KAYSAN IBN ‘UTHMAN IBN KAYSAN
A tenth-century Melchite physician of Misr. He is mentioned in the History of Physicians by Jamal al-Din ibn al-Qifti (d. A.H. 646/A.D. 1248). Ibn Abi Usaybi‘ah does not devote a section to him, but he mentions him in passing when speaking of his brother, the physician Abu al- Hasan SAHLAN IBN ‘UTHMAN.
The brief section by Ibn al-Qifti may be translated: “Kaysan ibn ‘Uthman ibn Kaysan Abu Sahl was an Egyptian Christian physician, who lived in Egypt at the time of al-Mu‘izz [341-365/953-975] and al-‘Aziz [365-386/975-996]. He had a solid reputation, and was well known for his capacity to cure. He was in the service of the palace, where he had an honored place.
He died on the sixth day of Sha‘ban of the year 378, while he was living at the palace, at the time of al-‘Aziz.” This date corresponds to 19 November A.D. 988. He was thus a contemporary of SAWIRUS IBN AL-MUQAFFA‘, the Coptic bishop of al- Ashmunayn.
Ibn Abi Usaybi‘ah records that Kaysan was buried at DAYR AL-QUSAYR, the monastery of Saint Arsenius overlooking the small town of Turah, about 10 miles (15 km) south of Cairo.
- Ibn Abi Usaybi‘ah. ‘Uyun al-Anba’ fi Tabaqat al-Atibba’, ed. Nizar Rida, p. 549, ll. 2-7. Beirut, 1965.
- Jamal al-Din . . . ibn al-Qifti. Tarikh al-Hukama’, ed. Julius Lippert, pp. 267-68. Leipzig, 1903.
KHALIL SAMIR, S.J.