Isidore Singer.

The Jewish encyclopedia : a descriptive record of the history, religion, literature, and customs of the Jewish people from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 8) online

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stehuitgs-Ursache die Foetus Compressus im TaUmid, in
Janus, vi. 410, 4*51, 542; Rosenbaum, Une Conference Cnn-
tradictoire, Rcligieuse et ScientifiQue sur VAnatomie et
Ph i/siologie des Organes Genitaur de la Femme a I Ecole de
Rami Fits de Samuel et de Rabbi Yitshac Fds de Rnbbi

Yelunnlou, a la Fin dn Deuxieme Siec.le, Paris, 1901 ; Scha-
nirn, Obstetri(pie des A nciens Hehreux d'Apres la Bible
et le Talmud, Comparee avec la Tocologie Greeo-Rnmatn,
in La France 3/n'irn/r, 1904 ; iAem, Connaissance Medi-
cal de Mar Samuel, in R. E. J. Paris, Ixii., No. 83, p. 14;
Pvasetskl, Medizina po Biblii i Talminlu, St. Petersburg,

S. S. C. D. S.

In Post-Talmudic Times : During the fifth

iincl si.xth centuries of the common cm the sciences
languished in the; Client owing iu part to disturbed
political conditions, to superstitions, and to the
attention which was being paid to pseudo-sciences.
Tiie jiersecutions of tlie Jews under Ilonorius (in
404 and 419), Theodosius tiie Great (493), and Kobad
in Persia (.120) resulted in the j)i-nmulgation of laws
forbidding Jews to hold any oltice, to follow any
liandicraft or liberal art, or to i)raclise medicine.

With the spread of .Moiiammedanisni in the sev-
enth century a great revival of the sciences took
jilace in Asia Minor. The califs opened colleges
which inc.ludcd medical schools at Bagdad, Kufah,
and IJassoia, and thc^e wei'e well eqtiiiJped and
were fimiished with the best of teachers. Among
both the leacheis and the students were to be found
many wiio bore Jcwisii names. Science then was
free to all; but in H'h\ a law was promulgated in
Bagdiid whieii i)r(.liil)iled the Jews from teadiingor
studving mciiicine in any language other thiui Ile-
l)rew or Syi iac Tiic .Mohammedans, being able to
till all positions themselves, were no longer in need
of tlielieliiof theJews. The eailiest Jewish physicians
)nentioned during the golden age tinder the Arabs
were: Abu Hal'sah Yazid (c. 643), physician to the
calif Omar. Mohammed's successor; Masaimawaih

(Messer Jawait) in Bassora about 883, physician to
the calif Mu'awiyyah I., whom he induced to pro-
cure translations of works written in foreign lan-
guages, and who himself translated from the Syriac
into Arabic the pandects of Aaron the Archdeacon,
upon medicinal plantsand foods; Ishak ben Amram
(d. 799; not to be confounded with the Kairwan
physician of the same name), who wrote a treatise on
poison; Sahl, called " Rabban al-Tabari," who lived
about 800 at Taberistan on the Caspian Sea, was an
eminent physician and mathematician, and translated
into Arabic the " Almagest " of the Greek astrono-
mer Ptolemy; his son Ai.i ibn Sahl ibn Rabban
ai.-Tabakt(Abu al-Hasan), who lived at Irak about
8.")0, became a convert to Mohammedanism, and was
court physician to the califs Al-Mu'tasim and Al-

Harun al-Rasliid (786-809) was the founder of the
university at Bagdad, the most flourishing institu-
tion of its time, possessing hospitals,
Bagdad. a medical school, and holding med-
ical examinations. The professors in-
cluded Joshua ben Nun (c. 800), a physician of high
repute and translator, one of whose pupils was Yu-
suf Ya'kub ibn Ishak (c. 850); much later Hibat
Allah Abu al-Bakakat b. 'Ali b. Malka, who
lived about 1150 and who pursued his studies under
the greatest difficulties on account of the laws pi-o-
hibiting Jews from studying medicine (later he be-
came a convert to Mohammedanism); Ibn Zakariyya
(died at Aleppo 1190); Sa'ad al-Daulah, court phy-
sician to the Mongolian khan Arghun (1284-91)
when in Bagdad (killed in 1291 for not curing his
lord). The calif Ma'mun, Harun al-Rashid's sou
(813-833), established the imiversitics of Bassora and

