The volume investigates how Paul of Aegina's medical handbook or pragmateia was transmitted and transformed through Syriac and Arabic translations, becoming one of the cornerstones of the Islamic medical tradition. It uses new manuscript evidence in order to explore the crucial impact of Paul's pragmateia, tracing its steps through different languages and cultures in the Middle East. A discussion of different Syriac and Arabic authors who quote the pragmateia such as Ibn Serapion and Rhazes is followed by detailed studies of Greek-Syriac-Arabic translation technique, examining, for instance, ophthalmologic termilogy, and giving a critical appraisal of translation syntax and lexicography. Paul's influence on the development of medical theory in the Islamic world and beyond is also addressed, making it an important contribution t only to Graeco-Arabic studies, but also to the history of medicine in general.
Peter E. Pormann, D.Phil. (2002) in Classics, University of Oxford, is a Junior Research Fellow in Oriental Studies at Merton College, Oxford. He has published widely on Islamic medicine and its Greek antecedents, notably the Late Antique Alexandrian medical tradition. He has received The Hellenic Foundation's 2003 Award for the best doctoral thesis in the United Kingdom, in the Byzantine/Medieval History category.