A Critical Study of Iranian Medical Heritage Based on Chardin’s Travelogue

Document Type: Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, History Department, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran

2 Ph.d student, History Department, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran


Medicine is one of the important sciences thriving a lot in the Iranian civilization. It found its way into other fields of civilization by Jondi Shapur School at ancient times. By the emergence of Islam in Iran, Medicine continued to flourish, and Iranian medicine had a great impact on Medicine in the Islamic civilization. Throughout different periods of History of Iran, the science of Medicine has been a matter of interest by both people and rulers; one of these periods is Safavid, during which Medicine had a big progress, and one of the sources concerned with this science is travelogues. Travelogues deal with different political and social issues. In the Safavid period, the relation between the West and the East resumed, and accordingly many travelers came to Iran, as a result of which many travelogues were written at this time, one of the most important of which is the Travelogue by Jean Chardin, the French traveler. Chardin, in this great work, reported the political and social situations in Iran. One of his most significant reports is on Medicine. And as a foreigner, he wrote about physicians and medical treatments at that time. This report is very important due to his study of Iranian health care. The present research was done through a descriptive analytical approach and a critical study of Medicine, based on Chardin’s travelogue. Research findings indicated although Chardin’s travelogue is one of the most important sources on Sociology in Safavid period, it is also important in terms of Iranians’ diseases and medical concerns. However, this travelogue bears some misconceptions about the Iranian medical heritage as well.


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