Two New Texts on Medicine and Natural Philosophy by Abū Bakr al-Rāzī

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Peter E. Portman
Emily Selove

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Abstract




This paper introduces two newly discovered epistles by the celebrated physician and philosopher Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibn Zakariyyāʾ al-Rāzī (Rhazes, d. ca. 925). The first epistle addresses the question of why and how clothing can be used both to stay warm and to stay cool, drawing on the Aristotelian tradition of problem literature (problḗmata physiká). The second epistle arises out of a court polemic and treats the question of whether one should consume mulberries after watermelons. This study offers analysis, editions, and translations of these previously unknown epistles, situating them within their broader literary and cultural contexts.




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