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Catalogue: Pharmaceutics

Blue arrow pointing to the right A Note on Najīb al-Dīn al-Samarqandī (d. 1222/619)

Collections of Najīb al-Dīn al-Samarqandī's medical writings often circulated under the title al-Najībiyat al-Samarqandīyah, roughly translatable as 'The Samarqandian Nobles' after a play on his name Najīb, which means 'noble' or 'distinguished'. The collections usually consisted of four to six individual treatises, but sometimes included as many as ten. For the contents of this collection, see A.Z. Iskander, 'A Study of al-Samarqandi's medical writings', Le Museon, vol. 85 (1972), pp. 451-478, esp. pp. 461-3.

Amongst the essays forming the al-Najībiyat al-Samarqandīyah, there were usually three concerned with medicinal substances: Kitāb al-Aghdhiyah wa-al-ashribah (The Book of Food and Drink), Kitāb al-Aghdhiyat al-mará (Nourishment for the Ill), and al-Adwiyah al-mufradah al-musta‘malah bi-khawahā wa-af‘ālhā al-mashhūrah bi-hā (Useful Simple Remedies with Their Properties and Utilities for Which They Are Renowned). The National Library of Medicine has copies of all three of these essays. A fourth essay that was usually part of the al-Najibiyat al-Samarqandiyah was the formulary titled Kitāb al-Qarābādhīn ‘alá tartīb al-‘ilal (Compound Remedies Arranged According to Ailment), and it will be discussed in the section concerned with compound remedies.

NLM also has a copy of another essay on a medicinal substance by Najīb al-Dīn al-Samarqandī - one that was not usually included amongst al-Najībiyat al-Samarqandīyah. It is Fī Ittikhādh mā’ al-jubn wa-manāfi‘uhu wa-kayfiyat isti‘mālihi (The Virtue of Cheesewater and its Uses and the Manner of its Application), and it also will be catalogued in the present section on simple remedies.

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