The first monograph on the history of Islamic hospitals, this volume focuses on the under-examined Egyptian and Levantine institutions of the twelfth to fourteenth centuries. By the twelfth century, hospitals serving the sick and the poor could be found in nearly every Islamic city. Ahmed Ragab traces the varying origins and development of these institutions, locating them in their urban environments and linking them to charity networks and patrons' political projects. Following the paths of patients inside hospital wards, he investigates who they were and what kinds of experiences they had. The Medieval Islamic Hospital explores the medical networks surrounding early hospitals and sheds light on the particular brand of practice-oriented medicine they helped to develop. Providing a detailed picture of the effect of religion on medieval medicine, it will be essential reading for those interested in history of medicine, history of Islamic sciences, or history of the Mediterranean.
Ahmed Ragab is the Richard T. Watson Assistant Professor of Science and Religion at Harvard Divinity School, where he also directs the Science, Religion, and Culture Program. He is a member of the Commission on History of Science and Technology in Islamic Societies and the International Society for Science and Religion.
Introduction; Prologue: a tale of two bimaristans; Part I. Building a Bimaristan: 1. From Jerusalem to Damascus: the monumental bimaristans of the Levant; 2. Reclaiming the past: the (new) bimaristans of Egypt; 3. 'The best of deeds': medical patronage in Mamluk Egypt; Part II. Physicians and Patients: 4. Theory and practice: the reign of the bimaristan physicians; 5. 'A house for king and slave': the patients of the bimaristan; Conclusion; Annex: who built the first Islamic hospital?