. 6