Ibn Sina, referred to as Avicenna in the West, was a Persian polymath, known for his distinguished knowledge in the fields of medicine, astronomy and philosophy, and has been hailed as one of the greatest writers and thinkers of the Islamic Golden Age. He is often referred to as the father of early modern medicine and one of the most influential philosophers of the pre-modern era, having written 150 books on philosophy and 40 on medicine, amongst others. His most famous works are The Book of Healing – a philosophical and scientific encyclopedia, and The Canon of Medicine – a medical encyclopedia, which remained in use at many medical universities as late as 1650. He was born in modern-day Uzbekistan and died at the age of fifty-six in Iran.

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