The History of Medicine Meeting 2021-Entangled Histories: Contributions of Iran and Turkey to the development of medical sciences, Shiraz, Iran, 12 - 15 November 2021, pp.22
The Great Seljuk Empire has an exceptional place in Turkish, Iranian and essentially all Islamic history. The victory of the Great Seljuk Empire at Manzikert in
1071 against the Eastern Roman Empire is a turning point in the transformation
of Anatolia into a Turkish homeland. As a matter of fact, one of the states established after the collapse of the Great Seljuk Empire was the Anatolian Seljuk
State. The Anatolian Seljuks have done successful works in many fields. At the
forefront of these is undoubtedly their work in the field of medicine and health.
Medical activities were carried out in hospitals that we today call mostly Dār
al-shifā, among other names.
In the period of the Anatolian Seljuks, it is known that hospitals were opened in
places such as Mardin, Kayseri, Sivas, Divrigi, Konya, Aksaray, Cankiri, Tokat,
Kastamonu and Amasya. The health services were provided here, far ahead of
the period, by observing the principle of the social state. Their architecture was
also designed specifically for this purpose. It is known that hospitals were
mostly built by members of the dynasty. Their expenses were covered by waqfs.
In this way, they did not become a burden to the state.
Medical education was provided in the Seljuk hospitals in Anatolia within the
master-apprentice relationship. The training was given at the bedside and in a
more practical side. It is known that specialization for physicians started in
Seljuk hospitals in this period. This was different from hospitals in Europe. In
education, important sources, especially the works of Rhazes, Ali ibn Abbas and
Avicenna were used.
This study is carried out by considering only the Seljuk hospitals in Anatolia.
The reasons for the construction of hospitals, their architectural features, administrative structures, the physicians and other personnel working in these hospitals, examination and treatment methods and medical education will be
discussed in the light of the literature. The effects of Anatolian Seljuk hospitals
on the Turkish Beyliks in Anatolia and the Ottoman period after them will be