Long before the European Renaissance, the Arab world was ablaze with the knowledge, invention and creativity of its Golden Age. This is the story of how Islamic science preserved and enhanced the knowledge acquired from Greece, Mesopotamia, India and China. Through the greatest minds of the Muslim world, this knowledge was carried from Samarkand and Baghdad to Cordoba and beyond, influencing Western thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas and Copernicus and helping to inspire the cultural phenomenon of the Renaissance. Freely tells this spellbinding story of the melting pot of cultures involved and concludes with the decline of Islam’s Golden Age, when the West forgot the debt it owed to the Muslim world and the influence of medieval Islamic civilization on modern science.
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About the Author
John Freely (1926 - 2017) was born in New York and joined the US Navy at the age of seventeen, serving during the last two years of World War II. He had a PhD in physics from New York University and did post-doctoral studies in the history of science at Oxford. He was for many years professor of physics at Bosphorus University in Istanbul, where he taught physics and the history of science. He wrote more than forty books, including Light from the East: How the Science of Medieval Islam Helped Shape the Western World (I.B.Tauris, 2010), The Grand Turk, Storm on Horseback, Children of Achilles, The Cyclades,The Ionian Islands (all I.B.Tauris), Crete, The Western Shores of Turkey, Strolling through Athens, Strolling through Venice and the bestselling Strolling through Istanbul (all Tauris Parke Paperbacks).
Table of Contents
Prologue. The Scriptorium at the Süleymaniye * Science Before Science, Mesopotamia and Egypt * The Land of the Greeks * The Roads to Baghdad * ‘Abbasid Baghdad: The House of Wisdom * Spiritual Physick * From Baghdad to Central Asia * The Cure of Ignorance * Fatimid Cairo: The Science of Light * Ayyubid and Mamluk Cairo: Healing Body and Soul * Ingenious Mechanical Devices * Islamic Technology * Al-Andalus: Muslim Spain * From the Maghrib to the Two Sicilies: Arabic into Latin * Incoherent Philosophers * Mongol Maragha and Samarkand: Spheres Within Spheres * Arabic Science and the European Renaissance * Copernicus and His Arabic Predecessors * The Scientific Revolution * The Heritage of Islamic Science * Notes * Bibliography *