SCIENCE AND SCHOLARSHIP IN AL ANDALUS

SCIENCE AND SCHOLARSHIP IN AL ANDALUS - SCIENCE AND...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
SCIENCE AND SCHOLARSHIP IN AL-ANDALUS: For Europe and Western civilization the contributions of Islamic Spain were of inestimable value. When the Muslims entered southern Spain - which they called al- Andalus - barbarians from the north had overrun much of Europe and the classical civilization of Greece and Rome had gone into eclipse. Islamic Spain then became a bridge by which the scientific, technological, and philosophical legacy of the 'Abbasid period, along with the achievements of al-Andalus itself, passed into Europe. In the first century of Islamic rule in Spain the culture was largely derived from that of the flourishing civilization being developed by the 'Abbasids in Baghdad. But then, during the reign of 'Abd al-Rahman III (912-961), Islamic Spain began to make its own contributions. 'Abd al-Rahman III was passionately interested in both the religious and the secular sciences. He was also determined to show the world that his court at Cordoba equaled in greatness that of the caliphs at Baghdad. Sparing neither time nor expense, he imported books from Baghdad and actively recruited scholars by offering hand some inducements. Soon, as a result, scholars, poets, philosophers, historians, and musicians began to migrate to al-Andalus. Soon, too, an infrastructure of libraries, hospitals, research institutions, and centers of Islamic studies grew up, establishing the intellectual tradition and educational system which made Spain outstanding for the next four hundred years. One of the earliest of the scholars drawn to al-Andalus was 'Abbas ibn Firnas, who came to Cordoba to teach music (then a branch of mathematical theory) and to acquaint the
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
court of 'Abd al-Rahman with the recent developments in this field in Baghdad. Not a man to limit himself to a single field of study, however, Ibn Firnas soon began to investigate the mechanics of flight. He constructed a pair of wings out of feathers on a wooden frame and made the first attempt at flight, anticipating Leonardo da Vinci by some six hundred years. Later, having survived the experiment with a back injury, he also constructed a famous planetarium. Not only was it mechanized - the planets actually revolved - but it simulated such celestial phenomena as thunder and lightning. As in the 'Abbasid centers of learning, Islamic Spain's interest in mathematics, astronomy, and medicine was always lively - partly because of their obvious utility. In the tenth century Cordoban mathematicians began to make their own original contributions. The first original mathematician and astronomer of al-Andalus was Maslamah al-Majriti, who died in 1008. He had been preceded by competent scientists - men like Ibn Abi 'Ubaydah of Valencia, a leading astronomer in the ninth century. But al- Majriti was in a class by himself. He wrote a number of works on mathematics and astronomy, studied and elaborated the Arabic translation of Ptolemy's Almagest, and enlarged and corrected the astronomical tables of the famous al-Khwarazmi. He also
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 05/16/2008 for the course HIS 201 taught by Professor Ndiaye during the Spring '08 term at Morehead State.

Page1 / 7

SCIENCE AND SCHOLARSHIP IN AL ANDALUS - SCIENCE AND...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online