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Avicenna (Austria 1982)

The stamp

This stamp was issued in Austria in 1982 when the EAU meeting was held in Vienna. It shows a picture of Avicenna holding up a matula (a flask specially made to examine urine).

The doctor

Avicenna was born around 980 in Persia (now Iran). He has also been called Ibn Sīnā or Abu Ali Sin. He was a doctor but also a noted polymath with a broad breadth of knowledge.

He wrote a large book of medicine and surgery called Avicenna’s Canon.

The urology connection

Avicenna is shown holding a matula to examine a sample of the patient’s urine in order to see what could be wrong with them. He determined this by the colour of their urine.

This was called "uroscopy" and was especially popular from ancient to medieval times. It is, however, still done today when a patient brings in his or her "sample" to be tested.

Click here to read more about uroscopy in the Urology News Article in the Museum Library.

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