The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-441

The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

subject numberless stories are current throughout the East. [FN#571] i.e., blackened by the fires of Jehannam. [FN#572] Arab. “Bi’l-Sal�mah” = in safety (to avert the evil eye). When visiting the sick it is usual to say something civil; “The Lord heal thee! No evil befall thee!” etc. [FN#573] Washing during sickness is held dangerous by Arabs; and “going to the Hammam” is, I have said, equivalent to convalescence. [FN#574] Arab. “M�rist�n” (pronounced M�ristan) a corruption of the Pers. “B�m�rist�n” = place of sickness, a hospital much affected by the old Guebres (Dabistan, i., 165, 166). That of Damascus was the first Moslem hospital, founded by Al-Walid Son of Abd al-Malik the Ommiade in A. H. 88 = 706-7. Benjamin of Tudela (A. D. 1164) calls it “Dar-al Maraphtan” which his latest Editor explains by “Dar-al-Morabittan” (abode of those who require being chained). Al-Makrizi (Khitat) ascribes the invention of “Spitals” to Hippocrates; another historian to an early Pharaoh “Man�kiyush;” thus ignoring the Persian Kings, Saint Ephrem (or Ephraim), Syru, etc. In modern parlance “Maristan” is a madhouse where the maniacs are treated with all the horrors which were universal in Europe till within a few years and of which occasional traces occur to this day. In A.D. 1399 Katherine de la Court held a “hospital in the Court called Robert de Paris,” but the first madhouse in Christendom was built by the legate Ortiz in Toledo A. D. 1483, and was therefore called Casa del Nuncio. The Damascus “Maristan” was described by every traveller of the last century: and it showed a curious contrast between the treatment of the maniac and the idiot or omadhaun, who is humanely allowed to wander about unharmed, if not held a Saint. When I saw it last (1870) it was all but empty and mostly in ruins. As far as my experience goes, the United States is the only country where the insane are rationally treated