Donkeys and Mules in Arabic Veterinary Sources from the Mamlūk Period (7th-10th/13th-16th Century)
AbstractThe central place occupied by donkeys and mules in the life of the medieval Islamic world often necessitated medical care. Three veterinary treatises were chosen for the present study owing to the special attention attributed to these animals by their writers. The identity of the writers is of some interest: two of them were rulers of Yemen, whereas the third was the chief veterinarian of the Maml k Sul ⃛ n Mu ammad Ibn Qal w n. In dealing with the treatment of donkeys and mules, these writings are mainly concerned with breeding, preventive medicine (including nutrition, exercise and diet), and the diagnostics and healing methods of ailments peculiar to donkeys and mules, including behavioural problems, infirmities of hooves and problems resulting from carrying heavy loads. The dedication of special sections of these treatises to donkeys and mules is an indication of their importance in the economy of Egypt and Yemen. They reflect the high professional level of veterinary medicine during the Maml k period.