Antiquity - Hektoen International

Hunayn ibn Ishaq, Baghdad physician and polymath

Iluminure from the Hunayn ibn-Ishaq al-‘Ibadi manuscript of the Isagoge. Via Wikimedia. Arabic translation of Euclid’s Elements, 1270, by Ishaq Ibn Hunayn, a translator like his father before him. Google Arts and Culture. Via Wikimedia. Diagram of the eye by Hunayn ibn Ishaq. Cheshm manuscript, c. AD 1200. Cairo National Library. Via Wikimedia.   Hunayn […]

Emperor Claudius and his physician, Xenophon of Kos

Sally Metzler Chicago, Illinois, United States   Cover of Claudius the God by Robert Graves Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Drusus Nero Germanicus, Emperor of Rome from 41 to 54 CE, though known to historians, became a household name in 1970 with the advent of the popular television series I, Claudius. But he had already gained […]

Physical benefits of Salat prayers in Islam

Nicholas Ghantous London, United Kingdom   The five pillars of Islam are the foundation of the religion. They define a practicing Muslim’s identity and guide Muslims towards communally shared values and service to Allah (God). The pillars consist of the profession of faith, pilgrimage, alms, fasting, and prayer. The pillar of prayer is known as […]

Book review: Greco-Roman Medicine and What it Can Teach Us Today

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover: Greco-Roman medicine and what it can teach us today. The Republic of Rome was founded in the sixth century BC. In the third century BC, the western Roman Empire began to spread outside the borders of Italy. Roman rule came to Britain in AD 43 with the […]

Tutankhamun’s androgynous appearance

Glenn Braunstein Los Angeles, California, United States   Gilded wood statues of Tutankhamun found in his tomb. The left figure shows him wearing the “white crown” as ruler of Upper Egypt (southern Nile Valley) while that on the right with the flattened “red crown” represents him as the king of Lower Egypt (Delta area).1 Photo […]

From Baghdad to Chicago by Asad A. Bakir

The title of Dr. Bakir’s erudite and engaging book brings to mind another book with a similar title. It is From Bagdad to Stambul (1892), one of the series of adventures that places its heroes in the city where Dr. Bakir was born almost exactly half a century later. The author of these stories was […]

In the heart of Damascus

Kera Panni Seaside, California, United States   Propaganda in support of President Bashar al-Assad between the Citadel of Damascus and the entrance to the suq, (May 2007). Personal archives, photo taken by author Even as a child in the American suburbs, I knew my blood flowed from Syria. Relatives said my Jiddoo’s parents were farmers […]

America’s Arab refugees: vulnerability and health on the margins

Richard Zhang New Haven, Connecticut, United States   Image used with permission of Marcia C. Inhorn. Arab refugees, like others throughout history, have grappled with issues of somatic and mental health, cultural belonging, and fertility. Timely and eye-opening, Marcia Inhorn’s America’s Arab Refugees is the first anthropological book to focus on the aforementioned refugees and […]

Moses Maimonides—physician and philosopher

Photo by David Baron. CC BY-SA 2.0 The great Hebrew scholar and physician Moses Maimonides was born in Cordoba, Spain, ca.1135. Pupil of the famous Ibn Rushd (Averroes), he became like his teacher a polymath, writing about ethics, metaphysics, religious law, and even astronomy. Much of his medical knowledge was acquired in Fez, Morocco, where […]

Where philosophy and medicine overlap

Mariami Shanshashvili Tbilisi, Georgia   Achilles bandaging Patroclus’s wounded arm. Ink drawing after an Attic cup by the potter Sosias, c.500 B.C. Achilles bandaging Patroclus’s wounded arm. Ink drawing after an Attic cup by the potter Sosias, c. 500 B.C. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY In Plato’s Charmides there is a remark by Socrates that is neither […]