Albucasis or Abul Kasim or El Zahrawi

936 - 1013 AD

Albucasis was a Spanish Arab, physician, and scientist who did much to raise the status of surgery in the Moorish Spain an area of the world that was then part of the Islamic empire. He considered surgery to need rehabilitation because it had "passed into the hands of vulgar and uncultivated minds and had fallen into contempt" (Campbell, 1926, p. 88).

Albucasis's main work was The Collection, or At Tasrif. It was a presentation of surgery and medicine of his time. This book was translated into Latin in the 12th century was used as a medical text in the universities of Europe from the 12th to 17th centuries.

He recommended the use of a red hot piece of iron for intractable migraine and cauterization for apoplexy and epilepsy. He knew that fracture of the spine could result in paralysis.

Writings about Albucasis

Campbell, D. (1926/2002). Arabian medicine and its influences on the middle ages (volume 1). NY: Routledge. retrieved on March 10, 2010.

Spink, M. & Lewis, G. (ed. And trans.) (1973). Albucasis on surgery and instruments. London: Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine.