Review of G. Bos and Y. T. Langermann, The Alexandrian Summaries of Galen’s On Critical Days

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This little gem of a volume would be worth consulting by anyone interested in the reception of Galen in Late Antiquity, Islamic civilisation and medieval Jewish intellectual culture. It presents editions and translations of two different versions of the late-antique Summary of Galen’s treatise on medical prognosis via periodic days and lunar cycles, the On Critical Days (De diebus decretoriis). The first, allegedly a translation by Hunayn ibn Ish ̣ ạ̄ q (d. 873) from a Greek or Syriac original, is presented via two Arabic versions that differ significantly in a number of passages, and use different technical vocabulary. The other is a fourteenth-century Hebrew translation by Shimson ben Shlomo from a lost Arabic original.

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