Harper's New Monthly Magazine,  11 (1885–86), 217–34.

Domestic and Court Customs of Persia

S G W Benjamin


Essay, Travelogue


Race, Ethnology, Medical Treatment, Medical Practitioners, Veterinary Science

    Reflects on the 'radical and permanent difference between the nations of the East and the West', suggesting that a 'vast and seemingly irreconcilable space [...] separates the Asiatic in general from the European type', these being the 'two great divisions of the human race' (217). Observes that in Persia a 'barber is a person of some consequence', whose skills include, among other things, 'leeching, and venesection, the latter a very important pursuit in Persia, for even well persons are in the habit of being bled once or twice a month as a preventative to disease, while the slightest colic or neuralgic pain sends them in haste to the barber' (220–21). Adds that it is the 'custom, also, to bleed horses once a month', and as 'Persian horses are in every way admirable [...] it would seem that this custom is at least not injurious, and possibly in such a climate has decided advantages' (221).

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