By John Freely
Aladdin’s Lamp is the interesting tale of ways old Greek philosophy and technology started within the 6th century B.C. and, throughout the subsequent millennium, unfold around the Greco-Roman global, generating the outstanding discoveries and theories of Thales, Pythagoras, Hippocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, Archimedes, Galen, Ptolemy, etc. John Freely explains how, because the darkish a while shrouded Europe, students in medieval Baghdad translated the works of those Greek thinkers into Arabic, spreading their principles during the Islamic international from vital Asia to Spain, with many Muslim scientists, such a lot significantly Avicenna, Alhazen, and Averroës, including their very own interpretations to the philosophy and technology that they had inherited. Freely is going directly to express how, starting within the 12th century, those texts via Islamic students have been then translated from Arabic into Latin, sparking the emergence of recent technological know-how on the sunrise of the Renaissance, which climaxed within the clinical Revolution of the 17th century.
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Extra info for Aladdin's Lamp: How Greek Science Came to Europe Through the Islamic World
There can be little doubt that the contemporary situation is largely responsible for this detailed and precise exposition. Reverting to the problem of the accession to power, we note in conclusion that it is unanimously held that the office-holder possesses authority only if he is confirmed in office by the ijmd' of the community. The community acts under divine guidance and its agreed choice and recognition are therefore infallible. " On this all schools are agreed, and parallels between Shafi'I and Hanball expositions of constitutional law are numerous, as can be seen from the treatise of Ibn Abi Ya'la b.
Philo of Alexandria had already spoken of philosophy as "the bondwoman of wisdom", that is, of scripture. The figurative interpretation of scripture might sometimes do violence to the plain meaning of the text so as to harmonize the Bible, or the Qur'an, with Aristotle, but their divine origin and obligatory character were accepted by all Jews and Muslims, heretics notwithstanding. The divinely revealed prophetic law was the ideal constitution of the ideal state; only this law could guarantee the highest good of all believers, be they philosophers or ordinary citizens of the Jewish community or of the Islamic state.
Both genres have been cultivated in abundance by Muslim men of letters. Al-Ghazali is no exception. That the imdma based on justice gadoid) is the highest form of Hbdda, of service of God, follows from what he has said about din wa-dunya. Knowledge and application of the Sharta are the caliph's sure guides in his august office. 50 The caliph is confined to "religious" duties in the strict sense of the word. He is enjoined to concentrate on the study of the law (SharVd) and to practise the religious virtues of piety, humility, charity and compassion as the khalifat Allah.
Aladdin's Lamp: How Greek Science Came to Europe Through the Islamic World by John Freely