Podcasts de historia

Breve historia de los sarracenos

Breve historia de los sarracenos

Una breve historia de los sarracenos de Syed Ameer Ali cubre las principales áreas de la historia islámica medieval y se recomienda encarecidamente a cualquiera que busque ampliar su base de conocimientos sobre la historia islámica. Aunque el libro tiene algunos problemas y sufre en términos de neutralidad general, es una adición valiosa a una lista de lectura de historia islámica.

El relato de Syed Ameer Ali sobre el ascenso de los árabes musulmanes es una lectura tentadora, por decir lo menos, cada página que hizo que quisiéramos leerla más, y aunque algunas frases se volvieron un poco repetitivas al final y, a veces, la narrativa fue complicada, en general, el libro me impresionó profundamente. Ofrece un resumen de la mayoría de los eventos importantes que moldearon la historia del Imperio Árabe Musulmán tras la muerte del Profeta Islámico Mahoma en 632 EC.

El libro cubre las áreas principales de la historia islámica medieval como:

  • La geografía, la demografía y un ligero indicio de la historia preislámica de Arabia.
  • Vida, misión y desaparición del profeta islámico (discutido brevemente)
  • Tres grandes califatos islámicos: el califato Rashidun, la dinastía omeya y la dinastía abbasida
  • Otros actores clave en la historia del Islam, como la vida y la lucha de Saladino
  • Otros califatos como los fatimíes, el califato de Córdoba, Al-Mohads y Al-Moravids
  • Los sistemas de gobierno, los estilos de vida generales del público, el marco militar y los cambios traídos por cada serie de gobernantes.

El libro termina su narrativa principal con la caída de Bagdad en 1258 EC y sus breves secuelas, pero continúa una historia paralela de la España musulmana, que termina con la pérdida de su último punto de apoyo en la Península Ibérica en 1492 EC.

A lo largo del libro, el autor ofrece ideas sobre las perspectivas de los historiadores musulmanes y pro musulmanes que le precedieron, lo que, aunque no es bueno para la neutralidad general, sigue siendo útil para contrarrestar la narrativa eurocéntrica de varios otros escritores. Aunque el autor desciende de una familia chiíta, trata de permanecer imparcial en ese sentido, por lo que el libro es muy recomendable para cualquiera que busque una narrativa casi neutral dentro del grupo de historiadores musulmanes.

Si bien el libro es en su mayoría neutral desde una perspectiva sunita / chiita, sufre en términos de neutralidad general.

El libro se entrega excelentemente en general, pero sufre en algunas áreas. En particular, el historiador utiliza números obsoletos cuando se refiere a la fuerza de los ejércitos en la batalla, a menudo exagerándolos a niveles poco realistas, aunque en su defensa, no fue hasta mucho más tarde que los historiadores desarrollaron estimaciones más realistas en este asunto. Entonces, cuando lea el número 100,000, simplemente verifique dos veces una estimación moderada para obtener una mejor imagen. También se vuelve muy complicado y difícil de seguir en algunos puntos, pero una nueva lectura de dichas secciones puede ayudar a aclarar los hechos.

Además, si bien es mayormente neutral desde una perspectiva sunita / chiita, sufre en términos de neutralidad general. Esto se refleja de manera excelente en la sección que detalla los eventos de las Cruzadas de Oriente Medio, especialmente cuando el historiador se refiere a las acciones de los cruzados latinos durante toda la era. Sin embargo, considerando que estos sentimientos provienen de una persona que vivió en la época del colonialismo europeo, no es de extrañar.

En general, diría que este libro es una "lectura obligada" si ya ha leído otros libros sobre historia islámica. No lo recomendaría como su primera lectura en este nicho, pero una vez que tenga una idea sobre la historia del Islam, será una valiosa adición a su lista de lectura. A pesar de sus limitaciones, el libro ofrece su narrativa de manera excelente e inolvidable.


