AMIRDOVLATʿAMASIATSʿI (b. Amasya ca. 1420/25; d. Bursa, 1496), Armenian physician at the Ottoman court and author of Angitats Anpet,an encyclopedic polyglot in six languages including Persian.
Angitats Anpet is by far Amirdovlatʿ’s most important accomplishment. The dictionary attests to the vast knowledge of the autor of remedial properties of plants, animals, and minerals in the preparation of drugs. Amirdovlatʿ shows greater preference for wild plants as a source of drugs; he recommends the use of saffron, mandrake, and hashish as pain-relieving and sleep-inducing drugs. He advocates the use of animal organs as well as minerals, particularly the common salt, for drug making, and recommends various preparations with iron for the cure of abdominal and intestinal ailments and anemia, as well as sulfur ointment for skin diseases.
Amirdovlatʿ’s first known work is The Science of Medicine,which he wrote in 1459 and revised and expanded ten years later into a study known as The Benefits of Medicine (ed. S. Malkhasiants,Yerevan, 1940). His other works of note are: Akhrabadin (1459),a detailed description of medicinal drugs and their effect upon various organs; Alphabetical Dictionary of Diseases (1468), a brief dictionary of pharmacological terms; and The Symptoms of Patients,a manual for physicians dealing with symptoms of dying patients and also providing instructions on minor surgical operations.
Amirdovlatʿ of Amasya, Angitats Anpet: am Bararan bzhshkakan niwtʿosʿ, ed.
K. Basmadjian, Vienna, 1926.
Idem, The Benefits of Medicine, ed.
S. Malkhasiants,Yerevan, 1940.
H. S. Anassian, Armenian Bibliology: Vth-XVIIIth Centuries I, Yerevan, 1959, cols. 650-75.
K. J. Basmadjian, “Les livres de médecine chez les Arméniens,” JA 5, Ser. 11, March-April, 1915, pp. 383-86.
Idem, “Publication des oeuvres d’Amirdovlat,” Bulletin de la Société Française d’Historie de la Médicine 19/3-4, Paris, 1925.
Idem, “La systèm quadrilatère et l’opothérapi chez Amirdoviat,” Bulletin de la Societe Francaise d’Historie de la Medicine 19, Sept.-Oct. 1926.
A. Ktsoyan, “Amirdovlatʿ of Amasya,” Famous Armenian Cultural Figures, Vth-XVIIIth Centuries, Yerevan, 1976, pp. 449-57.
L. A. Oganesyan, History of Medicine in Armenia (in Russian), 5 vols., Yerevan, 1946-47, III, pp, 1-90.
H. H, Sepetjian, “Amirdovlatʿ and Pharmacology in Armenia,” Studies of the Armenian Medicine and Biology Sector of the Armenian SSR Academy of Sciences,no. 2, Yerevan, l949.
V. Torkomian, “Amirdovlathe d’Amassie, médecin arménien du XVe siècle: sa vie et ses ouvrages,” Bulletin de la Société Française d’Histoire de la Médecine,Paris, 1914.
Idem, Panegyric on the Physician Amirdovlatʿ of Amasya, Istanbul, 1922.
(AVEDIS K. SANJIAN)
15 September 2003
(Avedis K. Sanjian)
Originally Published: July 20, 2003
Last Updated: August 3, 2011