Die graeco-islamische Medizin als globale Medizin ihrer Zeit: Das Medizinverständnis in indo-persischen Werken des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts


Susanne Kurz


This paper argues that today's “Unani Medicine” as practiced in India and other countries contrary to the self-conception of its practitioners is not essentially identical with earlier Graeco-Islamic medicine in India. In support of this notion the author examines crucial passages from three comprehensive Indo-Persian medical works of the 16th and 17th century CE and carves out the concept of medicine present in these works. This concept appears to be similar to the self-conception current in modern Western medicine in several respects while this does not apply to contemporary “Unani Medicine” in the same way. This is a critical difference between “Unani Medicine” and its historical precursor and should be further examined in future. Since the history of Graeco-Islamic medicine in India is still in its beginnings and even the most important works have not yet been critically edited let alone thoroughly analysed, this paper does not present final conclusions, but rather aims at pointing to crucial problems and at stimulating a discussion.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Author Biography

Susanne Kurz

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin des DFG-Projekts „Medizinisches Wissen und plurale Kultur: die graeco-islamische Medizin und ihre Darstellung in Südasien“.
Seminar für Orientalistik und Islamwissenschaft / Ruhr-Universität Bochum.



August 28, 2014


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