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Ibn Sarabi (Serapion)

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There are two different Arab authors known to the medieval Latin west as “Serapion,” and the confusion between them in all of the authorities seems inextricable. The elder of the two authors was a Syrian, Yuḥānnā ibn Sarabiyun, who lived in the ninth century. He wrote two books in Syriac, which were translated into Arabic: they are called the Large Kunnāsh (it was in twelve parts) and the Small Kunnāsh (in seven parts). Manuscript copies of the Arabic versions exist in European libraries; what sounds like a whole copy of the Large Kunnāsh is in Istanbul. Both works deal with medicine and diet, but not surgery; al‐Rāzī (Razes), who may have been a younger contemporary, cites Serapion, naming the Kunnāsh, and ˓Alī ibn ˓Abbās al‐Majūsī (d. 994) criticizes Serapion for ignoring surgery. The Small Kunnāsh was translated into Latin by Gerard of Cremona (d. 1187) and entitled Practica Joannis Serapionis dicta Breviarium. There are many manuscript copies of this version and some early printed...

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References

  • Campbell, Donald. Arabian Medicine and Its Influence on the Middle Ages. 2 vols. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Turbner & Co., 1926.

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  • Peters, Curt. Johannan b. Serapion. Le Muséon 55 (1942): 139–42.

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  • Sezgin, Fuat. Geschichte des Arabischen Schrifttums III: Medizin, Pharmacie, Zoologie, Tierheilkunde, bis ca. 430 H. Leiden: Brill, 1970. 228, 240.

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© 2008 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York

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Harvey, E.R. (2008). Ibn Sarabi (Serapion). In: Selin, H. (eds) Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4425-0_9242

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