Thesis ID: CBB201858725

Medicine without Borders: Ṭibb and the Asbāb Tradition in Mughal and Colonial India (2019)


Schlein, Deborah (Author)
Cook, Michael A (Advisor)

Princeton University
Cook, Michael A
Publication date: 2019
Language: English

Publication Date: 2019
Physical Details: 306

Paratextual clues are the secondary voices in a dialogue dictated by a text and its environment. While marginalia speak to the text itself, colophons, ownership stamps, and receipts of sale reflect the value, usage, and importance of that text. Medical manuscripts contain a variety of paratextual clues such as these, often shedding light on the theory, diagnoses, and treatment plans discussed in the text, as well as the reception and consumption of the texts themselves. Add previous translations, commentaries, famous glosses, and even simple layers in medical theory, and the conversations that the paratext takes part in show a network of sources, scholars, and languages across centuries. This is the macro-story of the manuscripts of Yūnānī Ṭibb, or Greco-Arabic medicine, in India. This dissertation focuses on the Indian reception of a major Arabic medical encyclopedia — Najīb al-Dīn al-Samarqandī’s (d. 619/1222) al-Asbāb wa al-ʿAlāmāt — through the intermediary of its most famous commentary — Nafīs b. ʿIwaḍ al-Kirmānī’s (fl. 841/1437) Sharḥ al-Asbāb wa al-ʿAlāmāt — and the subsequent Indian commentary tradition based on his text. By working with the paratextual clues that the extant Indian Arabic and Persian manuscripts have to offer, the project aims to contextualize the reception and usage of these ṭibbī (medical) manuscripts in the Indian context. With Indian manuscripts in this commentary tradition dating from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, my dissertation attempts to explain the developments of this medical tradition in India, through the lens of the reception of these Greco-Arabic medical manuscripts, as interacting with each other, previous medical sources, and the medical practices of their environments.

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Authors & Contributors
Harrison, Mark
Bala, Poonam
Bastos, Cristiana
Ben-Zaken, Avner
Bernschneider-Reif, Sabine
Carey, Daniel
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal
Journal of Southern African Studies
Sciamvs: Sources and Commentaries in Exact Sciences
Intellectual History of the Islamicate World
Journal of Jesuit Studies
Oxford University Press
Rutgers University
Cambridge University Press
Duke University Press
Édtions BHMS
Cross-cultural interaction; cultural influence
Transmission of texts
Medicine and society
Hakluyt, Richard
Time Periods
17th century
19th century
18th century
16th century
20th century
Great Britain
Jesuits (Society of Jesus)

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