A priest and physician of Alexandria who, with PAUL OF AIGINA, was one of the last great physicians of the School of Alexandria. Contrary to the opinion of F. , who thinks that lived in the sixth century, he lived in the seventh century and at the beginning of the as can be deduced from a verse dated 720-721, composed by the poet al-Hakam ibn ‘Abdal.

Ahrun composed a thirty-volume medical anthology entitled or Syntagma, which was translated into by in the thirteenth century, as stated by (d. 1686). According to the ninth-century historian of medicine, , it would have been translated from Syriac into Arabic with the title al-Kunnash (Anthology) by the at the beginning of the seventh century, but this is doubtful. The  and the Syriac translation have been lost. Approximately one hundred extracts survive in the medical encyclopedia of Muhammad ibn Zakariyya (865-925), entitled (Continens in Latin). These extracts have been listed by Sezgin (1970) and (1970). (p. 324, ll. 17-18) states concerning the Ahrun anthology that it is “the best of the ancient medical anthologies.”

This work was well known to the medieval Arabic physicians. It is quoted by (777-857), ‘Ali ibn  Ibrahim ibn Bakhtishu‘ in the second half of the eleventh century, in the , al-Qalanisi in 1194, Maimonides (1139- 1204), (d. 1248), Najm al-Din Mahmud al-Shirazi (d. 1330), the (d. 1374), and others.

Apart from this magnum opus, al-Razi five times quotes a , which is probably an extract of the foregoing. Another extract survives in Arabic with the title (Book of Lethal Medicines) in the of the Museum of Baghdad.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • Dietrich, A. “Ahrun.” In Encyclopedie de l’Islam, 2nd ed., suppl. 1- 2, pp. 52-53. Leiden, 1980 (French edition).
  • Jamal al-Din . . . Ibn al-Qifti. Tarikh al-Hukama’, ed. Julius Lippert. Leipzig, 1903.
  • Sezgin, F. Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums, Vol. 3, pp. 168- 70 (with bibliography). Leiden, 1970. Still in progress.
  • Ullmann, M. Die Medizin im Islam, pp. 87-89 (with bibliography). Leiden, 1970.

, S.J.

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