The Jundishapur School: Its History, Structure, and Functions


Located in the region of Alam (modern Khuzistan), Jundishapur was founded by the Sassanid emperor Shahpur I in 260. This city was home to the Jundishapur school (madrasah), one of the most important science centers in history, that harmonized within itself classical Greek philosophy, Indian culture, and the Persian scientific heritage. This fact becomes clear when one looks at its rich curriculum, which ranges from medical science and pharmacology to philosophy. This complex consisted of several sections, such as a medical school (bimaristan), a pharmacology laboratory, a translation bureau, a library, and an observatory. It also had a deep influence on Islamic culture and civilization through its professors, who, in the early years of `Abbasid rule, began to settle in the capital city of Baghdad and eventually established a similar school modeled on their school in Jundishapur. From that point on, these professors made a significant contribution to Muslim medical science and philosophy.

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