|A careful look at this medieval manuscript illustration shows a variety of battlefield injuries.|
Excurs: Was there exchange between medieval Arabic and Christian medicine during the crusades?
It is not clear to what extent knowledge was transferred between the Islamic world and the Christian west during the crusades in the Holy Land. We do know, however, there was extensive translation of medical texts in Sicily and Spain. Numerous medical and astrological works (the border between the two areas was in the medieval period fluent) were translated from Arabic into Latin. Several lost Greco-Roman works that had been lost to the West were re-discovered through their translation into Arabic. The actual impact on western medicine of these available translations is, however, difficult to trace or document.
Regarding the standards of care there is also little knowledge, no survival rates are reported to compare the different health care standards. There are frequent stories in the literature of the time such as in the autobiography of Usama Ibn Munqidh. But they are often allegoric in nature and do not allow any certain conclusions. According to Edgington (1994), Eastern Roman, Muslim and Western Christian practitioners had a similar standard regarding the practical knowledge of surgery.