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Juliane Müller (Alumna BGSMCS)


Food and Drink in Traditional Arabo-Islamic Medicine. The Dietetics of Naǧīb ad-Dīn as-Samarqandī.

Food and Drink in Arabo-Islamic Medicine. The Dietetics of Naǧīb ad-Dīn as-Samarqandī

The Arabic Kitab al-Agdiya wa-l-asriba is a comprehensive medical encyclopaedia on Food and Drink by the 7th/13th century physician Naǧīb ad-Dīn as-Samarqandī who died in the city of Herat.

Considering the comparatively large amount of at least 50 extant manuscripts in various Oriental and Occidental libraries from India in the East to Morocco in the West, this book is very likely to rate among the most important texts on the subject of nutrition science in medieval Islamic medicine.

This PhD project aims at making the Kitab al-Agdiya wa-l-asriba available to scholarship by preparing a critical edition of the text based on its rich manuscript tradition and translating it into German. The edition will include an extensive commentary part in order to analyze the scientific content of the book and to insert it into its context within the History of Arabo-Islamic Medicine. By comparing as-Samarqandī's work to other Arabic texts of Islamic medical and culinary tradition, the development of food science in the medieval Muslim world since its reception of antique and late-antique Greek Medicine from the 3rd/9th century onwards will be retraced.

This study will allow to discover the textual sources of the Kitab al-Agdiya wa-l-asriba, providing at the same time a larger outlook on the role of food and nutrition in traditional Islamic Medicine. A special focus will be put on the choice and classification systems of different food items, taking into consideration regional specifities as well as the relation between Graeco-Arabic dietetics and the nutritional advices transmitted in the Islamic Medicine of the Prophet (aṭ-ṭibb an-nabawī).

First Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Regula Forster

Second Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Birgit Krawietz