A Study of Iranian Physicians’ Immigration to Baghdad: The Effects of Immigration on the Prosperity of Medicine Practice in the Abbasid Period

Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of History, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran

2 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran


The conquest of Iran by the Arab armies resulted in radical political and social changes in Iran. The connection of local rulers to the Caliph in Baghdad and the peaceful coexistence of different ethnic groups facilitated the movement of the population in other parts of this territory. Population movement has always brought the transfer of knowledge and culture, and host countries have welcomed immigrants with high scientific degrees. Therefore, such immigrants play a crucial role in advancing that science in the new territory. Physicians’ migration from Jundishapur to Baghdad, the center of the caliphate, is an excellent example of this situation. 
This phenomenon resulted in (a) Iranian medicine transfer, (b) hospital construction, (c) medical textbooks translation, and (d) medicine’s advancement in Baghdad. The primary purpose of this research was to examine the migration of Iranian physicians and their role in transferring Iranian medicine to Baghdad and its consequences. The results of this study were as follows:  (a) the ease of movement after the conquests, (b) the migration of Jundishapuri doctors to Baghdad, and (c) the invitation and religious tolerance of the Abbasid caliphs for doctors, which led to the prosperity of medicine in Baghdad and the Islamic world. Although Jundishapur University lost its prestige due to the migration of physicians to Baghdad, and such reputation disappeared later, medical science continued to exist in Baghdad and made significant progress.


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