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.
Howard R. Turner is a documentary and educational film and television writer who served as Curator for Science for the major traveling exhibition "The Heritage of Islam, 1982-1983."
Illustrations Foreword and Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Islam as Empire 2. Forces and Bonds: Faith, Language, and Thought 3. Roots 4. Cosmology: The Universes of Islam 5. Mathematics: Native Tongue of Science 6. Astronomy 7. Astrology: Scientific Non-science 8. Geography 9. Medicine 10. Natural Sciences 11. Alchemy 12. Optics 13. The Later Years 14. Transmission 15. The New West 16. Epilogue Islam and the World: A Summary Timeline Glossary Works Consulted Illustration Sources Index