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Moorish Physicians

After Rhazes, the most important contributors to medical literature from

among the Arabs, with the single exception of Avicenna, were born in

Spain. They are Albucasis or Abulcasis, the surgeon; Avenzoar, the

physician, and Averroes, the philosophic theorist in medicine. Besides,

it may be recalled here that Maimonides, the great Jewish physician, was

born and educated at Cordova, in Spain. It might very well be a surprise
/> that these distinguished men among the Arabs should have flourished in

Spain, so far from the original seat of Arabian and Mohammedan dominion

in the East, where, owing to conditions in the modern time, the

English-speaking world particularly is not likely to assume that the

environment was favorable for the development of science and

philosophy. Anyone who recalls, however, the history of Spanish

intellectual influence in the Roman Empire, as we have traced it at the

beginning of this chapter, will appreciate how favorable conditions were

in Spain for the fostering of intellectual development. With the

disturbances that had come from political strife and the invasion of the

barbarians in Italy, Spain had undoubtedly come to hold the primacy in

the intellectual life of Europe at the time when the Arabs took

possession of the peninsula.