EBN MARZOBĀN (Marzbān), ABŪ AḤMAD ʿABD-AL-RAḤMĀN. b. ʿAlī b. Marzbān Ṭabīb Marzbānī (d. Tostar, Jomādā I 396/February-March 1006), administrative official under the Buyids.

Ebn al-Qefṭī and Ebn al-Aṯīr, the only two sources providing scanty information on Ebn Marzobān, consider him a descendent of a family originally based in Isfahan. He appears, however, to have spent most of his life around Baghdad and in Ḵūzestān. His grandfather’s name indicates that his forebears had been of Persian origin. Ebn Marzobān received training in both religious law (šarīʿa) and the sciences (ʿelm al-ṭabīʿa). Under Buyid patronage, this double qualification must have facilitated his appointment as judge of Tostar and as a superintendent of a hospital in Baghdad. It is, however, questionable whether his work at the hospital, most probably primarily administrative, was sufficiently concerned with medicine proper to have earned him the title ṭabīb (physician) as mentioned by Ebn al-Qefṭī. He served at both functions until the end of his life. The hospital he administered is no doubt the famous ʿAżodī bīmārestān founded by ʿAżod-al-Dawla in 372/982, shortly before his death.



D. M. Dunlop, “Bīmāristān. i"in EI2 I, pp. 1222-24.

Ebn al-Qefṭī, Taʾrīḵ al-ḥokamāʾ,ed. J. Lippert, Leipzig, 1903, p. 230.

Ebn al-Aṯīr, IX, pp. 134-38.

Ebn Ḵallekān, ed. ʿAbbās, III, p. 281, no 427.

Abū Manṣūr Jawālīqī, Ketāb al-moʿarrab men al-kalām al-ʿajamī ʿalā ḥorūf al-moʿjam, ed. E. Sachau, Leipzig, 1867.

(D. M. Dunlop)

Originally Published: December 15, 1997

Last Updated: December 6, 2011

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