The Public Library of the Manisa Province has a fairly rich collection of medical manunscripts some of which are unique copies. Two examples that may be cited in this connection are Tarvih al-Ervah by physician and poet Ahmedî (1334(?)-1413) and the Persian translation of Beyrunî’s Kitab-al-Saydala. Another unique manuscript is an abridged translation of Zahravî’s work, which I intend to introduce here briefly. The famous Muslim surgeon Abulkasim Zahravî, or more precisely, Abù’l-Qâsim Khalaf İbn 'Abbas al-Zahravi (d. 1013) lived in Cordoba, Spain, in the rothp century and wrote Kitâb al-taşrif li-man 'ajiza 'an al-ta’alif in 30 volumes of which the last one is devoted to surgery and is widely-known. Zahravî, a remarkable physician of lofty ideals and gifted with a power for keen observation, insisted that a surgeon should be well-informed in anatomy and that operative care and post-operative follow-up were equally essential. His work cocupies an extremely important place among all surgical works of that period and some of his techniques have retained their value up until nows. In short, Zahravî combined in himself all the virtues that makes a surgeon.
A survey of Medical history would show that surgery took the longest time to develop as a branch of medicine. It is thanks to the progress made in the field of anatomy in the 15th and 16th centuries, and the development of the basic medical sciences and finally to the discoveries allowing asepsis and antitepsis, (which helped prevent post operative infections) that the science of surgery has reached its present state. Needless to say, the medievel surgeon, who lacked this kind of information and technique, had little chance of success because his knowledge of anatomy was limited and most of his patients because his knowledge of anatomy was limited and most of his patients would die of inadequate care in the post- perative stafe. It follows from this that few books were written on surgery. That this was so is obvious from the very small number of surgucal works among the huddreds of medical menuscripts found in the libraries.
Accordingly, the number of surgical works written in Turkish in the 14th and 15th centuries is very small. The entire collection consists of Sherefeddin Sabuncuoglu’s (1385-1465) Cerrahi yat al-Haniya (1468), Cerrah Mesud’s Hulasa (1502), Cerrahname (1490), which was introduced by Dr. Yıldırım, the Turkish version of Alâim-i Cerrahin and a surgical summary of the latter discovered by Yıldırım again. Risale-i Tag ve Hacamat ve’l Fasd, which I found among the Kılıch Ali Pasha collection in the Süleymaniye Library, is probably a compilation from Section I, of Sabuncuoglu’s Cerrahiyat al-Haniye. In the course of my studies at the library I came upon Zahravî ve ‘ilm Cerrah, which is the only Turkish version available of Zahravî’s work.
ZAHRÂVİ VE ‘İLM-İ CERRAH
The manuscript whose name appears on the title page as “Haza kitab-ı Zahravî” may be described as follows: Written on paper of Anatolian origin; size of pages: 198 X 48 mm; body of written matter: 130 x 98 mm; 218 leaves; section headings in red ink; nestalik script with painted vowels; illustrated in blue ink; 134 illustrations and 23 charts; bound in red marble leather; well-preserved; the title page reads: “Zahrâvi ve ilm-i cerrah. Bismillahirrahmanirrahim rabbi agfir ve an yessir” Biz makali-i aşiri ihtisar itdük... The writer says that he wrote his work in the year of (?) and the he added some explanatory illustrations. Next we hear of the importance of anatomy in medicine and find a quotation from Hippocrates: “Many are known as physicians, few are true physicians, even fewer are surgeons”. Like Abulkasım’s Tasrif the work is divided into three main parts:
1. Part One : Key (Cauterization, pp. Ia-38a.)
2. Part Two : Bat (Incision and perforation, pp. 38a-179b.)
3. Part Three: The setting of broken and dislocated bones (pp. 180a- 220b).
The introductory and concluding sections of the book are quoted below:
Zahrâvi ve ilm-i cerrah
Rabbi agfir ve an ve yessir.
