chapter  13
16 Pages

CHASTITY AND THE FEELING OF SHAME

The most difficult, of course, is to obtain a glance at the intimate life of the Moslem wife. The first non-Moslem doctor to step into the harem was the Christian Dschordschis Ben Bachtjeschuu, doctor to the hospital of Dschondschabur in Persia. According to one of the manuscripts discovered in the Viennese library of Arabic doctors and the biographies of the doctor Ibn Ossaibije, Hammer-Purgstall reports the following in his history of Arabian literature, p. 1189: Dschordschis Ben Bachtjeschuu, with the given name Ebu Bachtjeschuu, doctor of Dschondschabur, author of the Kenasch or the book of Pandects, died about the year 154 according to the Moslem calendar or 771 according to the Christian. As the Caliph Manssur was building the city of Bagdad in the year 148 (765), he became subject to stomach trouble and impotence. He was advised to summon Dschordschis, the most renowned doctor of his time, the director of the hospital and medical school of Dschondschabur. Dschordschis came and brought with him his pupils Ibrahim and Isa Berr Schehla. The Caliph spoke with Dschordschis Persian and Arabic and marveled at the spirit and calmness of the doctor, had him dressed in beautiful clothing and comm.anded the chamberlain to conduct the doctor to a dwelling in the best part of the city. Dschordschis cured the Caliph to his great joy. Manssur showed his gratitude by sending the doctor 3000-ducats and three beautiful slaves; when these presents came Dschordschis was not at home and they were received by his pupil, Isa Ben Schehla. Dschordschis, who had left his old wife at Dschondschabur because she had not been in a position to undertake the strain of the journey, cursed the youngster for having accepted the slaves; he immediately returned them to the Caliph with the message: "As a Christian I must touch no woman other than my own wife." From this moment

Deschordschis was granted free access to the harem of the Caliph Manssur.