Breve historia de los sarracenos: un relato conciso del ascenso y la decadencia del poder sarraceno y del desarrollo económico, social e intelectual de la nación árabe

Syed Ameer Ali Orden de la Estrella de la India [3] (1849 - 1928) fue un jurista indio / británico de origen indio del estado de Oudh, de donde su padre se mudó y se estableció en Orissa. Fue un destacado líder político y autor de varios libros influyentes sobre la historia musulmana y el desarrollo moderno del Islam, a quien se le atribuyen sus contribuciones a la Ley de la India, en particular a la Orden musulmana Per Syed Ameer Ali de la Estrella de la India [ 3] (1849 - 1928) fue un jurista indio / británico de origen indio del estado de Oudh, de donde su padre se mudó y se estableció en Orissa. Fue un destacado líder político y autor de varios libros influyentes sobre la historia musulmana y el desarrollo moderno del Islam, a quien se le atribuyen sus contribuciones a la Ley de la India, en particular al Derecho Personal Musulmán, así como al desarrollo de la filosofía política. para los musulmanes, durante el Raj británico. Fue signatario de la Petición al Virrey de 1906 y, por lo tanto, fue miembro fundador de la Liga Musulmana de Toda la India.


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BREVE HISTORIA DE LOWE ALPINE: 1934-2017

Ralph Lowe es llevado en un viaje de escalada a las montañas Grand Teton por su tío. Pone en marcha un amor por el aire libre que eventualmente impartiría a sus ocho hijos. Tres en particular construirían una carrera y una marca a partir de ella: Mike (n. 1946), Greg (n. 1949) y Jeff (n. 1950).

Jeff y Greg acompañan a su padre a Exum Ridge en Grand Teton. Jeff, de 7 años, es el más joven en escalar la ruta.

Trabajando en el sótano de sus padres, Greg Lowe es pionero en un paquete con duelas de aluminio internas construidas para transportar cargas pesadas sin sobrecargar a los escaladores. Llamada Expedition Pac, revolucionaría el diseño de la mochila como la primera mochila con marco interno.

L.U.R.P. prototipo diseñado. La primera carpa estilo Port-a-Ledge que se usó en las montañas, la L.U.R.P. (que significa Uso limitado de ubicaciones razonables) fue diseñada para colgar en el aire de un solo pitón, la carpa tenía como objetivo brindar a los escaladores una base segura para escalar grandes paredes sin dañar indebidamente la roca. La carpa se lanzó comercialmente en 1972.

Lowe Alpine Systems se registró oficialmente como una empresa de fabricación. Mike Lowe pide prestados $ 3000 para oficializar la marca.

Greg Lowe es el pionero de la primera bolsa para cámara que presenta acolchado de espuma. El resultado sería la exitosa empresa de bolsas para cámaras LowePro.

Greg Lowe prueba el prototipo del piolet Hummingbird, que cuenta con un eje curvo y martillos y picos intercambiables, en la piscina helada de sus padres en Utah. El hacha es posteriormente puesta en producción por los fabricantes de hachas italianos CAMP. Junto con Bigbird, estas son las primeras herramientas de hielo modulares.

El primer dispositivo de leva con resorte está diseñado y construido por Latok Equipment, la empresa derivada de hardware de Lowe Alpine. La primera de su tipo, la Spring Cam permitió a los escaladores asegurar el equipo sin dañar la roca.

Jeff Lowe hace un buen uso de algunos de los aprendizajes de la compañía en lo que se creía que era la escalada en hielo más difícil jamás intentada: Bridalveil Falls en Yosemite con Mike Weiss. En 1978 Lowe subió la ruta en solitario.

Las primeras mochilas de viaje, una especie de maleta que se transforma en mochila, son pioneras en Lowe Alpine con la gama Kinnikinnic.

Footfangs, el primer crampón con escalón equipado con las primeras placas anti-nieve, hace su debut.

