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Arabic Lefends bin Ridhwan

A brief notice must be given of the celebrated physician and philosopher, Ali bin Ridhwan, who died A.D. 1067. He was such a prodigy of precocious learning that he began to lecture on medicine and philosophy at Cairo from his fourteenth year. He afterwards also taught astronomy.

At the age of thirty-two he had attained a great reputation as a physician, and was a rich man at sixty. He left more than one hundred books which he had composed, and he himself says: 'I made abridgments of the chief philosophical works of the ancients, and left in this manner five books on philology; ten on law; the medical works of Hippocrates and Galen; the book of plants of Dioskorides; the books of Rufus, Paulus, Hawi, and Razi; four books on agriculture and drugs; four books for instruction in the 'Almagest' of Ptolemy, and an introduction to the study of it, and to the square of Ptolemy; as also to the works of Plato, Alexander, Themistios, and Al-Farabi.

I purchased all these books, no matter what they cost, and preserved them in chests, although it would have been more profitable to have sold them again rather than have kept them.' Ibn Batlan, a clever physician, was a contemporary of Ibn Ridhwan, and travelled from Baghdad to Egypt only for the purpose of making his acquaintance, but the result does not appear to have been satisfactory to either party. He died A.D. 1063, leaving a number of works on medical and other subjects.