The development and, indeed, the very creation of European medicine is unthinkable without the Arabs' contribution. For its basis was the legacy of the ancient Greeks, and that legacy was unknown to Europe until the moment when it became available in Arabic translations and with the commentaries of Arab scholars. The first contribution of the Arabs to western medicine is, thus, the transmission of Greek knowledge. Between 800 and 900 A.D., they had discovered, translated, commented upon, and assimilated the entire Greek heritage in practically all branches of science. Of medical works they translated not only those of such giants as Hippocrates and Galen, but also of Dioscorides, Paul of Aegina, Oribasius and Rufus of Ephesus. Further, the Arabs are credited with many original contributions of hospitals and clinics, the practice of internship, the licensing of physicians and regulations concerning malpractice.
The most important medical school affecting the development of Arab medicine was Jundishapur, situated in what is now western Iran. Jundishapur came under Arab rule in 738 A.D. and a medical school, managed by Syrian Christians, began to foster the spread of medicine among Arabs and

other Muslims.

The first bimanstan (hospital and medical institution) in the Arab domain was established in Baghdad during the reign of the Caliph al-Mansur (754-775 A.D.). Incorporating the traditions and standards of Jundishapur and laying the foundations for the wider Arab adventure in medicine, hospitals continued to be built throughout the Abbasid empire (749-1 258 A.D.), an era referred to as the "golden age" of Arab Muslim rule. In the medical schools associated with the hospitals, a well~eveloped curriculum was taught, in line with the notion that an "educated" man was not one with a singular area of expertise. Music, mathematics, astronomy, geometry and other courses were among the electives available. Students learned medical theory and practiced in small classes where they received clinical instruction and observed surgery.

  From Spain to western Indian, bimaristans were among the most important educational institutions in the Arab world. Physicians of many races, nationalities and religions taught and practiced in them, making daily rounds, taking noteS, writing prescriptions. Men and women recuperated in separate wards and many hospitals had gardens in which herbs were grown for use in treatments. Doctors even traveled to remote villages and accompanied soldiers into the field so that the injured could be cared for immediately. Hospitals were established for the blind, lepers and even the mentally ill.  

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