Se despliega la primera mochila militar Lowe Alpine, la Vector. Descrito como ideal para "saltar a una zona de aterrizaje hostil & # x27, el paquete cuenta con" Torso Trac ", un sistema de espalda ajustable temprano, y una correa para el cinturón diseñada para llevar" pistolas, munición y equipo web "# x27.

Jeff, Greg y Ralph Lowe se unen a una expedición al pico del Himalaya Ama Dablam, durante la cual padre y dos hijos realizan su segundo ascenso. Una vez no es suficiente para Jeff, quien solos en la cara sur al día siguiente. Su ascenso nunca se ha repetido.

Se lanza la gama ND, hecha para mujeres. Todavía se encuentra en los paquetes de Lowe, "ND" significa Nanda Devi, un pico en la India y una diosa. Algunos tomaron las letras en el sentido de "Dimensiones estrechas", lo que se adaptaba a las manadas para hombres más pequeños. La verdadera razón es un homenaje al escalador Devi Unsoeld, que recibió su nombre del pico y murió en la escalada patrocinada por Lowe en 1976.

Impensable sin ellos hoy en día, las primeras hebillas de plástico en las mochilas no aparecieron hasta finales de la década de 1980, y fue en los paquetes Lowe Alpine donde tomaron su arco de liberación rápida y clic. Esta aparentemente pequeña innovación marcó una gran diferencia en la velocidad a la que se podían abrir y asegurar los paquetes.

La carrera de Greg Lowe como director de fotografía alcanza inesperadamente su apogeo con su nominación al Oscar por el documental Fall Line, luego del intento de Steve Shea de escalar y esquiar en Grand Teton.

Jeff Lowe crea Latok, una subsidiaria de ropa técnica y hardware de Lowe Alpine.

El jersey Diamond, lanzado bajo la marca Latok, se convierte en la primera prenda softshell, diseñada para proporcionar a los escaladores una capa Schoeller elástica pero cálida con la máxima libertad de movimiento.

Greg Lowe diseña la primera correa para el hombro contorneada ergonómicamente.

Latok Mountain Gear incorporado en Lowe Alpine.

Jeff Lowe aborda la ruta que se convertiría en Metanoia en la cara norte del Eiger. La ruta transformaría la perspectiva de Lowe's sobre la vida, además de establecer la que se considera la ruta más difícil en el pico más famoso del mundo. No se repetiría hasta diciembre de 2016.

El A.P.S. (Advanced Paralux System) se lanza como un simple sistema de espalda ajustable para mochilas de trekking. El nuevo sistema permitió a los usuarios adaptar su mochila para encontrar la longitud perfecta. Lowe Alpine se vende a la empresa textil escocesa William Baird.

Forro polar de las Aleutianas desarrollado con Polartec, inicialmente exclusivo de Lowe Alpine.

Se introdujo la ropa interior activa DryFlo, que presenta zonas de densidad más ligera para el movimiento de la humedad y la ventilación.

Dry Yarn hace su debut en la ropa Lowe Alpine Triplepoint Ceramic. Evitando el sistema de membranas de otras marcas, la tecnología implica la aplicación de polvo cerámico a los hilos de nailon, creando una tela repelente al agua con poros que permiten que el vapor del sudor salga de la ropa. Durable y sin mantenimiento, encuentra seguidores leales.

La firma italiana Asolo compra la marca Lowe Alpine.

Las hebillas Loadlocker se introducen en los sacos técnicos Lowe Alpine, facturadas como hebillas de metal irrompibles para aquellos que golpean su equipo. Dependiendo de su forma para mayor seguridad, las hebillas se pueden usar fácilmente con las manos enguantadas.

Lowe Alpine pasa a formar parte del grupo británico de actividades al aire libre Equip, que también es propietario de Rab. Las dos marcas combinan su experiencia en el diseño de ropa y mochilas, y Lowe Alpine regresa exclusivamente a la innovación en mochilas.

Se introduce el sistema Axiom, que utiliza un inteligente sistema de trinquete para garantizar un ajuste de precisión para las mochilas. El sistema gana el premio a la innovación OutDoor 2014.