After the beginning of the fourteenth century the
center of Mohammedan learning moved westward,
and no more Jewish physicians are met Avith in 'Irak
after that date. The sciences followed the conquer-
ing armies of the Arabs from Asia Minor through
Egypt and the Mediterranean countries of Africa to
Spain and southern France, to Sicily, and thence to
Italy. Alexandria, Cairo, and Kairwan became the
seals of colleges with medical schools. At Kairwan
about 793 lived the Jewish physician Shammakh, who
poisoned the imam Idris by order of llarun al-Rashid ;
at Algiers, about 900, Ishak ibn 'Inuan,
Egypt and court physician to the emir Ziyadat
Northern Allah IL, and Ishak ibn 'Imran the
Africa. Youngei-, court physician to the last
Aghlabite emir, Ziyadat Allah III.
'Inu-an- the Younger's successor was Isaac ben Solo-
mon IsuAia.i (r. 832-932), who later became
and i)hysician to the Fatimite calif 'Ubaid Allah al-
Mahdi at Kairwan. Israeli's works written in Arabic
were ti'anslated into Latin in 1087 by the monk Con-
stantine of Carthage, who claimed them as his own.
In 1515 they were repiinted in Latin in Leyden
under the title "Opei-a Omnia Isaci Judiei." the sub-
jects treated including fever, dietetics, urine, drugs,
(Iropsy, therapeutics, and aliments; the. last part
a|ipcared in Hebrew under the title "Sefer ha-
Mis'adim." The Leyilen edition contains not only
Israeli's works, but also those of other jihysicians
falsely attributed to Israeli (Steinsehneider doubts




if Israeli really existed). Israeli's pupil was Du-
NASH IBN Tamim (Al)u Sahl), also court physician
(c. 950), who is said to have been a convert to Islam.
Jewish physicians in Egypt were: Ephraim ibn al-
Za'faran (d. 1068), celebrated through his library;
Abu Sa'id ibn Husain (Al-Tabib), about 1050; Abu
JMausur (c. 1125), one of the physicians of the calif
Al-Hatiz; Nathanael Israeli (the Egyptian), at Cairo
(c. 1150), court physician to the last Fatimite calif
of Egypt and to the great Saladin ; Abu al-Barakat
{c. 1150); Abu alFada'il ibn al-Nakid (d. 1189), a
celebrated oculist; Abu al-Bayyanal-Mudawwar (d.
1184), also physician to Saladin, and David ben Sol-
omon (1161-1241), connected with the hospital Al-
Nasiri in Cairo, both Karaite physicians; the Ka-
raite Sad id b. Abi al-Bayyan {c. 1160); Abu Ja'far
Joseph Nathanael Israel (c. 1175); and Abu al-
Ma'ali, brother-in-law of Maimonides, also in the
service of Saladin.

