Proceedings of a Conference on IBN Hindu’s Book, the Key to Medicine and a Guide for Students


As the title indicates, The Key to Medicine and a Guide for Students was written as an introduction to medicine, intended for students. After extolling the virtues of having a profession in general and of medicine in particular, Ibn Hindu (d. 423/1032) discusses various disciplines that a medical student should be familiar with, including a lengthy digression into philosophy and logic. He then deals with matters specifically medical, devoting separate sections to anatomy, diseases, pulse, and names of medicinal substances. During the conference, specialists in medicine, psychiatry, pharmacy, Islamic studies, and academicians, presented valuable research papers, documented with accurate information and evidenced with scientific analysis. The book contains two parts, one in Arabic and one in English. Although not necessarily identical in their content, they each focus on the study of the text and Ibn Hindu himself. The authors of these papers have studied this valuable medieval book from various perspectives, authenticating its treatises, analysing its content and evaluating its relevance to modern medicine.