Avicenna was put in charge of a tutor, and his precocity soon made him the marvel of his neighbours, - as a boy of ten who knew by rote the Koran and much Arabic poetry besides.
Nevertheless he has a distinguished place in the story of precocious children, and in the much more limited chapter of children whose precocity has been followed by great performance at maturity, though he never became what is called a learned man, perhaps did not know Greek, and was pretty certainly indebted for most of his miscellaneous reading to Montaigne.
To say that they evince precocity of intellect gives no idea of their main characteristics.
There are wonderful stories on record of his precocity in mathematical learning, which is sufficiently established by the well-attested fact that he had completed before he was sixteen years of age a work on the conic sections, in which he had laid down a series of propositions, discovered by himself, of such importance that they may be said to form the foundations of the modern treatment of that subject.
Even in an imitative artist such precocity of talent is remarkable, and the date is therefore open to legitimate doubt.
Other small-fruited pears, distinguished by their precocity and apple-like fruit, may be referred to P. cordate, a species found wild in western France, and in Devonshire and Cornwall.
The precocity and universality of his genius impress one the most.