Se lanza el Ascent Range. Con la Ascent Superlight 30, la gama de productos abre el camino para una nueva era de innovación en mochilas en el 50 aniversario de Lowe Alpine. También se lanza la gama Heritage, una mochila de estilo vintage que se remonta a las raíces tradicionales de Lowe Alpine.

LOWE ALPINE - 50 AÑOS DE PRIMEROS

"Los momentos se combinan para hacer una vida. Productos diseñados, rutas marcadas y cumbres conquistadas: somos la suma de nuestras experiencias. & Quot

Trail presenta la historia completa de la marca de equipo más icónica del mundo.

LOWE ALPINE: EL FUTURO

A medida que la marca icónica entra en su 50 aniversario, ambos están empujando los límites. y volviendo a sus raíces.


Provenza Historia

La Provenza era un distrito de Francia que lleva el nombre de la Provincia Romana Romana. El límite era aproximadamente del Rh & ocircne a Italia y del Mediterráneo a los Alpes centrales, e incluía los departamentos de Bouches-du-Rh & ocircne, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence y Var, y partes de los Alpes-Maritimes y Vaucluse.

Se considera que la antigua Provenza contiene el Comtat Venaissin y el Comt & eacute de Nice, e incluye las siguientes áreas.

Provence Rhodanienne: Comtat Venaissin, Crau, Camargue.

Provence Int & eacuterieure: las zonas montañosas Sainte-Victoire, Sainte-Baume, Maures, Esterel, las llanuras centrales, la meseta de Valensole y todos los Alpes del sur.

Provence Maritime: la zona costera entre el Rh & ocircne e Italia (incluyendo Marsella a Niza).

Las primeras colonias fueron fundadas alrededor del siglo VI a. C. por los griegos que se mudaron de Marsella. En el siglo II a. C., los romanos "ayudaron" a los Massaliotes a luchar contra las tribus celta-ligures y terminaron en control.

En el 27 a. C. se creó la provincia senatorial romana de Narbonnaise. En 250 d.C., Narbonnaise se dividió, con la parte occidental conservando el nombre de Narbonnaise y la parte oriental convirtiéndose en Viennoise.

En el 49 a. C., Marsella fue capturada por César. Provenza fue bautizada muy temprano, desde donde se extendió al resto de Francia.

A partir del 476, la región fue invadida sucesivamente por visigodos, burgondes y ostrogodos.

Los Burgondes eran un antiguo pueblo germánico de origen escandinavo establecido en Gaule y Germanie durante el siglo V. Primero derrotados por Aecio (436) conquistaron la cuenca de Sa & ocircne y Rh & ocircne, y finalmente fueron derribados por los francos en 532. Su nombre es el origen de la región de Borgoña.

En 536, Provenza se incorporó al reino de los francos.

Durante la época de las invasiones sarracenas del siglo VIII, Provenza sufrió tanto de los gobernantes sarracenos como de los carolingios de Francia [ver Reyes]. La Provenza fue integrada en el Imperio de Franco por Pipino el Breve (P & eacutepin le Bref) en el siglo VIII [ver Reyes].

En 843 se fundó el primer Reino de Provenza. En el siglo X se fundó el reino de Borgoña-Provenza.

Desde los siglos XI al XIII, la Provenza estuvo plagada de divisiones feudol. Los inicios registrados de muchas de las ciudades y pueblos provenzales datan del comienzo de este período. También durante este tiempo, las Cruzadas resultaron en el desarrollo del comercio con el Levante, lo que resultó en un importante crecimiento económico.

En 1246, el Compt & eacute de Provence pasó a la casa de d'Anjou. Este fue un período de prosperidad, especialmente bajo el reinado del rey René, el rey de Nápoles (1434-1480).

En 1481, tras la muerte del rey René, los estados de Aix reconocieron a Luis XI como el Conde de Provenza, anexando efectivamente Provenza a Francia.

En 1790, la Provenza se dividió en los departamentos de Bouches-du-Rh & ocircne, Var y Basses-Alpes (hoy Alpes-de-Haute-Provence).


Señales de pub británico: una breve historia

le encanta un pub & ldquoOlde Worlde & rdquo con sus vigas de roble, latones de caballo y chimeneas rugientes. Sin embargo, no importa la antigüedad del pub, el nombre en el letrero exterior es probablemente lo más histórico del lugar.

La idea del letrero de pub llegó a Gran Bretaña en el momento de la invasión romana. Los bares de vino en la antigua Roma colgaban racimos de hojas de parra en el exterior como carteles comerciales, pero cuando los romanos llegaron aquí, encontraron muy pocas vides en el clima inhóspito. En cambio, colgaron arbustos para delimitar las posadas y los nombres Bush o Bull & amp Bush aún sobreviven.

¿Qué & rsquos en un nombre?

Pasarían siglos antes de que abrieran los primeros pubs reconocibles. Las casas religiosas tenían las primeras posadas verdaderas para atender a los peregrinos y caballeros en su camino a las Cruzadas en Tierra Santa. Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, cuyas bodegas están talladas en las rocas debajo del castillo de Nottingham, es solo un ejemplo. Establecido en 1189, reclama el título de pub más antiguo de Inglaterra y fue un punto de parada para las fuerzas que se dirigían a reunirse con Ricardo Corazón de León.

Otros signos sobre este tema son la cabeza de turco y rsquos, la cabeza de sarraceno y rsquos y el cordero y la bandera y el cordero que representa a Cristo y la bandera el signo de los cruzados.

Incluso después de la disolución de los monasterios en el siglo XVI, algunos de los nombres que denotan conexiones religiosas sobrevivieron, como la Mitra, el Barco (que simboliza el Arca) y el Ancla (la fe cristiana).

Sin embargo, muchos de los propietarios pensaron que era más político mostrar lealtad al monarca y rápidamente adoptaron títulos como King & rsquos Head o Crown. Enrique VIII, que ordenó la Disolución, es, como era de esperar, el monarca representado con más popularidad.

La heráldica ha sido un tema recurrente, los leones negros, blancos, rojos y dorados han formado parte del escudo de armas real desde la época de la conquista normanda. El Unicornio estaba en brazos de Escocia, el Dragón Rojo en Gales y el Caballo Blanco en Hannover. El Sol Naciente era la insignia de Eduardo III. La nobleza local a menudo tenía pubs en su tierra que llevaban su nombre o se tomaban partes de su conocimiento.

Cualquiera que captara la imaginación del público probablemente sería inmortalizado como Lord Nelson o Wellington e incluso los pícaros adorables como Dick Turpin recibirían una mención.

Uno de los homenajes más afectuosos está reservado para el marqués de Granby, comandante en jefe del ejército británico. Después de la Batalla de Warburg, compró pubs para todos sus suboficiales. Sin embargo, su generosidad lo arruinó y murió en 1770 dejando aplastantes deudas de 37.000 libras.

En tiempos de una población mayoritariamente analfabeta, los carteles pictóricos eran una forma fundamental de publicitar la posada o el tipo de entretenimiento que se ofrecía en el interior. Cualquier pub llamado Cock Inn o Cock Pit alguna vez habría sido un lugar para las peleas de gallos. Ye Old Fighting Cocks en St Albans (que también afirma ser el pub más antiguo de Gran Bretaña) fue originalmente el palomar de la abadía de St Albans.

Después de la Disolución, se advirtió que su forma circular lo convertía en un lugar perfecto para las peleas de gallos. Para confundir las cosas, cualquier pub llamado Cock & amp Bottle no tiene nada que ver con el deporte. Simplemente denota que estaban disponibles cervezas embotelladas y de barril.

