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JAMA. 1961;177(10):704-705. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040360040011.
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Avicenna (L.), Abū 'Alī al-Husain ibn Abdullāh ibn Sīnā, the most famous physician of the Arab world, was born near Bukhārā, Persia, in 980 A.D. His place in the hierarchy of the great philosophers was just below Aristotle's. His writings reflect the Neoplatonic influences of Aristotle as modified by Muslim theology. Avicenna's father, a tax collector, sought the advantages of the capital city with its schools, mosques, and institutions of higher learning for his family, but in so doing came under the spell of the missionaries of the Ismaili sect. This secret religio-political order, which used hashish in the propagation of its doctrine, was in conflict with the then current orthodoxy in speculations over man's soul and spirit. The precocious Avicenna was exposed at an early age to such heretical religious doctrine and philosophical polemics. The Koran had been read and memorized by the age of 10. It is no


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