Rabi Rashidi (Rashidi Quarters): a late thirteen to early fourteenth century Middle Eastern Medical School

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Feridoon Abbasnejad1, Mohammadali M. Shoja1, 2, 3, Paul S. Agutter4, Farid Alakbarli5, Marios Loukas6, Ghaffar Shokouhi7, Majid Khalili1 and R. Shane Tubbs2

(1)Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

(2)Section of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Children’s Hospital, Birmingham, AL, USA

(3)Division of Neurological Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA

(4)Theoretical Medicine and Biology Group, Glossop, Derbyshire, UK

(5)Institute of Manuscripts of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, Baku, Azerbaijan

(6)Department of Anatomical Sciences, School of Medicine, St. George’s University, Grenada, West Indies

(7)Medical Philosophy and History Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

Mohammadali M. Shoja

Email: amohadjel@yahoo.comPublished online: 20 July 2012



Following the Mongolian invasion of the Middle East in the thirteenth century, a regional power called the Ilkhanid emerged and was ruled by the heirs of Temujin from Mongolia. Embracing present-day Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, areas of Russia, Turkey, and Pakistan, and nearby Middle Eastern territories, the Ilkhanid state patronized medicine and various other professions. Centered in Tabriz (Tauris), a city in the northwest of present-day Iran, was a non-profit-making educational and medical complex founded by Grand Minister Rashid al-Din Fazlollah Hamadani.


This paper reviews the literature regarding the rise and fall of the thirteenth century university and the Rabi Rashidi, emphasizing the structure of its medical school.


The background training of Rashid al-Din and his keen interest in science turned this complex, Rabi Rashidi (literally meaning the Rashidi Quarters), into a cosmopolitan university that freely trained medical scholars nationally and internationally. The possibility that Rashid al-Din was inspired by university developments in Europe is discussed.

Keywords History  – Medicine  – Medieval  – University

Source: see full text: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00381-012-1854-1/fulltext.html