In 1166 Maimonides himself (1135-1205) went to
Egypt and settled in Fustat. Born at Cordova,
Spain, lie left his native land on account of the dis-
franchisement of the Jews by the Mohammedan
rulers. He became court physician to the sultan
Saladin. Of the tlescendants of Maimonides the
following were physicians: his son Abraham (1185-
1254), his grandson David (1212-1300),
Maimoni- the two sons of the latter. Abra-
des, ham Maimonides II. (1246-1310) and
Solomon, all of whom held the ottice
of nagid also. In Aleppo lived a pupil of Maimonides,
Yusuf al-Sabti (d. 1226); while in Fez practl.sed
another pupil of his, Abu al-Hayyu j Yusuf. In Cairo
lived 'Imran al-Isra'ili (1165-1239); Samuel Abu
Nasr ibn 'Abbas (c. 1165); Abu al-Hasau (d. 1251);
Jacob b. Isaac (c. 1250); the Karaite Solomon Colion
and Al-Asad al-Mahalli (about the end of the twelfth
century); Ibn Abi al-Hasan al-Barkamani and the
pharmacologist Abu al-Muna al-Kuhin al-' Attar (<■.
1325); in Egypt, the encyclopedist Abu Mansur al-
Haruni (c. 1375) ; at Algiers, Simon ben Zemah Duran
(1360-1444); Samuel and his son Jacob {c. U25); the
Samaritan Abu Sa'id al-'Afif (c. 1450); Solomon ben
Joseph (c. 1481), nagid of Egypt, and physician to
the sultan Al-Malik al-Ashraf.

When the Arabs crossed the Straits of Gibraltar
the influx of culture from Arabia into Spain was
important. Here again tlie califs supported the uni-
versities, as those of Cordova, Seville,
Spain. and Toledo, and again Jewish physi-
cians are found, e.r/. : Hasdai Abu
Yusuf ibn Shaprut ( 915-970), who lived in Cor-
dova, was appointed physician to 'Abd al-Rahman
III., and became prime minister to that calif, for
whom he translated the works of Dioscorides into
Arabic ; Harun at Cordova {c. 975) ; Amram ben Isaac
(d. 997) at Toledo; Jonah (Abu al-Walid Merwan
j ibn Janah ; at Cordova 995-1045). The physician
I Abu Bekr Mohammed ben Merwan ibn Zuhr (d.
I 1031 at Talabira) and his grandson, the celebrated
j Abu Merwan ibu Zuhr, who lived in Bagdad,
1 Cairo, and Spain, are considered by many to have
I been Jews, but this has been frequently denied,
! and no positive proof of their Jewish descent has
: been presented. Abu Merwan was the most im-
portant physician of his time, opposing the Arabic

physician Avicenna (980-1037), who in his " Canon "
gave the "rules of medicine," superseding the works
of Hippocrates and Galen, although he himself
adopted the fundamental ideas of these two great
physicians. Other Jewish physicians of note were:
JuDAii ha-Levi (b. 1085); Sulaiman ibn al-Mu-
'allim, court physician to the calif Ali at Seville
(1106-45); Abraham ibn Ezra (1092-1167) at Toledo;
Maimonides, mentioned above; at Randa, Elias ibn
al-MuDAWWAR (c. 1150); in Toledo, Jacob; in Ara-
gon, Joseph Constantin; in Barcelona, Judah ben
Isaac, Judah ben Joseph ibn al-Fakhkhar, cdurt
physician to Ferdinand III. ; in Saragossa, Bahii-;!.
BEN Moses and his brother Solomon Bahiel {c. 1225);
in Madrid, Solomon ben David; in Gerona, Mnses
b. Nahman (1194-1267) and Shem-Tob ben Isaac of
Tortosa (1206-66). About 1250 lived Judah Moria;
Ibrahim hen Sahl; Nathanael ben Joseph al-^Ialih ;
Samuel Benveniste; Jacob ben Slioshan; Joseph ibn
Sason (d. at Toledo 1336) ; Abneu of Burgos (1270-
1348), a convert to Christianity ; Samuel Ibn Wakar
(d. c. 1333), physician to King Alfonso XI. ; Todros
Abulafia; Abraham ben David Caslari (d. 1349);
Vidal Crescas de Caslar (c. 1327); Eliezer Cohen ibn
Ardot; Nissim ben lieuben Gerundi (at Barcelona
1340-80) ; Abraham ibn Machir ; Abraham ibn Zarzal
(d. at Toledo 1362); Shem-Tob ben Jacob; 3Ieir
x^lguadez (d. about 1415); Joseph ibn Vives (Joseph
al-Lorqui) ; Solomon ben Abraham ibn Daud ; Jacob
of Toledo; Todros ibn Davor; Isaac b. Solomon;
Abraham of Lerida, oculist to John II. of Aragou
(c. 1470); in Catalonia, Gal lab (Galled).

