Science in Medieval Islam: An Illustrated Introduction (Google eBook)

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University of Texas Press, Jul 28, 2010 - Science
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During the Golden Age of Islam (seventh through seventeenth centuries A.D.), Muslim philosophers and poets, artists and scientists, princes and laborers created a unique culture that has influenced societies on every continent. This book offers a fully illustrated, highly accessible introduction to an important aspect of that culture—the scientific achievements of medieval Islam.

Howard Turner opens with a historical overview of the spread of Islamic civilization from the Arabian peninsula eastward to India and westward across northern Africa into Spain. He describes how a passion for knowledge led the Muslims during their centuries of empire-building to assimilate and expand the scientific knowledge of older cultures, including those of Greece, India, and China. He explores medieval Islamic accomplishments in cosmology, mathematics, astronomy, astrology, geography, medicine, natural sciences, alchemy, and optics. He also indicates the ways in which Muslim scientific achievement influenced the advance of science in the Western world from the Renaissance to the modern era. This survey of historic Muslim scientific achievements offers students and general readers a window into one of the world's great cultures, one which is experiencing a remarkable resurgence as a religious, political, and social force in our own time.

  

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Contents

Islam as Empire
5
Forces and Bonds Faith Language and Thought
10
Roots
26
Cosmology The Universes of Islam
36
Mathematics Native Tongue of Science
43
Astronomy
59
Astrology Scientific Nonscience
108
Geography
117
Optics
95
The Later Years
101
Transmission
109
The New West
117
Epilogue
122
A Summary Timeline
131
Glossary
139
Works Consulted
141

Medicine
31
Natural Sciences
62
Alchemy
89
Illustration Sources
147
Index
153
Copyright

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Page 17 - He who pursues the road of knowledge God will direct to the road of Paradise. . .. The brightness of a learned man compared to that of a mere worshiper is like that of the full moon compared to all the stars.. . . Obtain knowledge; its possessor can distinguish right from wrong; it shows the way to Heaven; it befriends us in the desert and in solitude, and when we are friendless; it is our guide to happiness; it gives us strength in misery; it is an ornament to friends, protection against enemies....
Page 7 - Established on the foundation of a clearly defined but not entirely inflexible hierarchy of rulers and ruled, Islam as Empire evolved through some twelve centuries, rarely achieving political unity or equilibrium for long periods. The Prophet Muhammad, founder and head of the first Muslim state, was succeeded by four caliphs, three related to him by marriage. This group, known as the orthodox caliphate, ruled until 66i, when a new and very different era began.
Page 2 - Muslims and comprised the first multiethnic and multinational group of its kind in the worlds history. The accomplishments of this extraordinary scientific brotherhood are the subject of this illustrated introductory survey. From the ninth century on, scientists in Islamic lands acquired, through translations into Arabic, a treasury of Greek, Indian, Persian, and Babylonian philosophic and scientific thought. They proceeded diligently to assimilate and...
Page 1 - Islam is an intellectual and emotional force that in our time binds together about one out of every five of the worlds people, uniting its adherents through a common faith and a written language, despite diverse identities of race, nation, and political affiliation. Islamic culture has always...

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