Persian Education: Chronology--Medieval Era

Figure 1.--We have very limited information on schools in medieval Persia. This 16th cntury illustration of a Persian love story offers some useful insights. The boy and girl in the love story meet at school. We are guessing it is meant to illustrate a court school. We doubt if iis mean to illustrate mosque classrooms or madrassas because girls are depicted as well as a love story. The presence of girls is especially notable. The teacher holds a rod and this eems very common in Muslim education, something also common in the West. The impression one gets here, however, from the postur of the children is that he did not commonly use it.

We have been able to find very little information on education in medieval Persia. Aran armies conquered Persial ending the Sasanian Empire (651). Arab Islamization led to the eventual decline of the Zoroastrianism.. Court schools continued to be important for the nobility. Here there are some indications that girls might be educated (figure 1). We believe, however, that the number of auch schools were very limited. Other than these schools, education fell into the hands of the mullahs teaching in schools atached to mosques. Literacy rates continued at very low levels. The education ptovidd by the imans in the mosques focused largely on Kranic studies. Thus the Persians like the Arabs did not participate in the revival of learning and the development of science that occurred in the West, especially with the Renaissance (14th century). This basic system continud virtually unchanged for centuries.


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Created: 11:28 AM 6/8/2015
Last updated: 11:28 AM 6/8/2015