The Arabs had lost Spain forever, and the intoler-
ance of the Christian rulers forced many Jewish
physicians to leave that country. In 1335 the synod
of Salamanca had declared that the Jewish
eians offered their services onlj' to kill as many Chris-
tians as possible (Dollinger, "Die Juden in Europa,"
in " Akademische Vortriige "). In 1412 John II. pro-
hibited Jews from practising in Spain. Some im-
migrated into France, e.g., Judah ibn Tibbon, Jo-
seph ben Isaac ben Kimhi, Isaac ben Shem-Tob,
Solomon ben Joseph ben Ayyub; some into Algiers,
as Simon bar Zemah Duran ; and others into Italy,
as Joshua ben Joseph Ibn Vives al-Lorqui (Hie-
ronymus de Santa Fe) about 1400.

In Portugal lived Gedaliah ibn Yahya the Elder
{c. 1300), physician to King Diniz; Solomon ben
Moses Solomon ; Moses, the physician
Portugal, to Ferdinand I. and John I. ; Profiat
Duran (c 1400; he emigrated to Pal-
estine); at Lisbon, Gedaliah ibn Yahya the Younger,
physician to Alfonso V. {r. 1476; emigrated to Tur-
key); Joseph and Bodriciuez, physicians to John II.
of Portugal (1481-90), who were members of the
commission appointed to examine Columbus' jilans.

At the time the Jewish Arabic physicians were
practising in Egypt, they are found in Sicily also.
Shabbethai ben Abraham ben Joel (Donnoi.o) (913-
982), who wrote a small work on pharmacology,
which has been republished by Stcinschneider, lived
in Oria. From Sicily they came to southern Italy and
settletl in Salerno. The ancient University of Sa-
lerno is said to have been founded by the Benedic-
tine monks of IMonte Cas.sino in the sixth century,
the monks being priests and physicians, as the




rabbis of old. But it was not until the nintii cen-
tury that it rose to prominence and became for the
Occident what Bagdatl had been for the Orient, the
leading medical school. In 848 Joseph tauglit
there, and in H'>r> Joshua, both Jew-
Italy, isli physicians. In the eleventh cen-
tury lectures are said to have been
delivered in Greek, Arabic, Hebrew (witli Elinus as
teacher), and Latin. The medical school of Salerno
became celebrated under tlic name of " Civitas Hip-
pocratica." Elinus' successor as teacher of Hebrew
was Copho, the editor of the "Compendium Salei-
nitanuni," the tirst medical encyclopedia. It is not
known positively that both were Jews — Stein-
schneider thinks they were not — but tradition
ascribes to them a Jewish origin, as it does to Copho
II. (who wrote a book on the "Anatomica Porci "
— which certainly makes the ascription dubious,
dedicating it to Robert, eldest son of William the
Conqueror). He was followed by Hillel ben Samuel
of Verona (1220-95), who translated into Hebrew
Bruno's work on surgery, known only under tlie title
"Chirurgia Bruni ex Latiuaiu IlebrfeamTranslata."
From Salerno the Jewish physicians can be traced
through Italy. From this .school proceeded: Ilana-
ueel of Amalti ; Abu al-IIakim of Turin ; and Faka.j
BEN Sai.i.m (Faragut), who lived in Salerno about
1250. The last-named was physician to Charles of
Anjou, King of Sicily, and was one of the tirst phy-
sicians wlio translated^not into Hebrew, but into
Latin. Other physicians of note were : in Rome,
Nathan lia-Me'ati, a noted translator, who ren-
dered the "'Canon" of Avicenna into Hebrew in
1279 ; Isaac, the court physician of Pope Boniface
VIII. ; Zerahiah ben Isaac ben Shealtiei of Barcelona
(c. 1275); several memliers of the Anaw family
(Benjamin, Ai)raham, Judah, Zedekiah, Jekuthicl,
Menaiiem Rofe [about the fourteenth century]);
Manuele and Angelus Mauucle, physicians to Boni-
face IX. ; Judah ben Solimion Nathan(En Bongodos);
and Closes ben Isaac (Gajo) of Rieti (1388-1460);
at Naples, Samuel ben Jacob of Capua, court phy-
sician to Charles II., and Isaac, court physician to
King Robert of Anjou; at Palermo, David; at
Verona. Michael ben Abraham; at Padua, Gentili
da Foligno (died of the plague 1348) ; at Venice, Leo
(c. 1330), and the following members of the Astruc
family: Judah Solomon, Isaac Solomon, Abraham
Solomon, Jacob Rofe, and many otiiers.

