Ibn Sina (Avicenna) 980-1037 (Medicine, Philosophy, Poetry)

Polymath is a term for exceptional geniuses who excelled in more than one discipline.  For example, Ibn Sina the late 10th century scholar who was born and raised in Bukhara in Central Asia was an accomplished scholar who wrote hundreds of texts in areas ranging from medical textbooks, to works of philosophy, poetry in both Persian and Arabic, and works on science.  By the age of 20 Ibn Sina tells us, he had mastered all that was required or known of studying to become a physician, and so in addition to his duties as a court physician he began writing on nearly all subjects of science, philosophy and literature.

This video segment from Jim Al-Khalili’s documentary series introduces the importance of Ibn Sina’s multivolume Qanun al-Tibb (Laws of Medicine) from the 11th century.

The following is taken from the biographical page on Ibn Sina from Islamic Philosophy Online.

Ibn Sina (Avicenna) (980-1037) is one of the foremost philosophers of the golden age of Islamic tradition that also includes al-Farabi and Ibn Rushd. He is also known as al-Sheikh al-Rais (Leader among the wise men) a title that was given to him by his students. His philosophical works were one of the main targets of al-Ghazali’s attack on philosophical influences in Islam. In the west he is also known as the “Prince of Physicians” for his famous medical text al-Qanun “Canon”. In Latin translations, his works influenced many Christian philosophers, most notably Thomas Aquinas.


In Original Language (Arabic/Persian):

Attributed works (Questionably by Ibn Sina):

  • Risala fi al-Huzn (from a rare Persian manuscript) (Arabic PDF, file size: 78kb)
  • Danish Nameh Alali (Book of knowledge dedicated to Alai Dawlah) (In Persian) we are looking for it. If you have it do let me know.


In English & other languages:




In Arabic:

In English & other languages: