Ibn Khaldun

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Logic and the scientific method

By |2018-05-31T11:49:22+00:00September 6th, 2017|Science|

An eclipse of the moon. You can see the curved shadow of the Earth. Once people have seen that something happens through observation, sooner or later it will occur to them to ask why it happens. And is there any way to prove that it will happen the same way every time? Sumerians developed advanced math to [...]

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 [...]

Maktab – Medieval Islamic schools

By |2018-04-23T15:30:39+00:00July 26th, 2017|Islam, People|

Boys in Mauretania learning Quran verses from wooden tablets In the Islamic empire and in Africa, as in West Asia before Islam, most kids never went to school. Both girls and boys usually worked in the fields, plowing or weeding. But some boys, especially from richer families, went to a maktab (Arabic for "grade school"). Most towns had a small maktab [...]

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 [...]

Ibn Khaldun

By |2018-04-12T00:03:29+00:00May 19th, 2017|Africa, Economy, Literature|

Palace of the Hafsids in Tunis (now the Bardo Museum) - where the economist Ibn Khaldun spent time Ibn Khaldun's childhood The economist Ibn Khaldun was born in Tunis, in North Africa, in 1332 AD, not long after the birth of Ibn Battuta. Like Ibn Battuta, Ibn Khaldun was from a rich Muslim [...]