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Yahya al-Bitriq (d. ca 815/200 H)

An early translator of Greek material into Arabic, he also composed a treatise on poisons and their dangers (Kitab al-Sumumat wa-daf` madarriha) which is preserved today only in fragments.

See Sezgin, GAS III, p. 225; Ullmann, Medizin, p. 326; D.M. Dunlop, "The Translations of al-Bitriq and Yahya (Yuannā) b. al-Bitriq", in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (1959), pp. 140-150.

Yahya al-Nahwi (identity uncertain)

There is a confusion of people known in Arabic as Yahya al-Nahwi (John the Grammarian or John Philoponus): (1) the 6th-century Aristotelian commentator, John Philoponus, (2) the author of a commentary on Galen's De usu partium, who probably was a medical writer living in Alexandria in the late 6th or early 7th century whose Greek commentary on De usu partium was translated into Arabic by Ibn Zur‘ah in the 10th century, and (3) the author of the summary (jawāmi‘) of De usu partium, who appears to be yet another, later, Arabic-speaking Yahya al-Nahwi. Quotations from the summary (jawāmi‘) of Galen's treatise are preserved only in a manuscript at NLM (MS A 30.1) and in one other manuscript now in Paris.

For the identities of the various figures known in Arabic as "Yahya al-Nahwi", see M. Meyerhof, "Joannes Grammatikos (Philoponos) von Alexandrien und die arabische Medizin", Mitteilungen des Deutschen Instituts für aegyptische Altertumskunde in Kairo, vol. 2 (1932), pp. 1-21; Ullmann, Medizin, pp. 89-91; and E. Savage-Smith, Galen on Nerves, Veins and Arteries: A critical edition, edition and translation from the Arabic, with notes, glossary and in introductory essay (Ph.D. diss. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1969; Ann Arbor, University Microfilms no. 69-22,480), pp. 17-29.

annā ibn Bukhtīshū‘ (fl. c. 892/279)
يوحنا ابن بختيسوع

annā ibn Bukhtīshū‘ (or Bakhtīshū‘) was one member of a prominent family of Nestorian Christian physicians originally from Gondeshapur in Khuzastan who worked in Baghdad from the 8th through the 10th centuries. Yūannā ibn Bukhtīshū‘ was the illegitimate son of Bukhtishu‘ ibn Jibril (d. 870/256 H) who was physician to the caliphs al-Ma'mun, al-Wathiq and al-Mutawakil in Baghdad. Yūannā, who worked in Baghdad about 892/279, 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 NLM has one.

For what information is known of his life and writings, see Ullmann, Medizin, p. 111; Sezgin, GAS III , p. 258; and IAU vol. I p. 202. For the family of physicians, see Lutz Richter-Bernburg, "Boktisu" in EncIr, vol. 4, pp. 333-336. See Richter-Bernberg, "Boktisu'" in EncIr, vol. 4, pp. 333-6.

annā ibn Masawayh, Abū Zakarīyā’ (d. 857/243)

Born in 777/161 into a family of physicians from Gondishapur, in western Iran, Yūannā ibn Masawayh (known to Europeans as Mesuë or filius Mesuë) became court physician to the caliph in Baghdad and director of a hospital there. His pupil was unayn ibn Isāq, and he himself composed medical treatises on a number of topics, including ophthalmology, fevers, headache, melancholia, diatetics, the testing of physicians, and medical aphorisms.

annā ibn Masawayh was a Nestorian Christian physician of Baghdad, where he became personal physician to four caliphs. He composed a considerable number of Arabic medical monographs, on topics including fevers, leprosy, melancholy, dietetics, eye diseases, and medical aphorisms. The name Mesuë, or filius Mesuë is associated with several influential Latin treatises, only some of which were actually written by Ibn Masawayh. It was reported that Ibn Masawayh regularly held an assembly of some sort, where he consulted with patients and discussed subjects with pupils, among them unayn ibn Isāq. Ibn Masawayh apparently attracted considerable audiences, having acquired a reputation for repartee.

For his life and writings, see J.-C. Vadet, "Ibn Masawayh" in EI (2nd ed.), vol. 3, pp. 872-873; Ullmann, Medizin, pp. 112-115; and Sezgin GAS III, pp. 231-236.

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