Baghdad

Home » Baghdad

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 [...]

Sinbad the Sailor – Arabian Nights

By |2017-07-26T09:40:30+00:00July 26th, 2017|Islam, Literature|

An island turned out to be a whale Sinbad was (as Sheherazade told the story) a trader from Baghdad. He sailed his trading ships all around the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean, carrying cotton cloth and gold and cinnamon and sugar and rugs and steel from one place to another. But he [...]

Noureddin and the Persian Woman

By |2017-07-25T22:00:10+00:00July 25th, 2017|Islam, Literature|

A pile of gold coins Here's another of the stories Sheherazade told the king: Once the sultan had two viziers, a good one (Khacan) and a bad one (Saouy). Naturally Saouy hated Khacan. One day the two viziers were talking with the sultan in the garden, and they began talking about slave girls. Saouy said that [...]

Islamic geographers – Medieval Islam

By |2018-04-18T09:54:08+00:00July 25th, 2017|History, Islam, Science|

al-Idrisi's map of the world (1100s AD) Many people in the Islamic Empire were rich enough to send their sons to college, and so the big university at Alexandria in Egypt stayed open, though it moved to the new town of Cairo. A new university also opened up in Baghdad, near ancient Babylon (modern Iraq), and there were smaller universities in Tunis (in Tunisia [...]

The Abbasids – Medieval Islamic history

By |2018-04-18T23:33:46+00:00July 23rd, 2017|History, Islam|

Minaret at Samarra, 847 AD In 750 AD, the Abbasid caliphs murdered all of the surviving Umayyad men but one. They took over ruling the Islamic Empire. The Abbasids were less interested in the Mediterranean coast than the Umayyads had been. So the Abbasids concentrated more on the plains of Iraq and Iran, and less on the coast: Israel, Syria, and Lebanon, [...]

Medieval Islamic pottery – Islamic art

By |2018-04-23T15:22:28+00:00July 23rd, 2017|Art, Islam|

A tin-glazed plate Just about the time of the Arab conquests (about 600-700 AD), potters started to use metal-based glazes on their pots. So Islamic pottery looks very different from the Roman pottery that came before it. Tin-glazed bowl imitating Chinese pottery, ca. 850 AD West Asian potters invented this way of glazing pottery during the Roman Empire, [...]

Architecture of the Abbasid Caliphate

By |2017-07-22T06:59:21+00:00July 22nd, 2017|Architecture, Islam|

Minaret at Samarra, 847 AD When the Abbasid dynasty moved the capital of the Islamic Empire to Baghdad from Damascus in 762 AD, of course they needed a lot of new buildings to make it beautiful. They did build a lot of lovely buildings. But because the modern city of Baghdad is right on top of the [...]

Buddhism in India – A religion of ancient India – History of Buddhism

By |2018-11-02T06:07:17+00:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

Buddhism in India - Buddha Reincarnation and the wheel In the 500s BC, during the later part of the Vedic period in India, the idea of reincarnation became very strong among Hindus. Most people believed that after you died, you would be reborn in another form, and then reborn again, and again, forever. Read up on Hinduism... [...]