As the school of Salerno grew in importance it
was able to rely on its own ])upils for teachers, and
could, as Bagdad liad done l)efore it, discard Jewish
assistance. The connection of the Jews with its
further development diminished ; in later years they
ilid not exercise a great inMuence on tlie liistory of
medicine in Italy, and their vCAc l)ecame insig-

While tiw I'niversity of Salerno was flourishing,

certain Jewish .schools, where medicine also was

taugiit, are said to iiave existed in the

France. south of France. About the year 1000

Rabbi Abon was ])iincipal of the Jew-

sh school at Narboinie; and one of Ids pujiils

foi:n<led the Jewish medical school at Montiullicr

('". 1025). Independent of these unimportant schools,

however, were tlie l)egiinnngs of the great univer-

sities of France — Paris, Narbonne, and Montpellier —
which soon were to compete with Salerno. In Paris,
always a seat of Orthodox Christian theology,
a few physicians are met with at the end of
the thirteenth century: Copin and, Rabbi
Isaac and his son Vital. In 1301 this school was
closed to the Jews. In Jlontpellier, where the earliest
professors are said to iiave taught at tirst in Arabic
and Hebrew, the use of Latin was introduced in the
twelfth century only, when the fame of that uni-
versity was at its zenith. Among the teachers and
pupils were: Isaac ben Abraham; Ins

Montpel- pupil Judah, whose i)upil was Closes
lier. ben Nahman ; Jacob ha-Katon, who

was dean of the medical faculty; Me-
shuUam the physician (1043-1108), a contemporary
of Rashi; Samuel ibu Tibbon, the well-known
translator; Jacob ben Abba ]\Iari of Marseilles, later
court physician to the German emperor Frederick
II. at Naples; Judah ben Sanuiel ibn Tibbon (1120-
1190). Moses ibn Tibbon (1230-85), and Jacob ben
Machir ibn Tibbon, called Profatius Jud;eus, dean
of the medical faculty about 1306 (this family pro-
duced three generations of eminent physicians; see
Iiix TiiJBON); and Abraham AiUGDOii (1). I350j.

As at Bagdad and Salerno, so at Montpellier laws
were promulgated against the Jews as teachers and
practitioners of medicine, e.f/., in the edict of Count
William in 1180; of the Council of Beziers in 1246,
and of Alby in 1254. In 1293 a law was enacted pun-
ishing with three months' imprisonment Christian
patients who accepted treatment from Jewish physi-
cians. Philip of Arlois expelled Jewish physicians
altogether from Montpellier in 1306. At the school
of Marseilles were Shein-Tob ben Isaac of Tortosa
(1206-66) and his son Abraham b. Shem-T<)b. In
southern France practised also Ishanan Yarhuui,
Nathan ben Samuel, and the oculist Abraham of
Aragon at Toulouse; in Narbonne, David Cas-
i;Aiu {c. 1275); at Avignon, Israel Caslaki {r. 1325).
The councils of Avignon (1326 and 1337) and that
of Rouergue also declared against Jewish physi-

