doctor
doctor

Persian doctor Galeinoy used to live in Tibet during 7th century C.E. He had three sons and his youngest son was medical doctor too. In addition, Galeinoy’s youngest son had a name Mongolian doctor. I wonder why he had a name Mongolian doctor? Maybe it will be important to clarify a son of a Persian doctor who bore a name of Mongolian doctor in history of Traditional Mongolian Medicine. First of all I would like to identify Dr. Galeinoy. As noted in page 53 of “Tibetan Buddhist Medicine,” a Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo, arranged an International Medical Meeting in Tibet. Doctors from India, China, and Persia participated in the meeting and introduced their medical textbooks, training aids etc. These doctors also co-wrote medical books together. A Japanese professor, Tsuneo Namba (1993), wrote that Galeinoy was invited to Tibet from Tajig (Iran) and translated the medical textbooks into Tibetan. Assessing these facts, Dr. Galeinoy is considered to have come from ancient Persia (today’s Iran), but not Mongolia. Sometimes, he is confused with the ancient Roman Dr. Claudius Galen. We are presenting some clarifications of the doctors starting from the latter one (C. Galen) using current facts.

  1. Galen was a great anatomist, philosopher and doctor who lived from 130-201 B.C.E. The created remarkable anatomical and physiological work which dominated over the fields during the mediaeval period until 1628 C.E. Because they lived in different periods of time (C.Galen in 130 – 201 B.C.E but Galeinoy in the 7th century C.E.) and they were from different countries, they could not be the same person.

Second the Relationship between Persian and Mongolian. In the 2nd-4th centuries C.E, the Sianbi established Sumbe state in the territory of Mongolia. Later, some of Sumbe migrated to Blue Lake (Khukh nuur) passing through present day Lyan Dun in the People’s Republic of China, and set up Togon52 state in the early IV century. Although in the beginning, Togon state dominated over Tangut and Tibet, it eventually came under their domination. Togon state had a good relationship with Jujan and Tabgachiin Wei (G.Sukhbaatar 1992). In the 7th century, when the the Dundad nations had good relationships with each other, scholars and intellectuals from Togon uls, who inhabited in the present day Blue Lake region, learned the languages of their fraternal nations such as Persian, Chinese and Tibetan and also wrote texts in those languages (B. Erhembat 1987). Therefore, it is certain that Togon state of “Khor” Mongol’s origin inhabited the basin of the Khatan River of the Blue Lake region and had a cultural relationship with Persia. If the word Dagsig is translated literally, it means tiger. Although, Tibetan Explanatory Dictionary by Choidog, and the Six Languages Dictionary by Enkh- Amgalan defined it as the name of a carnivore which refers to the Hunnu and Dunhus, the northern dwellers. Judging from that, both the textbook “Tibetan Buddhist Medicine,” and the citations used by B. Erkhembat originated from the same source, which was a Tibetan medical history textbook called “Penetrate the Secret Covering of Medicine”, in Tibetan. 17th century written by Regent Sangye Gyatso. However Dagsig is a Tajic word, according to the definition in the Tibetan Explanatory Dictionary by Choidog and in the Six Language Dictionary it indicates another name for Hunnu (B.Erkhembat 1987). We wrote in 1999 that possibly, doctor Galeinoy was a Mongolian who existed in the 7th century. Nevertheless, it should be investigated further. Because Galeinoy was a Persian Muslim, he was not highly respected by the Tibetans. But king Songtsen Gampo (630 – 650) ordered to glorify him on account of his knowledge and skill, ignoring his religion and origin. The king honored him with the title “A life saver.” When the Indian and Chinese guest doctors went home, the Persian doctor Galeinoy stayed in Tibet to care for the king. Eventually he married and had three sons. His eldest son resettled in Zandod, nearby Lhasa, and established the Viji lineage. The next son migrated to a hot region in the south of Tibet and started a good doctor’s lineage. The youngest son inherited medical knowledge from his father and gained fame as a “Sogbu,” Mongolian doctor. This was recorded on page 151 of the “Penetrate the Secret Covering of Medicine.” It arises interest why a son of a Persian doctor was called Dalch (Sogbu). Therefore, we present three possible hypotheses:

  1. Doctor Galeinoy married a Mongolian woman in Tibet and had three sons.
  2. At that time Mongolian doctors acquired a good reputation and were idealists in medicine, leading doctors gained the title Mongolian doctor.
  3. Galeinoy was of Hunnu lineage.

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