An Introduction to Arabic Medical Tables

Meekyung MacMurdie appearing on a video call on a tablet device. Meekyung is sitting at a desk wearing a red top with mid-length brown hair. The tablet is appearing propped up on a wooden table with a chair and bookshelves and a yellow wall in the background.
Meekyung MacMurdie, Photo: Thomas SG Farnetti. Source: Wellcome Collection. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).

What you’ll do 

Join us to hear Meekyung MacMurdie discuss tabulated medical texts. Emerging in the Arabic writing sphere during the 11th century, these texts were inspired by astronomical charts and astrological horoscopes. The authors claimed that the tables streamlined extensive medical encyclopaedias into single volumes for the benefit of medical knowledge, not its theoretical proofs and definitions. 

You will discover how the striking medical tables required special planning, attention and skill on the part of the scribes. Dr MacMurdie will use examples from Wellcome Collection, and explore the significance of table layout and aesthetics as visual rhetoric, a space where the invisible cosmos and visible world converged. After the talk you will have the opportunity to ask questions. 

About your speaker

Photograph of Meekyung MacMurdie

Meekyung MacMurdie

Meekyung is a newly minted PhD, having just completed her degree in art history at the University of Chicago. She specialises in medieval art of the Islamic world, with particular interests in artistic practices of ornament and design, knowledge transmission and exchange, and the historiography of Islamic art. She is currently a research fellow at the University of Bern, part of the European Research Council-funded project, ‘Global Horizons in Pre-Modern Art’.



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