In 1350 the Jews were permitted to return to
France; but a law was passed whereby only grad-
uated and licensed physicians could practise. Again
.some names of Jewish doctors, espe-

Recall of cially as court i)hysicians, are to be

the Jews found, e.g. : Samuel and Meshnllam
tc? France. Iilmi Abigdor again at 3Iontpellier;

* Elias of Aries {r. 1407) at Valence;

Jacob Lunel and the surgeon Dolan Bellan at Car-
cassonne; Nathan Tauros (c. 1446) at Tarascon;
Jekuthiel Judah ben Solomon and Mosks bkn
JosittrA (Maestre Vidal Blasom ; died after 1362)
at Narbonne: C^re.scas Salaiuias, Ilayyiin Bt'udig,
Abraham Abigdor {c. 1402), Bendig of Caneto. Bel-
lanti (r. 1415), Solomon Mordecai ('*. 1431). Moses
Carcassonne (r. 1468), all at Aries; Al)raham ben Sol-
omon and .M)raham Astruc {r. 1446) of St. Maxim;
(Pollen (c. 1446) at Marseilles ("Revue des Etudes
Juives," April and June, 1904, jip. 265 c/ .vv/.).

From France the Jewish i)hysicians pa.ssed into
Belgium, where in tlie fourteenth century arc found
.Miraham le Mirre. Magisler Sause, Lyon, Ely, Isaac
of Amessi. and Jacob of Chambery.




In England at this time only three Jewish physi-
cians call for mention: the young physician who
was the last victim of the massacre at Lynn in 1190;
Isaac Medicus of London (Jacobs, "The Jews of
Angevin England," pp. 114,340, London, 1893); and
Abraham Motun of London (1260-90).

In Germany the influence of Jewish physicians at
this time was small. Ilarun al-Rashid's great con-
temporary was Charlemagne, in whose dominion
are said to have practised the phy si-
Germany, clans Meshullam ben Kalonymus, Jo-
seph ben Gorion, Moses ben Judah,
Todros of Narbonne, and Joseph ha-Levi. Under
Louis the Bald a certain Zedekiah was court phy-
sician. They were probably from the Orient.
Many Jews were living in Germany, a number of
whom had migrated from Spain and France ; but the
universities were founded comparatively late, and
they were not open to Jews. The Jews therefore
studied Talmud and Cabala, and took no part in the
renaissance of science. Horowitz says that there are
no records of the Frankfort community before 1241 ;
and this is the most important German community.
That there must have existed Jewish physicians is
shown by the decree of the Council of Vienna of
1267 forbidding Jews to treat Christian patients.
During the ravages of the plague in 1348 and 1349
Jewish physicians were accused of having poisoned
the wells; and at Strasburg a Jewish surgeon named
Balavignus was executed in 1348 for an alleged
crime of this nature. The Jewish physicians of
this period included the following: Jacob of Stras-
burg at Frankfort (t\ 1378); Baruch (c. 1390); the city
physician Solomon Pletsch of Katisbou (1394), who
received as stipend 36 florins and six yards of cloth
and was required to treat the servants of the city
council and the sick Jews ; his successor, Isaac Fried-
rich, who received only 30 florins; in Speyer, Lem-
belin ; in Schweidnitz, Abraham ; in Bohemia, Simon ;
in the Palatinate, Godliep ; at Basel, Jossel, who held
the oflSce of city physician at an annual stipend of
25 silver pounds; Gutlebeu, his successor, who re-
ceived only 18 pounds; at Wlirzburg, Seligmann ((^.
1407), physician to Bishop John I. ; his successor,
John II., permitted a woman named Sarah to practise
medicine in the bishopric of Wlirzburg, who, with
the Jewess Zerlin (c. 1475), oculist at Frankfort-on-
the-Main, was the earliest Jewish woman physician
in Germany of whom there is record.

