AL-IDRISI (1099-1166 C.E.)

Abu Abdallah Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Abdallah Ibn Idris al-Qurtubi al-Hasani, was born in Ceuta, Spain, in 1099 C.E. He was educated in Cordova. subsequent he traveled far and wide in attachment with his studies and then flourished at the Norman court in Palermo. The designated day of his death is contentious, being either 1166 or 1180 C.E.

Biographical notes on him are to be discovered rather seldom, and according to F. Pons Boigues the underlying cause is the detail that the Arab biographers advised al-Idrisi to be a renegade, since he had been associated with the court of a Christian king and written in applaud of him, in his work. The circumstances which directed him to resolve in Sicily at the court of Roger II are not on record.

His major contribution lies in medicinal plants as presented in his some books, particularly Kitab al-Jami-li-Sifat Ashtat al-Nabatat. He studied and reconsidered all the publications on the subject of medicinal plants and formed the attitude that very little original material had been added to this agency of information since the early Greek work. He, thus, assembled plants and facts and figures not described earlier and supplemented this to the subject of botany, with special reference to medicinal plants. therefore, a large number of new drugs plants together with their evaluation became accessible to the medical practitioners. He has given the names of the pharmaceuticals in six dialects: Syriac, Greek, Persian, Hindi, Latin and Berber.

In addition to the overhead, he made initial contributions to geography, especially as associated to economics, personal components and heritage aspects. He made a planishere in shiny for monarch Roger II, and described the world in Al-Kitab al-Rujari (Roger’s Book), furthermore entitled Nuzhat al-Mushtaq fi Ikhtiraq al-Afaq (The great pleasure of him who yearns to excursion through the climates). This is practically a geographical encyclopaedia of the time, encompassing data not only on Asia and Africa, but also Western nations.

Al-Idrisi, subsequent on, also compiled another geographical encyclopedia, larger than the previous deserving Rawd-Unnas wa-Nuzhat al-Nafs (Pleasure of men and delight of souls) also known as Kitab al- Mamalik wa al-Masalik.

Apart from botany and geography, Idrisi furthermore composed on fauna, zoology and therapeutical aspects. His work was shortly converted into Latin and, especially, his publications on geography remained well liked both in the East and the West for some centuries.

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