Academy of Gondishapur

Academy of Gondishapur

Academy of Gondishapur is one of the monument of the Sassanid Dynasty; it is considered to be one of the most ancient universities in the Middle East with more than 17 centuries archaism. It offered training in philosophy, medicine, theology and science. According to The Cambridge History of Iran, Academy of Gondishapur was the most important medical center of the ancient world during the 6th and 7th centuries.

Gondishapur is an ancient city in the northern province of Khuzestan, near the city of Dezful, which nowadays, it ruins has just remained, and has been famous for its hospital and university. At the Academy of Gondishapur, some books were translated into Pahlavi from Hindi, Syriac, and Greek, among which the following can be mentioned:

Khwaday-Namag, Kalila and Demna, Sindbad-Nameh, Vis and Ramin, Ayin-Nameh, and Taj-Nameh.

During the Sassanian period at the Academy of Gondishapur, a part has been devoted to collect information on seafarers’ diseases and their treatment options.

According to the vast majority of medical history sources in the Islamic period, this center has contributed greatly to the transfer of Greek, Iranian, and Indian medical knowledge to the Islamic world. The first Islamic hospitals were built according to the model of the Gondishapur Hospital. However, historical information is not enough to provide a detailed picture of the city’s scientific and cultural situation. What is said in the sources of the Islamic period about the scientific background of this city is sometimes legendary. New research also sometimes contains irrelevant and inaccurate claims, and it is very difficult to identify this information accurately.

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