The Physician (2013)

Plot (1021- 1040s?)

When nine-year-old Rob Cole felt the life force slipping from his mother’s hand he could not foresee that this terrifying awareness of impending death was a gift that would lead him from the familiar life of 11th-century London to small villages throughout England and finally to the medical school at Ispahan. Though apprenticed to an itinerant barber surgeon, it is the dazzling surgery of a Jewish physician trained by the legendary Persian physician Avicenna that inspires him to accept his gift and to commit his life to healing by studying at Avicenna’s school. Despite the ban on Christian students, Rob goes there, disguising himself as a Jew to gain admission. Gordon has written an adventurous and inspiring tale of a quest for medical knowledge pursued in a violent world full of superstition and prejudice. —Rotten Tomatoes

Historical Figures


Ibn Sina (980 – 1037)

Avicenna (Arabic Ibn Sīnā), Muslim physician, the most famous and influential of the philosopher-scientists of the medieval Islamic world. He was particularly noted for his contributions in the fields of Aristotelian philosophy and medicine. He composed the Kitāb al-shifāʾ (Book of the Cure), a vast philosophical and scientific encyclopaedia, and Al-Qānūn fī al-ṭibb (The Canon of Medicine), which is among the most famous books in the history of medicine. —Britannica


Shah Ala ad-Daula ( – 1041)

Muhammad ibn Rustam Dushmanziyar, also known by his laqab of Ala al-Dawla Muhammad(علاء الدوله محمد), was a Daylamite military commander who founded in 1008 the short-lived independent Kakuyid dynasty in Jibal. Muhammad carved out a powerful kingdom which included western Persia and Jibal. He managed to protect his kingdom  from its neighbors, including the Buyids, Ghaznavids and Seljuqs. However, these gains were quickly lost under his successors.

He invited the philosopher Avicenna to his court after Avicenna left the court of the Buyids.  The library of Avicenna was later plundered by the Ghaznavids who carried it off to Ghazni where it was later destroyed by the Ghurids.