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Portrait of Avicenna, Persian physician

Portrait of Avicenna, Persian physician

H401/0008

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Credit

SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Portrait of Avicenna, Persian physician, born near Bukhara (now in USSR) in 980, died in Hamadan (now northwest Iran), June 1037. Avicenna was a child prodigy who became the greatest physician of medieval times. The decline of the Arabian empire into warring factions forced him into serving different masters, yet he continued to receive fame, money & opportunities to research. When Hamadan fell to a neighbouring ruler, he was obliged to serve a new master, in whose service he died during an attempt to retake the city. His textbooks on medicine were translated into Latin in the 12th century and became Europe's most important medical texts until the time of Harvey.

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