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Medicinal Substances in Jerusalem from Early Times to the Present Day

Efraim Lev, translated by Rebecca Toueg
Publication Year:
163pp. Includes 12 tables, 41 illustrations (including 27 plant drawings), Appendices and Indices
ISBN 10:
BAR number:


Jerusalem has always been a unique city. Hundreds of millions of people, believers of the three main monotheistic religions Christianity, Islam and Judaism, have always looked forward to visiting, living, dying or even being buried in the Holy City. Throughout its long history, this city was subject to different kings, sultans and leaders that ruled the city and its inhabitants. Simultaneously, the population of the city changed in origin, habitat, language, culture, and in other aspects of life such as quality of the medical system, physicians and remedies that were used. This book is a reflection of the growing academic interest in the history of this fascinating city in general and of medicine in Jerusalem in particular. The interest that the academic community has had in the subject of medicine in the holy city can be measured by the number of articles and books that have been published, academic courses and seminars that have been taught and conventions that have been held in various academic institutes in Israel. The book deals with natural curative substances and healing materials used by the residents of Jerusalem throughout the ages, but its scope takes in the use of materia medica in the Land of Israel and throughout the Levant in this timespan. The study represents an intensive and systematic historical study of the medicinal substances that were used by the inhabitants and the visitors of the City of Jerusalem. It deals with the description of the various substances and their uses. It also deals with comparisons of such uses in traditional and folk medicine of several ethnic groups of present day in the region and in other parts of the world. Part A covers the information gathered from different historical sources of the medieval and early Ottoman periods (10th-18th centuries. Part B refers to specific subject matters including institutes and historical periods that deserve special attention concerning the uses of medicinal substances in the city of Jerusalem (including chapters on traditional and folk medicine substances still used in Jerusalem as well a modern overview. Three appendices provide information concerning the historical periods dealt with in the book, the sources, which are mentioned and quoted in Part A, and a list of medicinal substances used in Jerusalem from the 10th to the 18th century. A bibliography, list of abbreviations, and indices conclude the study.