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Return of Greek Science and Philosophy in Western Europe through Al-Andalus
Transcript of Return of Greek Science and Philosophy in Western Europe through Al-Andalus
-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 compiled conversion tables in which the dates of the Persian calendar were related to Hijrah dates, so that for the first time the events of Persia's past could be dated with precision. Mathematics and
Astronomy -Al-Zarqali, known to the West as Arzachel, was another leading mathematician and astronomer who flourished in Cordoba in the eleventh century. Combining theoretical knowledge with technical skill, he excelled at the construction of precision instruments for astronomical use and built a water clock capable of determining the hours of the day and night and indicating the days of the lunar months. He also contributed to the famous Toledan Tables, a highly accurate compilation of astronomical data. Arzachel was famous as well for his Book of Tables. Many "books of tables" had been compiled before then, but his is an almanac containing tables which allow one to find the days on which Coptic, Roman, lunar, and Persian months begin, other tables which give the position of planets at any given time, and still others facilitating the prediction of solar and lunar eclipses. He also compiled valuable tables of latitude and longitude. Mathematics and Astronomy - A number of Muslim philosophers had been following and developing several viewpoints of Greek philosophy, including the Neoplatonic philosophy, and this was leading to conflict with several Islamic teachings. Neoplatonic Philosophy Muslim doctors learned how to use sedatives, they pioneered the use of antiseptics to clean wounds, and they also used sutures made from gut and silk to bind wounds. In all areas of both practical and theoretical medicine, they were ahead of their colleagues in Europe, where people often considered sickness to be the sign of immorality, punishment from God, or "as a condition caused by supernatural forces, which might take the form of diabolical possession" (Tschanz, 1997). One of the greatest breakthroughs in medical knowledge during the Medieval Age came in the 13th century when a Muslim doctor, Muhammad ibn Ahmad Ilyas, discovered how blood circulated in the body. Medicine Also, several Muslim philosophers had held that the universe was finite in space but infinite in time. Ghazali argued that an infinite time was related to an infinite space. With his clarity of thought and force of argument, he was able to create a balance between religion and reason, and identified their respective spheres as being the infinite and the finite, respectively. Philosophy (http://www.islamicity.com/mosque/ihame/ref4.htm) (http://www.islamicity.com/mosque/ihame/ref4.htm) (http://www.trincoll.edu/depts/phil/philo/phils/muslim/ghazali.html) http://www.engr.sjsu.edu/pabacker/history/islam.htm