En cuanto a otros entretenimientos, el oso denota el cebo de osos, la caza de perros y patos, el cebo de toros y perros y el pájaro en mano, cetrería. Hoy en día, los deportes más modernos están representados por nombres como Cricketers & rsquo Arms, Anglers & rsquo Rest o Huntsman.

A menudo, el comercio predominante de la zona daría su nombre al pub. El Vellocino de Oro es un reflejo del comercio local de lana. Los Cooper & rsquo, Albañiles & rsquo, Saddlers & rsquo y Masons & rsquo Arms son signos comunes. Cuenta la leyenda que Smiths Arms en Dorset fue una vez una forja de herrería y rsquos donde Carlos II se detuvo para herrar su caballo. Mientras esperaba, pidió una cerveza, pero le dijeron que la herrería no tenía licencia. Ejerciendo su prerrogativa real, concedió una y fue debidamente servida.

En el siglo XVIII, la población se volvió más móvil y creció la necesidad de posadas de coaching con nombres predecibles como Coach & amp Horses o Horse & amp Groom. Más tarde, la llegada del vapor dio a cada ciudad su Railway Inn o Station Arms.

De donde vienen las buenas historias

Hay una historia que, en Stoney Stratford, el entrenador de Londres cambió de caballos en el Bull y el entrenador de Birmingham al otro lado de la calle en el Cock Inn. Los pasajeros de los respectivos autocares intercambiaban noticias mientras esperaban el cambio y es de ahí que se dice que se originó la frase & ldquocock and bull story & rdquo.

Un montón de historias de gallos y toros y leyendas locales han llegado a los carteles de los pubs. Tomemos, por ejemplo, el pato borracho en Barngates. La casera encontró un día a todos sus patos muertos en el patio. Como no estaba acostumbrada a desperdiciar, los arrancó y los preparó para cocinar. Cuando terminó, los patos comenzaron a revivir y una búsqueda en el patio reveló un barril de cerveza con fugas rodeado de huellas palmeadas. Aparentemente, estaba tan arrepentida que tejía pequeñas chaquetas hasta que les volvían a crecer las plumas.

Alternativamente, estaba el Flying Monk de Malmesbury que afirmó que su fe era tan fuerte que le permitiría volar. Saltó desde lo alto de la abadía local para demostrar su fe y, bueno, ¡el pub fue un bonito monumento!

Es raro tomarse el tiempo para considerar el letrero afuera del pub en la prisa por entrar, pero pocos pubs fueron nombrados por accidente. Casi todos los nombres tienen una historia detrás y, juntos, ilustran la historia social de Inglaterra. Con nombres que perduran durante siglos, es posible que el letrero sobre la puerta sea tan antiguo como el placer de beber en sí.

Si ha disfrutado de este artículo y desea obtener más información, ¿por qué no descargarlo?

UN LIBRO SOBRE NOMBRES DE PUB

para conocer la intrigante historia detrás de más de 200 de los carteles de pub más populares de Gran Bretaña y rsquos? Con más de 160 páginas A4, este libro electrónico está repleto de ilustraciones a todo color, datos fascinantes y docenas de enlaces a sitios web relacionados para obtener más información. Un gran recurso electrónico para cualquier persona interesada en la historia británica, la elaboración de cerveza o los pubs.

Siga este enlace www.lulu.com/ para comprar y me complacerá escuchar de usted cualquier comentario sobre este artículo o los carteles de pub en general.

Más recursos
Artistas de la cervecería: este fascinante sitio web cubre la historia de la pintura de letreros de pub por los estudios del Departamento de Artistas de Whitbread y Artistas de la Cervecería.


La misión intelectual de los sarracenos

Si la historia es el estudio de los movimientos de los hombres en relación con las fuerzas que generan el movimiento y los resultados que de él se derivan, entonces la historia sarracena debe ofrecer al estudiante un problema amplio y variado.

