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Professor Emilie Savage-Smith FBA

The history of medicine and science in medieval Islam; medieval Arabic artefacts and treatises relating to ophthalmology, anatomy, cartography (celestial and terrestrial), and divinatory techniques

About this Fellow

Emilie Savage-Smith retired as Professor of the History of Islamic Science at the Oriental Institute, University of Oxford, but continues as Fellow Archivist of St Cross College. In 2013 she was awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award for 'A Literary History of Medicine: The Best Accounts of the Classes of Physicians by Ibn Abi Usaybi`ah (d. 1270)' a joint Oxford/Warwick project in collaboration with Simon Swain, FBA, Professor of Classics at the University of Warwick and Geert Jan van Gelder, FBA, retired Laudian Professor of Arabic at Oxford, and six other scholars. Its aim is to make this remarkable historical source fully available in a reliable and readable form. For the project, see The award was supplemented in 2015 by a Wellcome Trust public engagement grant ('Medieval Medicine in Board and Card Games'), to work with the Museum of the History of Science in designing proto-types of board games through which children and adults can learn about medieval medical practice in Islamic lands. She is also Section Editor, responsible for Science & Medicine, for the Encyclopaedia of Islam's Three, and on the advisory board of a number of journals.



Current post

  • Senior Research Consultant, The Bodleian Library
  • Archivist (Fellow Archivist), St Cross College
  • ,

Past Appointments

  • Professor of the History of Islamic Science, Oriental Institute, University of Oxford


Science, Tools & Magic Part Two: Mundane Worlds

Emilie Savage-Smith, Francis Maddison, Ralph Pinder-Wilson, Tim Stanley, 1997 The Nour Foundation in association with Azimuth Editions and Oxford University Press

Part of the Khalili Collections.

Other Africa, Asia and the Middle East Fellows

Professor Carole Hillenbrand

Islamic history 1050-1250, especially Iran and Syria; Muslim perspectives of the crusades, the scholar al-Ghazali and the caliphate.

Professor Graham Furniss

Oral and written literatures of Africa; orality, performance and genre in the popular cultures of West Africa with particular reference to Hausa-speaking regions of Nigeria and Niger