Abu ‘Ali al-Husayn ibn Sina known as Avicenna, is the most significant philosopher in the Islamic tradition and arguably the most influential philosopher of the pre-modern era. Born in Afshana near Bukhara in Central Asia in about 980, he is best known as a polymath, as a physician whose major work the Canon (al-Qanun fi’l-Tibb) continued to be taught as a medical textbook in Europe and in the Islamic world until the early modern period, and as a philosopher whose major summa the Cure (al-Shifa’) had a decisive impact upon European scholasticism and especially upon Thomas Aquinas.
Avicenna Iranian philosopher, and physician of the tenth and eleventh centuries (4th and 5th century A.H.) is without doubt one of the eminent scientists and talented scholars of his own age.
His scientific fame and influence were not only spread in Iran and the Islamic world but also extended to the whole world. He is still known as a universal scientist in particular in medicine in the views of the researchers and historians of science history.
Since the second half of the twelfth century when the Canon of Avicenna was translated into Latin in Toledo in Spain, gradually, Avicenna medicine dominated the atmosphere of western medicine. Since then, most of the medical works of Avicenna has been translated into different languages and also hundreds of scientific and research works were written about his medicine.
The fame and scientific dominance of Avicenna in the western lands was to the extent that he was named as Emir (Ruler) of the Physicians and his book of Canon was termed as the Medicine Bible.
For centuries in the west, the standard of ability in medicine was skillfulness in Avicenna medicine. Despite the anti-Arabic/ Islamic movement in the beginning of the 16th century in some European countries and the hard stances of figures such as Davinchi and Paracelsus against the Avicenna medicine, there was a strong fortress around the Avicenna in the west which was never collapsed, and even his influence continued up to first half of the past century in some of the western countries such as Belgium.
Ternovsky also believes that the medical science of the former Soviet Union in subjects such as physiology, diagnosis of internal diseases, sport and health, pediatrics, and pharmacology in the first half of the 20th century were following and relying on the traditions of the Avicenna medicine.
However, the high importance and the immense influence of Avicenna in the history of medicine in the west should be pursued in the position and presence of his medical works in the curriculum of some of the prestigious faculties of the Europe.
There are evidence indicating that the book of Canon by Avicenna was noticed up to the early 20th century in some of the scientific centers of the west. But at least for five centuries – since 13th to 17th – it was one of the textbooks of most of the faculties of medicine in Europe.
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