Iran’s Legendary Polymath

Avicenna

Abu-Ali Al-Hussein ibn Abdollah ibn Sina, commonly known as Ibn Sina or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived.
Avicenna
IBNA: Ibn Sina was a highly respected Persian physician whose medical treatise, the Canon of Medicine, influenced medical practice for centuries. 

He was born in 980 AD at Qishlak Afshona, a village near Bukhara (in present-day Uzbekistan), which was the capital of Samanid Dynasty, IranChamber reported. 

The young Ibn Sina received his early education in Bokhara, and by the age of ten had become well versed in the study of Qur’an and other sciences. 

He started studying philosophy by reading various Greek, Muslim and other books on the subject and learnt logic and other subjects from Abu Abdallah Natili, a famous philosopher of the time.

Early Days 

While still young, he attained such a degree of expertise in medicine that his renown spread far and wide. 

At the age of 17, he was fortunate in curing Nouh ibn Mansour, the Samanid king, of an illness for the treatment of which all the well-known physicians had given up hope. 

Upon his recovery, the king wished to reward him, but the young physician only desired permission to use his uniquely stocked library. 

On his father’s death, Ibn Sina left Bokhara and travelled to Jurjan where Khwarazm Shah welcomed him. 

There, he met his famous contemporary Abu Raihan Al-Birouni. Later, he moved to Rey and then to Hamedan, where he wrote his famous book Al-Qanoun fi Al-Tibb. 

Here he treated Shams al-Daulah, the King of Hamadan, for severe colic. From Hamadan, he moved to Esfahan, where he completed many of his monumental writings. 

Nevertheless, he continued travelling and the excessive mental exertion as well as political turmoil spoilt his health. Finally, he returned to Hamadan where he died in 1037 AD. 

He was the most famous physician, philosopher, encyclopedias, mathematician and astronomer of his time.

Medical Masterpiece 

Ibn Sina’s major contribution to medical science was his famous book Al-Qanoun, known as the ‘Canon’ in the West. 

Avicenna began his Canon of Medicine in 1012, and completed it a little more than a decade later, in 1023, in Hamedan, in wesernt-central Iran. 

His purpose in writing it was to put together a clear, concise compendium of Greco-Roman scientific medicine. 

The Canon was translated into Latin by Gerardof Cremona between 1150 and 1187. It became the standard European medical textbook during the Middle Ages. 

The first part of the Canon defines the nature of human body, health, illness and medical treatment, as well as the causes and symptoms of diseases. 

Disease is caused by humoral imbalance, bodily malformation, or dysfunction such as obstruction. 

Urine and pulse are a guide to the inner state of the body, and therapies include drugs, bleeding and cauterization. 

Part two of the Canon deals with medicinal plants and the conditions they treat. Diseases of individual organs or systems are covered in the third part of the Canon.
Part four deals with fevers. It also teaches minor surgery and treatment of tumors, dislocations, poisons and skin conditions, among other afflictions. The fifth and final part of the Canon is a guide to preparing medicinal compounds. 

Critics of the Canon point out that it was a reliable reference tool for answering certain questions, but did not represent genuine progress. 

In 1023, the city of Hamedan was attacked and Avicenna moved to Isfahan. Lodged and welcomed by the ruler, Ala Al-Dawla, Avicenna would spend the last 14 years of his life there in relative peace. 

He continued his research in medicine, noting that ice compresses effectively relieved headaches and that sugar-rose preserves cured a woman of her tuberculosis. 

In January 1030, Isfahan fell to the Ghaznavids and Ala al-Dawla and Avicenna evacuated the city. While on a campaign with Al-Dawla, Avicenna suffered an acute abdominal attack and died. He was 57 years old.

Other Achievements 

Ibn Sina’s philosophical encyclopedia, Kitab Al-Shifa was a monumental work, embodying a vast field of knowledge from philosophy to science. 

According to his classification, the fields are divided as follows: theoretical knowledge: physics, mathematics and metaphysics; and practical knowledge: ethics, economics and politics. 

His philosophy synthesizes Aristotelian tradition, neo-Platonism influences and Muslim theology. He also contributed to mathematics, physics, music and other fields. 

Ibn Sina propounded an interconnection between time and motion, and also made investigations on specific gravity and used an air thermometer. These views were radically opposed at that time.
Story Code : 177705
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