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Zayn al-Din Gorgani

Persian scholar
Sayyid Zayn al-Din Isma'il al-Husayni al-Jurjani (Ismail Gorgani)
Born 1041 AD
Died 1136 AD
Hyrcania, Iran
Ethnicity Persian Iranian
Era Islamic golden age
Main interest(s) traditional medicine, theology, philosophy and ethics
Notable work(s) Zakhireye Khwarazmshahi and many others

Zayn al-Din Sayyed Isma‘il ibn Husayn Gorgani (1040–1136),[1] also spelled al-Jurjani, was a Persian 12th century royal Islamic physician from Gorgan, Iran.[1] In addition to medical and pharmaceutical sciences, he was also an adept in theological, philosophic and ethical sciences.[2]

Jurjani was a pupil of Ibn Abi Sadiq and Ahmad ibn Farrokh. He arrived at the court in the Persian province of Khwarazm in the year 1110 when he was already a septuagenarian. There he became a court physician to the governor of the province, Khwarazm-Shah Qutb al-Din Muhammad I, who ruled from 1097 to 1127. It was to him that he dedicated his most comprehensive and influential work, the Persian-language compendium Zakhirah-i Khvarazm'Shahi.

Jurjani continued as court physcian to Khwarazm'Shah Qutb al-Din's son and successor, Ala al-Din Atsiz, until at some unspecified time he moved to the city of Merv, the capital of the rival Seljuq Sultan Sanjar (ruled 1118–1157), where he died nearly at 100 lunar years of age.

Jurjani composed a number of important medical and philosophical treatises, in both Persian and Arabic, most of them written after he moved to Khwarazm at the age of 70 lunar years.

Thesaurus of the Shah of Khwarazm

Al-Jurjani wrote the Persian medical encyclopedia, Thesaurus of the Shah of Khwarazm (also known as The Treasure of Khwarazm Shah), some time after 1110, when he moved to the northern Persian province of Khwarezm. Much of his work was dependent on Avicenna's The Canon of Medicine (c. 1025), along with al-Jurjani's own ideas not found in the Canon. The work is composed of ten volumes covering ten medical fields: anatomy, physiology, hygiene, diagnosis and prognosis, fevers, diseases particular to a part of the body, surgery, skin diseases, poisons and antidotes, and medicaments (both simple and compound).[3] In endocrinology in particular, al-Jurjani was one of "the first to associate exophthalmos with goitre," which was not repeated until Caleb Parry (1755–1822) in 1825, and later by Robert James Graves (1796–1853) and Carl von Basedow (1799–1854). Al-Jurjani also established an association between goitre and palpitation.[4]

On "Drugs recommended for lice control," Gorgani recommends the following method:

Most of the above botanicals have recently been shown to possess insecticidal properties.[5]

chapters and contents of Zakhirah-i Khvarazm'Shahi

Zakhirah-i Khvarazm'Shahi contains 10 chapters and a preface. In the preface Jorjani writes about the ecology of the Khorezm and the foods and nutrition of the people of the Khorezm (now called Khorasan). Chapter one is about the importance of medicine, human anatomy, and general pathophysiology. Chapter two is related to symptoms and signs of the diseases and methods of treatment, sphigmology ("sphygmo" in Greek means pulse), and any liquid material excreted from the body (such as sweat and urine). Chapter three is about the water and weather, nutrition, exercise, emotions, sleep and wakefulness, and methods of treatment for children and the elderly. Chapter four is about the differential diagnoses and course of diseases. Chapter five defines fever categories and natural moisture and its relation with fever. In chapter six, Jorjani writes about treatment of any diseases that relate to the head, cervix, and the upper and lower limbs and trunk. In chapter seven of his book, Jorjani writes about methods of treatment of different types of wounds, inflammations, oncology, burns by hot water, hot oil and fire, cauterization, and orthopedics. Chapter eight is about diseases that relate to the integument system such as general dermatology, hair pathology, fatness, weight loss and methods of treatment of it. Chapter nine contain topic about the toxins, drugs, animal bites and rabidity, and insects stings. Finally in chapter ten Jorjani writes about classification of drugs and basic pharmacology, drugs for the ear, eye, nose and mouth, epilepsy, stroke, and pharmacological terminology .


Some of his works are:[2]

  1. Zakhireh-i Kharazmshahi
  2. Khafi Alayee
  3. Al-Iqraz al-Tebbieh and Al-Mabahis al-Alaieh
  4. Tib Yadegar
  5. Kitab-fi-Hifz al-Sihat (Book On Preserving Health)
  6. Book on Anatomy
  7. Zubdah al-Tib
  8. Al tazkereh al-Ashrafyeh fi Asnaah al-Tebbieh
  9. Al-Tib al-Mulkuki
  10. Kitab al-Manbah or Al-Risalah al-Manbah
  11. Kitab Tadbir al-Yaum va Laylah
  12. Kitab Nameh
  13. Fi al-Qias
  14. Fi al-Tahlil
  15. Al-Zakhireh al-Kharazmshahieh
  16. Al-Kazemieh
  17. Al-Javiah al-Tebbiah va al Mabahes al-alaiyeh
  18. Kitab fi al-Rad al-Phalasifah

See also


  1. ^ a b Abivardi, Cyrus (2001). Iranian entomology: an introduction. Springer. p. 484. ISBN 978-3-540-67592-1. 
  2. ^ a b Shams Ardekani, Mohammad Reza (Medical University of Tehran); Moatar, Fariborz (Medical University of Isfahan), A Research Conducted on the Life and Works of Hakim Sayyid Esmail Jurjani.
  3. ^ Life and Works of Hakim Seyed Ismail Jorjani by Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman, Majmua-e Maqalat Kangrah Buzargdasht Hakim Seyed Ismail Jorjani, Farhangistan Uloom Puzishki, Islamic Republic of Iran, 2000: 125-133
  4. ^ Nabipour, I. (2003), "Clinical Endocrinology in the Islamic Civilization in Iran", International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism 1: 43–45 [45] 
  5. ^ Cyrus Abivardi, "Iranian Entomology", Published by Springer, 2001. pg 484.


  • B. Thierry de Crussol des Epesse, Discours sur l'oeil d'Esma`il Gorgani (Teheran: Institut Français de Recherche en Iran, 1998), pp. 7–13.
  • Lutz Richter-Bernburg, Persian Medical Manuscripts at the University of California, Los Angeles: A Descriptive Catalogue, Humana Civilitas, vol. 4 (Malibu: Udena Publications, 1978). pp. 208
  • C.A. Storey, Persian Literature: A Bio-Bibliographical Survey. Volume II, Part 2: E.Medicine (London: Royal Asiatic Society, 1971), pp 207–211 no. 361
  • The article "Djurdjani" by J. Schacht in The Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd edition, ed. by H.A.R. Gibbs, B. Lewis, Ch. Pellat, C. Bosworth et al., 11 vols. (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1960–2002) (2nd ed.), vol. 2, p. 603
  • The article "Dakira-ye Kvarazmshahi" by `Ali-Akbar Sa`idi Sirjani in Encyclopædia Iranica, ed. Ehsan Yarshater, 6+ vols. (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul and Costa Mesa: Mazda, 1983 to present), vol. 6 (1999) pp. 609–610.
  • Shoja MM, Tubbs RS. The history of anatomy in Persia. J Anat 2007; 210:359–378.
  • A Research Conducted on the Life and Works of Hakim Sayyid Esmail Jurjani, Mohammad Reza Shams Ardekani, Fariborz Moatar. Journal of the International Society for the History of Islamic Medicine, Vol 4, No 7, April 2005.