European Journal of Anatomy

Official Journal of The Spanish Society of Anatomy
Cover Volume 20 - Number 1
Eur J Anat, 20 (1): 99-105 (2016)

A systematic review of Ibn Sina‚??s (Avicenna) studies: reflections on anatomy

Kadircan H. Keskinbora1 and Kader Keskinbora2

1Bahcesehir University, School of Medicine, Department of History of Medicine and Ethics and Department of Ophthalmology, Istanbul, Turkey, 2Bahcesehir University, School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Istanbul, Turkey

ABSTRACT Ibn Sina made significant and long-lasting contributions to almost all fields of science, with an influence spanning over many centuries. Ibn Sina‚??s medical masterpiece, Al-Qanun (Canon) may be considered as a compilation of his medical knowledge. Although the Canon was influenced by other prominent figures of ancient medical traditions, who were appraised throughout the text, it also included a considerable deal of original writings. Following the footsteps of previous traditions, the Canon also presented genuine observations and descriptions of diseases that had not been published before, showing Ibn Sina‚??s ability for synthetizing existing knowledge with his own view in such a way as to influence the practice of medicine for centuries. The Canon is divided into five sections, each of which focuses on separate topics of medicine. The first book may be regarded as the most comprehensive one, discussing the four basic humors, i.e. the blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile. The book also includes detailed anatomical descriptions. Similarly, in other sections of the Canon, anatomical changes that may occur in relation to pathological or disease states have also been described. Through this book, the reader can witness the significant and fundamental contribution to the science of anatomy as well as to the other fields of medicine. In this article, representative examples of his contribution will be presented. The Canon has been a fundamental textbook in schools of medicine in Europe and in other places in the Eastern World since the 12th Century up to the end of the 17th century. Not surprisingly, in Bologna, Padua and other locations throughout Europe, Sina‚??s Canon has been a great inspiration for many scientists including Andreas Vesalius and William Harvey, among others.

Keywords: Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Anatomy, Medicine, Al-Qanun (Canon)

European Journal of anatomy
ISSN 2340-311X (Online)