It is understandable that a westerner would equate the mediaeval period with ignorance.
But in the Islamic world the cultural climate at this time was quite different. During the years Europeans were wallowing in mud, ignorance and disease, Islamic lands were experiencing a golden age — an era as far removed from the perversions of the religion being expressed in Iraq and Syria today as modern Europe is from the Spanish Inquisition. During this great awakening in the Islamic world, the arts and sciences flourished.
They helped to preserve the wisdom of the ancients and added to the legacy that helped shape the Western world — a contribution that is still felt today.
- Beginners Guide To Vertical Gardening - Your Roadmap To A Beautiful Garden.
- Top Authors.
- About Light from the East.
- Book: Light from the East | Cosmos;
- Islamic Civilization | Middle East Institute.
- Account Options!
Fittingly, Freely himself is something of a renaissance man. Now aged 85, he is a physicist with a PhD from New York University, post-doctoral studies in the history of science from Oxford and a string of history and travel books to his credit. He taught physics at Bosphorus University in Istanbul from He tells the story of the birth of Islamic science with the translation of Greek manuscripts into Arabic in eighth-century Baghdad and how these were enhanced by the knowledge acquired from Mesopotamia, India and China. Then he charts how Islamic scientists developed and expanded this knowledge and how astronomers, physicians, philosophers and mathematicians — along with those prototype fraudsters, the astrologers and alchemists — carried what they had learnt and discovered around the world, from Samarkand and Baghdad to Cordoba and beyond.
- Pierced Heart.
- Great Love.
With a great deal of wit and a good ear for wonderful anecdotes and tidbits, Freely lists the achievements this melting pot culture produced. There are the institutions such as the Bayt al-Hikma , the great House of Wisdom in Baghdad, that brought together Muslim, Christian and Jewish scholars from the ninth to the 13th centuries, the dozens of libraries in Cordoba and the more than paper mills in Baghdad.
Algebra, geology, astronomy and medicine were all born or thrived at this time, nurtured and developed by some of the greatest scientific thinkers the world has seen — Al Khwarizmi, the father of algebra, Al Biruni, whose pioneering pharmacopoeia describes more than drugs and their therapeutic properties, Ibn Sahl, who developed the law of optical refraction and Ibn Sina, whose canon on medicine, Al Qanun fi al-tibb , became the essential guide for Western physicians.
Islamic scholars of the time were no strangers to clashes with clerics but were happy to take them on, as philosopher Al Shirazi did with his five-volume defence of Ibn Sina against the theologians. Lessons, perhaps, for moderate Muslims today.
Though the outlook may seem bleak at times, perhaps a greater awareness of the heritage of Islamic scholarship — and the debt the West owes to it — will mean that science can once again play a pivotal role in bringing two disparate worlds together. Digital Issues Buy a back issue.
Shop now and earn 2 points per $1
Renew my subscription Give a Gift Manage my subscription. Sir Thomas L. Walter Isaacson. Bright Earth.
Light from the East on Apple Books
Philip Ball. Science in Wonderland. Melanie Keene. Lost Enlightenment.
Light From the East: How the Science of Medieval Islam Helped to Shape the Western World
Frederick Starr. Jim Al-Khalili. Nothing: A Very Short Introduction. Frank Close. Murderous Contagion. Mary Dobson. A Little History of Science. William F. Your review has been submitted successfully. Not registered? Forgotten password Please enter your email address below and we'll send you a link to reset your password.
- The must of the Things (Joska Soos and the shamans Masters of the Time Book 3).
- Find a copy in the library?
- Milay (Tales of Mimion Book 10).
- High Desert Run: A Neo Western.
- Account Options.
- Ancient European Costume and Fashion (Dover Fashion and Costumes)!
- Book: Light from the East.
Not you? Forgotten password? Forgotten password Use the form below to recover your username and password. New details will be emailed to you. Simply reserve online and pay at the counter when you collect. Available in shop from just two hours, subject to availability.
Your order is now being processed and we have sent a confirmation email to you at. This item can be requested from the shops shown below. If this item isn't available to be reserved nearby, add the item to your basket instead and select 'Deliver to my local shop' at the checkout, to be able to collect it from there at a later date. Preferred contact method Email Text message. When will my order be ready to collect?