Two new texts on medicine and natural philosophy by Abū Bakr al-Rāzī

Peter E. Pormann, Emily Selove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper introduces two newly discovered epistles by the celebrated physician and philosopher Abū Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyyā' al-Rāzī (Rhazes, d. ca. 925). The first epistle addresses the question of why and how clothing can be used both to stay warm and to stay cool, drawing on the Aristotelian tradition of problem literature (problémata physika). The second epistle arises out of a court polemic and treats the question of whether one should consume mulberries after watermelons. This study offers analysis, editions, and translations of these previously unknown epistles, situating them within their broader literary and cultural contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-299
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of the American Oriental Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


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