2020, vol. 8, no. 3. Abzalov L.F.
2020, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 457-471
Kazan Federal University
Kazan, Russian Federation
Abstract: Research objectives: Based on information about the Urgench hospital, the author of this article analyzes the activities of hospitals in the Golden Horde in order to present a more complete picture of life in Golden Horde society.
Research materials: Information from Arab authors, Shaikh al-Birzali and Ibn Battuta, about the bimaristan in Khwarazm (Urgench). The author of the article applied the use of analogy and comparison methods to reconstruct how the hospital plausibly functioned.
Results and novelty of the research: The author identified the reasons for the construction of a bimaristan in the largest urban center of the Jochid state. The famous Arab merchant and traveler, Ibn Battuta, visited Urgench during its heyday. The most significant architectural monuments that have survived to this day (e.g. the Qutlugh Timur minaret and the Turabek Khanum mausoleum) were built at this time. Intermittent construction activity was a consequence of the social and economic development of the city and the presence or absence of political stability in the country. Muslim culture, Muslim piety, the gradual conversion to Islam of the Mongol-Tatar elite led to Urgench becoming one of the main cultural centers of the ulus of Jochi. All of the above factors predetermined the establishment of a bimaristan there.
Obviously, the bimaristan of Urgench was developed by analogy with Muslim hospitals that first arose in the ninth century. Indirect information allowed the author to suggest the possible existence of bimaristans in other major urban centers of the Golden Horde. They could have separate buildings or could be part of complexes that included the so-called institutions of Muslim piety. The activity of hospitals could be carried out only with the presence of a professional doctor and an influential patron – the former organized the process of treating of patients while the latter created the material and financial basis for the function of a hospital.
Keywords: Bimaristan, hospital, history of medicine, Golden Horde, Urgench
For citation: Abzalov L.F. Bimaristan in the Golden Horde. Zolotoordynskoe obozrenie=Golden Horde Review. 2020, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 457–471. DOI: 10.22378/2313-6197.2020-8-3.457-471
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About the author: Lenar F. Abzalov – Cand. Sci. (History), Associate Professor of Department of Historical and Social studies education, Institute of International Relations, Kazan Federal University (1/55, Pushkin Str., Kazan 420008, Russian Federation); ORСID: 0000-0003-3952-6715. Е-mail: email@example.com
Received December 28, 2019 Accepted for publication April 30, 2020
Published Online September 29, 2020