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Two Pahlavi Chapters on Medicine

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image of Early Science and Medicine

The medical sciences in Sasanian society, in late Antiquity, constitute a rather neglected field of inquiry. Our most reliable sources for the study of this particular period in the history of science include a number of texts that were written in several older Iranian languages. In the following pages, we offer translations and commentaries on two such texts, written in Middle Persian, dealing with the life sciences. The topics discussed include copulation, pregnancies in various species, lactation, and moral and physical characteristics in the offspring. Placed in juxtaposition, the two texts, furthermore, clarify some of the obscure points in each of them. It is hoped that this preliminary study will help to sketch the path for future studies of the field.

Affiliations: 1: P.O. Box 7412, Laguna Niguel, CA 92607, CA 92607, USA


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