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Ibn Sina (Avicenna) – Medieval Islamic medicine – Islamic Empire

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

Where Ibn Sina came from: Uzbekistan Ibn Sina and the Samanids in Uzbekistan Ibn Sina (known to Europeans as Avicenna) was a scientist. He was born about 980 AD in the north-eastern part of the Abbasid Empire. That was in the kingdom of the Samanids. (It's modern Uzbekistan.) The Samanids supported science and art, so many scientists and artists [...]

al Tusi – Discoveries of Islamic astronomy

By |2017-07-27T08:30:46+00:00July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Al Tusi in his observatory (ca. 1259 AD) Nasir al Tusi was born in Iran in 1201 AD, as the Seljuk Empire was falling apart. The Seljuks were Turkic people. But al Tusi, like most of the people living near him, was of Iranian descent. He spoke Persian at home. He was from a Shiite, Sufi family. Al Tusi's father died when he [...]

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, [...]

Barbarians in ancient Greece

By |2018-09-20T06:04:02+00:00July 11th, 2017|Greeks, People|

A Greek image of a Persian "barbarian" woman Where does the word 'barbarian' come from? People in ancient Greece called everyone who didn't speak Greek a barbarian (barbaros). They said that people speaking other languages sounded like they were just going "bar, bar, bar, bar...." So that is why they called those people [...]

When did people start to ride horses?

By |2018-04-19T14:24:19+00:00June 20th, 2017|Central Asia|

Riding horses: Assyrian archer on horseback, ca. 650 BC Near the beginning of the Iron Age, about 800 BC, people in Central Asia began riding horses more instead of just having them pull wagons. Once some people were riding horses, everybody wanted to do it. On horseback, you could go much faster than anybody [...]