MONASTIC (Graeco-Arabic Renaissance) MEDICINE

Graeco-Arabic Medicine is known in the Middle East and the Asian Subcontinent today as Unani Medicine. Unani is an Arabic word that refers to the origins of these medical traditions in Ionia in ancient Greece, as Graeco-Arabic Medicine is primarily based on the ancient methods of medicine that were used and taught by its traditional founders, namely: Hippocrates, who lived in Cos between 460 and 370 BC and Galen, who lived in Greece and later in Rome between 129 and 199 AD. Further considerable contributions were made by Avicenna, an Arabic medical scholar who lived in Iran between 980 and 1037. Therefore, Unani is an amalgamation of Hippocratic and Arabic Medicine formed in the middle ages.

Graeco-Arabic Medicine became the peak of monastic medicine after the first crusade as this allowed cross cultural exchanges. During the Crusader period, there were very active engagements as monasticism had taken on a military function with the birth of the Orders of the Hospitallers and Templar. These Orders managed many hospitals and infirmaries throughout Europe and the Middle East, and due to warfare and political divisions, the records are scant. Therefore we are proud to present this up to date information on Graeco-Arabic medical contributions emerging out of France and Spain which expanded into Colonial Medicine after Columbus' first voyage. The Age of Exploration brought herbs and spices from the New World and spread through the Levant and to the isles of Cyprus, Rhoades, and Malta. By the 16th century, Monastic Medicine had become a practice in its own right, being the most sophisticated and organized of all Christendom.

Graeco-Arabic Medicine has survived and is also today a very modernized practice, as it has been and is still being practiced as a traditional medicine in Europe, the Middle East and the Asian subcontinent. Although in Europe this traditional medicine has, to a great extent, been supplanted by modern (allopathic) medicine, there are still those who are knowledgeable in, and practice forms of Graeco-Arabic Medicine as an 'alternative' or traditional medicine. In the Middle East and in the Asian Subcontinent, Graeco-Arabic Medicine continues to serve millions of people as their only or main traditional medicine [GRECO-ARAB AND ISLAMIC HERBAL MEDICINE, Bashar Saad, Omar Said, 2011 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.]. Further, as modern medicine also originated from the ancient Greek traditions, new scientific concepts have readily be integrated into its practices, e.g. the blood sedimentation rate, humoral pathology). Thus Graeco-Arabic Medicine is an ancient medicine, a monastic medicine, a medicine that served as a bridge to renaissance science, and destined to be a traditional herbal medicine of the future.

This is the companion course to our Modern Humoral Medicine and along with my previous Volumes represents the only full and historical spectrum of Monastic Medicine of Christendom.