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Science in Islamic Africa – medieval African science

By |2018-10-04T06:52:15+00:00October 3rd, 2017|Africa, Science|

Medieval African science: The walls of Timbuktu, in Mali, West Africa Medieval African science In the 700s AD, the Islamic Empire conquered North Africa and began to trade a lot with East Africa. Islamic government did not allow women to work in science or medicine. But there were a lot of men in North Africa and East Africa, and in the area [...]

African map project – al Idrisi and Ptolemy’s maps

By |2018-04-21T11:56:45+00:00October 3rd, 2017|Africa, Science|

African map project: Al-Idrisi's map of the world (1100s AD) Check out this copy of al-Idrisi's map of the world, created in the 1100s AD. Can you find the Black Sea? The Caspian Sea? The Mediterranean Sea? Where is China on this map? Where is Spain? A copy of Ptolemy's map of the world How is al-Idrisi's map [...]

Scientific observation – history of science

By |2018-04-25T17:14:17+00:00September 7th, 2017|Science|

Black-eyed Susan (the black in the middle is the seeds) Before people had any idea why anything happened, or how, they could at least find out what happened. People watched plants grow. They watched animals grow. They saw milk turn into cheese and flour turn into bread, Astronomers watched the sun come up and the stars and planets go around, and the seasons change. So they figured [...]

Ptolemy – Roman astronomy – history of science

By |2018-04-11T09:22:19+00:00September 4th, 2017|Romans, Science|

A copy of Ptolemy's map of the world Ptolemy was born in Egypt in about 90 AD, when the Romans were ruling Egypt. He was a Roman citizen. Probably he was the son or grandson of a Roman government slave - maybe a clerk - who was freed and got citizenship. As a boy, Ptolemy went to Greek schools in Alexandria and wrote in Greek. When [...]

Roger Bacon – Medieval science

By |2018-04-24T08:21:21+00:00August 4th, 2017|Medieval, Science|

Roger Bacon's diagram of a human eye Roger Bacon was born in England maybe about 1210 AD. It was late in the reign of King John. (That's the one in Robin Hood.) England was just beginning to get richer from raising and selling high quality wool cloth on the Silk Road. In addition, a warmer climate - the Medieval Warm period - was making [...]

Geography of the Arabian Peninsula

By |2018-04-08T11:22:01+00:00July 27th, 2017|Environment, West Asia|

Map of the Arabian peninsula The Arabian Peninsula is part of West Asia that sticks out to the south. It's only separated from Africa by the narrow Red Sea. The peninsula is very dry and hot and sunny. It hardly ever rains there. But still the Arabian Peninsula has often been one of the richest places on Earth. One [...]

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 [...]

Who was Eratosthenes? Astronomy and math

By |2018-05-16T18:40:23+00:00July 18th, 2017|Africa, Egypt, Science|

Eratosthenes of Cyrene went to school here! A classroom at the University of Alexandria (al-Ahram 2004). Who was Eratosthenes of Cyrene? Eratosthenes of Cyrene was born about 276 BC in Cyrene (modern Libya). Chief librarian in Alexandria When he was still young he moved to Alexandria, in Egypt. He studied mathematics and astronomy at the University of Alexandria. [...]