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Ibn Butlan - Tacuinum sanitatis - Taqwim al-Sihhah



Type of Spiritual Experience


Ibn Butlan (Arabic: ابن بطلان‎‎; 1038, 1075) was an Arab Nestorian Christian physician who was active in Baghdad during the Islamic Golden Age.

The Church of the East (Syriac: ܥܕܬܐ ܕܡܕܢܚܐ‎ ʿĒ(d)tāʾ d-Maḏn(ə)ḥāʾ), also known as the Nestorian Church, is a Christian church within the Syriac tradition of Eastern Christianity. It was the Christian church of the Sasanian Empire, and quickly spread widely through Asia. Between the 9th and 14th centuries it represented the world's largest Christian church in terms of geographical extent, with dioceses stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to China and India.

Ibn Butlan wrote the Taqwim al-Sihhah (The Maintenance of Health) in Latin  Tacuinum sanitatis. The work treated matters of hygiene, dietetics, and exercise. It emphasized the benefits of regular attention to both personal physical and mental well-being. One of his Greek sources was Dioscorides.  Tacuinum sanitatis was translated into Latin in the thirteenth century.

It has a section on the use of music and its operation on ‘the accidents of the soul’.

A description of the experience

Musical instruments are aids to the maintenance of health, and to the restoration of health once lost, according to the difference in the complexions of men. For this art of music was anciently ordained to draw the mind back into healthful habits, and thus doctors are dedicated to its use to cure bodies. Therefore they employ tones for the sick mind, just as they do medicines for the sick body. And the operation of music on the mind is shown by the gait of camels, when their drivers are leading them heavy laden, and sing to comfort them.

The source of the experience

Healer other

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps


Music therapy