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Maimonides – a Jewish doctor in medieval Cairo

By | 2017-07-27T11:38:55+00:00 July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Saladin's castle in Cairo, where Maimonides worked In the 1100s AD, when Maimonides wrote his book about medicine, doctors didn't have very many medicines or medical treatments that worked. Most of the things they tried just made people even worse. Maimonides was smart enough to realize this. So he wrote his book mainly about how to stay healthy and [...]

Medieval Islamic medicine – the first hospitals and quarantines

By | 2017-12-27T12:53:10+00:00 July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Islamic medicine: From an Ottoman manuscript, two doctors telling the pharmacist how to make different medicines Writing medical encyclopedias Doctors made big scientific advances in medicine during the Islamic empire. Islamic doctors began by collecting all the medical observations and logic of the past. They translated the work of Hippocrates and his followers, and Galen, into Arabic. About 750 [...]

The Mamluks – Medieval Islamic history

By | 2017-12-28T16:13:46+00:00 July 25th, 2017|History, Islam|

Mamluks: A Mamluk inn for merchants in Cairo Mamluks were enslaved soldiers The Mamluks were originally enslaved bodyguards of the Abbasid caliphs of the Islamic Empire (the word "mamluk" just means "slave" in Arabic). Starting around 850 AD, the Abbasid caliphs captured or bought young boys who were not Muslims as slaves. The caliphs brought the boys up to be Sunni Muslim soldiers [...]

Fatimid Caliphate – Medieval Islam

By | 2017-10-29T17:39:55+00:00 July 23rd, 2017|Africa, Egypt, History, Islam|

Bab Zuweila (Cairo, 1092 AD) In 908 AD, a new family rose up in Egypt and took control of Egypt from the Abbasids. This family was called the Fatimids, after Mohammed's daughter Fatima, because they claimed to be descended from her. The family began as leaders of a heretical Shiite Islamic sect, the Ismailis (ish-my-EEL-ees), in Yemen in the [...]

Saladin and the Ayyubid Dynasty

By | 2017-07-23T18:27:54+00:00 July 23rd, 2017|History, Islam|

Saladin When the First Crusade defeated the Fatimid Caliphs and captured Jerusalem in 1099 AD, people were very upset. People in Egypt and Syria gradually decided that the Fatimids were too weak to rule anymore. One of their generals, Saladin (Salah ad-Din ibn Ayyub in Arabic), took over control from the Fatimids. He founded the Ayyubid dynasty (ai-YOU-bid). Citadel [...]