In addition to those above mentioned there were:
in Tirol, Rubein (c. 1432); in Graz, Niklas Ungcr
{c. 1439); in Wlirzburg, Ileylmann {c. 1450); Jacob
ben Jehiel Loans, physician to the emperor Frederick
III. (c. 1450), who, with Obadiah Sforno, was Hebrew
teacher of Reuchlin ; Michael, surgeon to Frederick
III.; at Frankfort, Solomon of Zynonge (c. 1450);
his son Joseph (e. 1500); and Moses of Aschaffen-

In the opening years of the sixteenth centur}' per-
secutions of the Jewish physicians began. In 1509
appeared Victor of Cauben's "Opus Aureum ac
Novum," the third part of which treats of Jewish
physicians. In 1505 Lorenz of Bibra prohibited
Jews from practising in Wiirzburg (the edict was
reenactcd in 1549). Up to 1517 the i)hysicians
who wished to practise in Vienna had to acknowl-
VIII.— 27

edge under oath their belief in the "immaculate

In 1422 Pope Martin V. in a bull exhorted all
Christians to treat the Jews with kindness, and per-
mitted tlie latter to practise medicine. But at the
end of the fourteenth and at the beginning of the
fifteenth century Jewish phj'sicians found the
greatest difficulty in practising medicine. Papal
decrees and Church councils (as at Basel, 1434)
decided against them. The Arabian influence in
southern Europe had disappeared.

Hippocrates and Galen ruled supreme in the med-
ical world up to the thirteenth century. The Arab
physician Avicenna (980-1037) wrote his celebra-
ted "Canon," which woik took rank next to the wri-
tings of Hippocrates and Galen. But their works
were translated into Arabic, a language
Retrospect which, in Europe, was known only to
from 622 the Jews, who retranslated them into

to 1492. Hebrew and Latin, and thus held the
key to medical science. Learning from
these great scholars, the Jewish teachers and physi-
cians wrote works of their own. They excelled in sur-
gery and medicine! (including ophthalmology), in
therapeutics, pharmacologj', and toxicology. The
connection of the Jews with the drug-trade of the
East helped them to contribute also to a practical
knowledge of pharmacology at a time when every
apothecary posed as a doctor; but with these
branches of the true science of medicine there
was during the first millennium of the common era
cotnbined also a knowledge of pseudo-science, as-
trology, and Cabala. Superstition was still an im-
portant factor. Against these pseudo-sciences ]\Iai-
monides wrote. Astrology was to him not based
on science, but on superstition; and in his works he
warns against its use.

In Modern Times : Human anatomy, the ba-
sis of all medicine, had not been studied scientific-
ally by the physicians of the Talmud (they seem
only to have boiled human bodies as the physicians
of other countries had done, and, counting the bones,
to have come to erroneous conclusions), by Hip-
pocrates, by Galen (who used monkeys for his
subjects), by Avicenna, or by their respective fol-
lowers. The Jewish and Mohammedan religions
and the Christian Church were all opposed to a
desecration of the human body such as proper ana-
tomical investigations would have required. The
German emperor Frederick 11. (1212-56) permit-
ted dissection ; but Pope Boniface VIII. prohib-
ited it.

Luigi Mondino de' Luzzi, professor at Bologna
(d. there 1326), dissected three female bodies. From
that time anatomy received, with little interrup-
tion, the attention it deserved, and medicine, from
being a more or less pseudo-science, commenced
to be a real science, although half a millennium had
still to pass before it was entirely liberated from

While the popes, such as Eugenius IV., Nicho-
las v., Calixtus III., and tlie teinjioral sovereigns
promulgated decrees against the Jews, they still em-
ployed Jewish physicians themselves. INIany of these
Jews became converts to Christianity, among them

Online LibraryIsidore SingerThe Jewish encyclopedia : a descriptive record of the history, religion, literature, and customs of the Jewish people from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 8) → online text (page 101 of 169)