Biz makali-i âşiri ihtisar itdük. Kitab-i Zahrävi’den kim amel-i bi’l-ye di mutezammındır. Key gibi, şak gibi bat gibi, cebir gibi. Bu kitâb munkasımdur, üç bâba Musannif eydür amel-i bi’l-yed yokdur. Bizüm zamanımızda elbetde, hatta yakındur ki amel ilmiyle eseri kesile, baki kalmıya. Andan kakezce desinler kütübü o (?) yılda yazdum. ilerde hatasın ika eyledüm, hatta manasını bagladum ve fâyıdasını ırâg eyledüm. Amel-i bi’lyedi etibbâda yani tabibler çokdur, gele süvari had idügi dahi sair alâtı amel.... imdi ol ziyâde beyandadur. nice nesne âna muhtacdur. Şol sebebi kim ânun içündür, bulunmaz hüsn olmakda ve işlemekde, ol bizüm zâmânımızda yeni olur niçün ânun içün sanâat uzun olurda muhtâc olur. Riyazata ilm-i teşrihde dahi azalar menfaat bulmakda dahi vazilerde dahi kemüklerde ve sinirlerde tamarlarda dahi ne kim bunlara benzer vârise yine ancılayın. Bukrât eydiir tabiblerin adı çokdur. Evit kendüler şimdi azdır husûsâ ki sanâati elde, şol kimesne kim alim-i bi’t-teşrih olmasa elile amel itmekde hatası olur. Elile amel itmek ikidür bir amel oldur ki sağlığa irüşdürür ve bir amel oldur ki anun ile atâb ola, ekser marazı göresin ve fikir idesin dahi korkasın ta ki câhil kişi sîzlere yolu bula korkuda nefsinüz için hazar ile dahi rızanuz yumuşaklığı ile işleyesiz, yakın yolları du- tasız kim size selâmete ilede. Dahi sarb zahmet ve sovuk zahmet dahi sizün nefislerünüzü anda. Şol nesnekim ânunile sîzlere şübbe vire dahi yaramazlık vire. Calinus eydiir. Yaramaz hastaya tımar itmekdür zira kim agu ider yaramaz hekim işbu makâlat üç bâb üzre mebnidir.
El Bâb-ı evvel: key nardur dahi key devâdur dahi hadd-i mebümdur. Mürettebdur, kanndan kademedek suver-i alât-ı hadid dahi key dahi cemi nesnekim amelde âna muhtacdur. El Bâb-ı sani: Şaktadır, dahi battadur hacamettedur dahi kan aldırmaktadur. dahi cerrahattadur dahi oklar ve demir neler çıkamnaktadur. bunun küllisi mabüdur ve suveri alettir. El- bâb-ı sâlis: Cebirdedür dahi kesirdedur dahi hilligdedur ilacı veyyidedur dahi ne kim bunlara benzer varışa murettebdur baştan ta ayagadek….
... Verem-i hâz sakin ola dahi cerhi ilâç eyle neyle sâlih olursa me- râhim-i muhafazdan eğer fekk-i kesirle olsa dahi izmada şetâyâ-yı müteb- berriyle hadis olsa sencek dahi imtisâl eyle ne kim biz emrâzda zikr itdük dahi bahr-i ... nefsünde duhûldan basilde taraf-i gırazda bahrâyet biz sana vasfittigünümüzleyn amma câhinden ötürü yola yâhud sakim ola senün garazından ötürü ola.
THE LINGUISTIC FEATURES OF THE TURKISH VERSION OF AT’TASRIF AND ITS DATING
Despite the name “Zahravi’s Book”, which appears on the title page, I thought it more appropriate to stick to the original name of the book as it appears in the text, i.e. At’ Tasrif.
As we have no information regarding the date of the Turkish version and the translator, dating might be based on the calligraphic and grammatical features of the tet and on a study of vocabulary to distinguish the centuries when certain words were more frequently used than
during others. Although we have no other copy of this translation it is not possible to know for certain whether or not is is a transcription. Calligraphic features, there fore, cannot be our starting point.
