1902 Encyclopedia > Arabia > Arabic Botany and Chemistry

(Part 59)


(59) Arabic Botany and Chemistry

Botany was chiefly studied as subsidiary to medicine nor did chemistry ever attain the dignity of a separate science; as, however, an adjunct to the old herbal pharmacopoeia, it received closed and not unsuccessful attention. The principal mercurial and arsenical preparations of the materia medica, the sulphates of several metals, the properties of acids and alkalies, the distillation of alcohol,-in fine, whatever resources chemistry availed itself of up to a very recent date-were, with their practical application, known to Er-Razi and Geber, already mentioned. In fact, the numerous terms borrowed from the Arabic language -- alcohol, for instance, alkali, alembic, and others -- with the signs of drugs and the like, still in use among modern apothecaries, have remained to show how deeply this science is indebted to Arab research.

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