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More Information on "The Islamic World"

   
       
 

The European appetite for books was no doubt stimulated by the cutting edge technology of that time: the printing press. This period was called the "Renaissance" (ca1500 AD) signifying the rapid growth of fresh perspectives and ideas. Many of these books were scientific, technical, and mathematical works, most of which had been gathered or written by scientists during the Islamic Renaissance that peaked some 600 years before Europe's! Islamic rulers sponsored the systematic collection and translation of scholarly books from every culture they came across. For nearly two centuries, a diverse group Islamic thinkers (concentrating in Iran and the Middle East, but extending from Spain and North Africa to India and the Far East) amplified, elaborated, and extended the libraries of scientific knowledge that they had collected. They made great advances in math and science, observed nature and human society, amassed discoveries and inventions during the flowering of Islamic culture. The decline of Islamic learning had begun by the 11th century. By the 13th and 14th centuries, European translations of the volumes of Islamic theology, science, and technology had laid a rich foundation for the birth of modern science. Much of the library of Islamic sciences remains in Arabic to this day.

Further reading: S.H. Nasr, Science and Civilization in Islam, Harvard University Press (1968)

 

 

       
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