An approximate dating should, then, be guided by the grammatical features and the sort of vocabulary used. My primary source here was Eski Türkiye Türkçesi by Prof. Dr. Faruk K. Timurtaş, where he poirts out the common grammatical features of the 15 th century works and presents a glossary of 15 th century vocabulary. The examples quoted from the Turkish version of Zahravi’s work have been selected from the vocabulary and grammatical features that also occur in other 15th century texts. Similar features and words have not been included.
THE TURKISH VERSION OF A’T-TASRIF AND ITS GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS
Some words contain “i”, which is now pronounced as “e”. (İrişdürür, Z.T.* p. 2,1.6, vire, Z.T. p. 9,1, II; ider, Z.T. p. 3,1. 2) The “e” in these words was dropped and became “i”.
Some words are found to have been rounded because of the labial consonants “b, m, p” (Kemük, Z.T. p. 2, 1. 2).
The vowels in some words that were used in 15th century Turkish are round. Vowel harmony came into being in later centuries. (Kendü, Z.T. p. 2,1. 4).
The word “ancilayin”, which is obsolete in our day, occurs in Hüsrev ve Şirin, written in the 15th century.
The second person plural optative suffix, which appears in 15th century texts, in also found in certain words in Zahravi’s Turkish version*.
Below are some words that occur both in the translation and in 15th century works:
ant — (arınma): ZT. p. 2, 1. 11.
dut — ZT. p. 2. s. 10.
eydür — (ZT. p. ı. 1. 5; v. 2. s. 3; v. 3, s. ı.).
imdi — ZT. p. ı. 1. 10.
işle — ZT. p. 2. 1. 9.
key —— ZT. p. 1. 1. 4.
kimesne — ZT. p. 4. 1. 7. 8.
ötürü — ZT. p. t. 1. 9.
şol —ZT. v. 2. 1. 5.
These examples show that the work is not an abridged version written in the 17th century, as has been argued by Yıldırım; most probably it belongs to the 15th century .
A BRIEF COMPARISON BETWEEN THE TRANSLATION AND THE ORIGINAL
At at'Tasrif is a comprehensive work, It is obvious that a detailed critical assesment of its translation is impossible in this brief study where I only aim to introduce its major characteristics. I shall simply cite a few examples to give a general idea regarding its relation to the original.
No mention is made in the Manisa manuscript of the forceps for extracting from the lower jaw the root or remaining pieces of bone which we find in Part II, Chapter 31 of at’Tasrif. The section un the extraction of the root has also been left out. The forceps and files which were used to break off or scrape supernumerary teeth and which are mentioned in Chapter 32 of the same Section are again missing from the Manisa translation.
The information which appears in Chapter 33 of At’Tasrif on the fastening of the teeth with gold wires is given in a very confusing manner. Moreover, the instrument used in the treatment of tonsilar abscesses does not appear in the Manisa version. The tonsillotome and the instrument used for the removal of uvular tumaurs, however, appear in the translation.
The parts in Section 3, Chapter 86 of Zahravi’s work on the cure of fistulas in osteotomy are included in the Manisa version and the instruments used in the operation are described.
Varicotomy and the instruments used have been left out.
The pincers for extracting arrows and the technique employed appear in the Manisa version.
As can be seen, the surgical text in question is a long summary in Turkish of Abul-Kasim’s work. However the translation lacks the sort of systematic division into sections and chapters that we find in the original. Moreover the illustrations of some instruments which are essential for the description of surgical techniques have been left out. What is noteworthy is that the translator used an important scientific work as his source and put it into Turkish. It can be inferred from the style that the translation was made in the 15th century. There is no doubt that a more accurate dating of the translation and the discovery of the translator’s identity would lead to a better understanding the extent of surgical treatment as applied by 15th century Turkish physicians.