al-Tabari

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Jews in the Islamic Empire

By |2018-04-08T01:10:57+00:00August 23rd, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

The synagogue where Maimonides worked in Cairo, Egypt (1100s AD) The Arabs first began to attack the Roman Empire in the 630s AD. At first, the Jews were quite enthusiastic about the idea of getting rid of their Christian persecutors. We don't really know whether the Jews actually helped the Arabs to conquer Israel and Syria. But many Roman [...]

Medieval Islamic medicine – the first hospitals and quarantines

By |2018-04-18T18:18:05+00:00July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Islamic medicine: From an Ottoman manuscript, two doctors telling the pharmacist how to make different medicines Writing medical encyclopedias Doctors made big scientific advances in medicine during the Islamic empire. Islamic doctors began by collecting all the medical observations and logic of the past. They translated the work of Hippocrates and his followers, and Galen, into Arabic. About 750 [...]

Medieval Islamic science

By |2018-04-24T08:21:20+00:00July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Al Tusi's diagram of linear motion from circular motion In the Early Middle Ages, before the formation of the Islamic Empire, Buddhists ran the world's biggest universities. One was in India, at Nalanda. Another was in what is now Pakistan, at Taxila. In Egypt, the University of Alexandria was still an important center of learning, too. Most serious scholars went to [...]

al Tabari – Medieval Islamic medicine

By |2018-04-18T18:18:05+00:00July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Al Tabari's homeland in Tabiristan Al Tabari was from a Christian family in the Abbasid Empire, near the Caspian Sea (modern Iran). His father, Sahl, was himself a doctor who proposed a new treatment for epilepsy. Al Tabari was born about 838 AD. When he grew up, he moved to Baghdad, where there were other scholars to talk [...]

Al Razi – Medieval Islamic science

By |2018-04-24T08:21:22+00:00July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

A manuscript copy of Al Razi's writing (from 1094 AD) Al Razi was born in Iran, in the Samanid kingdom, in 865 AD, when Iran was part of the Abbasid Empire. The Samanids were traders who encouraged education and the arts, and many scientists and artists lived in their kingdom. Al Razi seems to have started out as [...]

Medieval Islamic historians

By |2018-04-09T10:31:10+00:00July 25th, 2017|History, Islam, Literature|

A page from Ferdowsi's Shahnameh, from Herat, Afghanistan, about 1444 AD. Now in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge Islamic historians began by translating Greek historians like Herodotus and Thucydides into Arabic. But soon historians wrote in Arabic about the history of the Islamic Empire.  One example is the huge history written by al-Tabari about 900 AD. Al-Tabari had done a lot of [...]