The World of Pharmacy and Pharmacists in Mamlūk Cairo
Leigh Chipman, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
This is the first detailed analysis of an immensely popular 13th c. Arabic guide for pharmacists, from a time in which Jewish physicians and pharmacists worked alongside Muslim and Christian practioners. Minhāj al-dukkān ("How to manage a pharmacy"), by Abū ʾl-Munā al-Kūhīn al-ʿAṭṭār (fl. 1260) is the first attempt to explore the full spectrum of pharmacy in the medieval Arabic world: identification of the materia medica and methods of preparation; pharmacy's place within the sciences and particularly its relationship with medicine; the social position of the pharmacist and his role in the marketplace and the hospital; the economics of pharmacy; legal aspects of pharmacy; and the image of the pharmacist in literature and drama. The result is a full and nuanced picture of a section of society usually invisible.