Introduction: Knowledge of cranial nerve anatomy has evolved over centuries, from the writ-ings of Galen in the second century, who described 7 nerves, to Versailles in the 16th century, to our current 12-nerve anatomical understanding adopted under Soemmerring in the 18th century. The Arabic golden age of medical transcription is often overlooked, given that little of that period re-mained after the end of Islamic rule. Here we translate a chapter found in the medical text As-Safwa by Iraqi Physician Al-Masihi, as seen in the Wellcome Online Library. Methods: The manuscript of As-Safwa by Abu Nasr Al-Masihi, obtained from the Arabic Manuscripts Collection of the Well-come Library (London), was reviewed, and the primary author translated relevant chapters on neu-roanatomy of the cranial nerves. A transcript of the chapter was included as it is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Results: Abu Nasr S Al-Masihi was a physician who resided in Baghdad in the 13th century. He was known for having treated the Abbasid Caliph Al-Nasir li-Din Allah. Like what was commonly taught by his contemporaries, Al-Masihi described in "As-Safwa" seven cranial nerves. He disregarded the olfactory tract in his discussion and began with a discussion of the optic nerve. He singled out this nerve in describing its texture, as did Galen. Conclusion: The transcription of As-Safwa was completed decades following the fall of the Abbasids. Al-Masihi likely contributed to the House of Wisdom's efforts of medical knowledge documentation due to their association with the Royal families, which had sponsored the accumula-tion of scientific texts in Baghdad's libraries. However, the contributions of many of the physicians of their time will, unfortunately, remain unknown.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Palestinian Medical and Pharmaceutical Journal|
|State||Published - 2023|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
- History of Medicine
- Islamic Medicine