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From Balkh to Baghdad: Indian science and the birth of the Islamic golden age in the eighth century

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • The late first-century BCE caravan route from Antioch on the Mediterranean to Kandahar in modern Afghanistan provided opportunities for the exchange of medical knowledge between north India and the Parthian and Mediterranean worlds. Sanskrit literature provides evidence for the existence of Indian physicians in Balkh. The Islamic invasion of Balkh in Tokharistan in about 725 CE, resulted in the relocation of the originally Buddhist Khālid ibn Pramukha (b. 709, d. 781–2) from Balkh to Abbasid Baghdad. Ibn Khālid had a cultural background can be connected with the Sanskrit and specifically ayurvedic education that his father received in Kashmir. These cultural influences had a bearing on the medical treatises that were translated from Sanskrit into Arabic in eighth-century Baghdad, and may have informed the building of one of the first Islamic hospitals in Baghdad.

  • Date created
    2016
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-272k-7s50
  • License
    © 2016 D. Wujastyk et al. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Wujastyk, D. (2016). From Balkh to Baghdad: Indian science and the birth of the Islamic golden age in the eighth century. Indian Journal of the History of Science, 51(4), 679–90. http://dx.doi.org/10.16943/ijhs/2016/v51/i4/41244
  • Link to related item
    http://dx.doi.org/10.16943/ijhs/2016/v51/i4/41244