Maimonides

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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 [...]

Science and the gods – History of Science

By |2017-09-06T12:54:33+00:00September 6th, 2017|History|

The Egyptian god Bes Gods are part of people's desire to know how the world works. It's one of the ways that people explain how the world works. People say that God or the gods make this happen. Or you could say that the gods are a way of talking about complicated things that happen. Maybe they're [...]

Roman philosophy – ancient Rome

By |2018-04-24T11:41:37+00:00September 4th, 2017|Philosophy, Romans|

A Roman man making a speech (Florence, about 50 BC) Thanks to VROMA for the image Romans meet Greek philosophy Roman men didn't begin studying philosophy until about 200 BC. At that time, the Romans were conquering Greece. So a lot of Roman soldiers and generals spent a lot of time in Greece, and got a chance to talk [...]

What is a theologian? History of religion

By |2018-04-08T01:10:59+00:00August 25th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Pope Gregory the Great writing, from the 900s AD. Ivory, probably from Kenya. (Now in Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum) A theologian (thee-oh-LOW-gin) is a person who studies religion. The word comes from the Greek word for god "theos" and the Greek word for writing "logos". So a theologian is someone who writes about God. Usually when people say [...]

What is a rabbi? Judaism – Religion

By |2018-09-10T09:58:12+00:00August 24th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

The rabbi Maimonides, in a later medieval painting What does "rabbi" mean? Rabbi means "great one" in Hebrew, or "respected one". It's a Hebrew word related to the Arabic word rabb, meaning "lord." Saying "Rabbi" showed respect, like calling someone "Sir". More about the Hebrew language When did the word "rabbi" get started? In [...]

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 [...]

Ancient philosophy: ethics, fate, and science

By |2018-04-24T11:55:01+00:00August 16th, 2017|Philosophy|

Weighing the souls of the dead Philosophy means the love of wisdom. But what does that mean? It's hard to separate philosophy from religion. And it's also hard to draw a line between philosophy and science and mathematics. All of these are parts of people's search to make order out of nature. They're a way of [...]

What is a pilgrimage? Middle Ages

By |2018-09-17T11:28:41+00:00August 4th, 2017|Medieval, Religion|

The first view of the pilgrimage: Chartres on the horizon Who went on pilgrimages? In the Middle Ages, many people - both men and women - went on short or long pilgrimages. A pilgrimage is a trip you take to a famous religious place. Christians, Jews, and Muslims went on pilgrimages. Most people walked, and others rode horses or went [...]

Thomas Aquinas – Medieval philosophy

By |2018-04-21T13:19:58+00:00August 4th, 2017|Medieval, Philosophy|

A book in Thomas Aquinas' handwriting For many years before Thomas Aquinas was born, men like Ibn Sina and Ibn Rushdin the Abbasid Empire had been reading the Quran, and reading Aristotle, and trying to find ways to get these two important books to agree with each other. They were trying to explain how the universe worked in a way that honored [...]

Thomas Aquinas – Dominican monk

By |2018-04-24T09:23:15+00:00August 4th, 2017|Medieval, Philosophy|

Naples, with Mount Vesuvius in the background Like Ibn Rushd and Maimonides, Thomas Aquinas was a great thinke who tried to figure out the relationship between science and religion. But unlike Ibn Rushd and Maimonides, Aquinas was a Christian. Thomas Aquinas was born in southern Italy, at his father's castle, in 1224 or 1225 AD. It was just after the death of Francis [...]