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Following the demise of the Roman Empire, most of Europe slid into decline, into the Mediaeval period, and what is sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages. In marked contrast to this, the Arab-dominated world, which at its height in about 900 A.D. included northern Africa, Asia Minor, the Middle East, and Iberia, was ascendant. There were great advancements in mathematics, the physical sciences, astronomy, geography, and medicine, although there was an enormous debt to Greek and Roman scholarship, which the Islamic world had conserved through copies and translations. Indeed during the period spanning from the 9th through to the 12th century, more books were written in Arabic than in any other language. Despite significant advances made in the sciences noted above, there was only modest progress in botany and agriculture, which were still heavily reliant on Greek and Roman works.

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Apple Tree Olive Tree Twelfth Century Peach Tree Orange Tree 
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© Springer 2007

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