Abstract

Based on the knowledge of ancient Greek philosophers, medieval Arabic theoretical anatomy describes the organs, their roles and function as well as their relationships with each other on a philosophical basis wherever there are organs with higher and subordinate roles. According to Ibn Sīnā (Abū ‘Alī al-Ḥusayn b. ‘Alī)(Avicenna) (370-428 AH/980-1037 AD), everything in nature is connected with everything else, and the main operator of the body is the immortal divine soul (rūḥ). While breathing, a part of the divine soul enters the lungs, and then in the heart as its mixture with blood, where 'pneuma' is formed, which spreads out by the arteries throughout the body. The soul part of the inhaled air (al-hawāʼ) regulates the heat of the heart and nourishes it. According to Ibn Sīnā, the heart has three cavities: one on the right side, one on the left side, and the third in the middle, which serves as a kind of blood store. The liver governs the right side, the spleen governs the left one. The heart is located in the middle of the chest and maintaining a kind of balance between the two vascular systems. The left side has been exalted by the fact that the divine soul comes from the air to the left side of the heart, and from here it floods the whole body through the arteries. The right side of the body is dedicated to bodily functions like turning food into blood, nourishing the organs, and removing excess. The right half of the body is operated by the left half through nerves originating from the brain. In the brain, the two sides merge. The source of the veins is the liver, while the arteries originate from the heart. As part of a close reading of the text, I created a diagram of branches of the blood vessels to facilitate their identification. In many passages of the anatomical description we only learn that the blood vessel in question branches in three, four or five directions and travels in a certain direction or towards certain body parts. There is always a branch between them, indeed the largest one, and by connecting these largest branches, we get the full path of a given blood vessel from the beginning to the end. Such as the route v. cava superior from the right ventricle (branches in two directions) - v. brachiocephalica (branches to five) - v. subclavia (branches towards 4) - v. axillaris (branches towards 3) - v. basilica (2 branches branch to 4 at the forearm) - v. mediana cubiti (branches towards 2) - v. salvatella from heart to fingers. In some cases, erroneous conclusions can be found in Ibn Sīnā's description wherever he connects blood vessels

How to Cite
KUTASI PHD, Zsuzsanna. Basics of the Medieval Arabic Medicine 1 : The Vascular Systems in the Canon of Medicine of Avicenna Incorporating a Translation of a Part of the First Book. Global Journal of Medical Research, [S.l.], apr. 2022. ISSN 2249-4618. Available at: <https://medicalresearchjournal.org/index.php/GJMR/article/view/2695>. Date accessed: 06 july 2022.


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