Medicine and Economy in Ancient Persia

Document Type: Original Article


1 Student Research Committee, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Research Ofce for the History of Persian Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


The relation between economy and medicine had a long history since ancient times. Supplying (providing) health care and the required drugs and medical equipments were the main concerns of the human communities even when they were at rather primitive stages of civilization. Later, in developed civilizations, trade was added to the concepts of medical economy. In this study, various economic activities, ranging from the physicians’ income to the export and import of medicines in one of the old civilizations, ancient Persia (from the beginning of the history to 637AD), are discussed. In these eras, it is found that patients, based on their social and economic levels, had to pay the physician fees for the ofce visit. The governments, in turn, tried to prepare free medical facilities such as free-of-charge hospitals for patients. On the other hand, physicians had high earning and important statues in the society. The trade of medicine was another important economic in ancient Persia. Ancient Persia was actively involved in importing and exporting different articles, including medicines. The ndings of the study showed a close relationship between medicine and economy in the ancient Persia as witnessed by the social and governmental policies.