Traditional histories of science acknowledge that the Arabs preserved much Classical learning. Sometimes they name a few leading scholars of the Muslim world in the 8th–12th centuries, usually in Latinised forms: Al-Jabr (Geber), Al-Khwarizmi, Ar-Razi (Rhazes), Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Ibn Rushd (Averroës). But such accounts are usually intended as a prelude to the ‘real story’, i.e. European developments after the 16th century (Chapter 1). They seldom consider that the prelude is, or should be, a story in itself: yet the European developments that culminated in modern science were presaged by Muslim contributions.
What were these contributions, how did the Muslim world come to make them, and why have they been relegated to little more than footnotes in most histories of science?
KeywordsNatural World Muslim World Classical Antiquity Christian Theology Islamic World
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