A juzgar por la cantidad de energía desplegada, la carrera de los árabes fue una de las más brillantes que ha visto el mundo. Cuando consideramos el tiempo que soportó y la extensión del territorio que cubrió, no podemos escapar a la convicción de que fuerzas poderosas lo engendraron y que, en consecuencia, deben atribuirse grandes resultados. Nadie más que un observador superficial podría contemplar esas corrientes de vida que, desde el siglo VII al XV, recorrieron de un lado a otro el este de Asia y alrededor del Mediterráneo a través del norte de África y España, bautizando las islas del gran mar interior y salpicando el costas de Italia, sin plantear preguntas sobre las fuentes y la misión de dicha actividad.

Es un error atribuir todo esto a una sola causa. La religión proporcionó motivos principales. Esa forma especial de religión introducida por Mahoma consolidó y dirigió elementos que florecían en el desierto antes de los días del Profeta. El Islam elevó y dio una nueva forma a la fe o religiones árabes más antiguas. Pero el Islam fue, en un sentido importante, el resultado de experiencias religiosas anteriores. En el desierto estaba el sentimiento de infinitud y el asombro, de la soledad. Estos se fusionaron en Alá de Mahoma. La concepción monoteísta fue el aliento que avivó fuegos ya encendidos. Detrás del Islam estaba el Saracenismo: la vida del desierto, su sentimiento religioso, sus pasiones, furia, coraje. Las fuerzas vivas, activas, salvajes y tremendas de los beduinos se intensificaron y disciplinaron bajo Mohammed y sus seguidores.

La fuerza de esas fuerzas se demuestra en la magnitud y duración de los movimientos iniciados y mantenidos por ellas.

Los relativamente pocos miles que vinieron del desierto bastaron para inspirar a millones de personas de diferentes nacionalidades y llevarlos en corrientes religiosas, sociales, intelectuales, que propiamente se llaman árabes. Porque, aunque la sangre árabe corría por las venas de relativamente pocos de los que aceptaban el Islam, o corría diluida, la civilización adoptada y promovida por ellos fue transfundida con el genio árabe. Por tanto, cuando hablamos de la misión intelectual de los sarracenos, utilizamos cierto grado de precisión. Proporcionaron el impulso a la vida intelectual, espiritual y política. A ellos debe acreditarse, en gran medida, la misión que cumplió esa vida.

Se ha debatido mucho sobre la naturaleza y el valor de la misión. La determinación de uno y la justa estimación del otro se ven acompañadas de dificultades, entre las que cabe destacar esa neblina ilusoria que se extiende por todas partes a lo largo de la historia árabe. Hay tal distancia entre las profundidades de la ignorancia desde la que se elevó la nación y las alturas de la cultura a la que alcanzó, el avance es tan inesperado e impulsivo, culmina tan rápidamente después de que se ha tomado la dirección ascendente, y forma tal un contraste con la quietud intelectual de las naciones circundantes, que el lector de historia en la edad oscura se dirige a este campo con algo de esa admiración con la que, en las últimas edades de la supremacía sarracena, los estudiosos del norte se apartaron de los climas más fríos y las civilizaciones más toscas, en las que se habían criado, a los aires más suaves de la España morisca.

La abundancia del saber árabe, la multiplicidad de los departamentos en los que ingresó, su celo, las enormes proporciones de la literatura resultante, las vastas bibliotecas, las escuelas, las salas de conferencias con sus miles de estudiantes, las universidades, las instituciones dedicadas a las ciencias especiales, los observatorios y laboratorios tan regiamente equipados, las escuelas de lógica y gramática, toda la atractiva república de las letras, en la que los príncipes se mezclaban con los hijos de comerciantes o mecánicos, mientras que los favoritos de la corte competían con los autores empobrecidos por los honores de la literatura , todo el ardor de un gran movimiento intelectual que pasa ante nuestros ojos bajo disfraz oriental, predispone la mente a juicios entusiastas.

A esta dificultad debe agregarse la necesidad de un estudio cuidadoso del producto real de esta actividad, a fin de determinar su naturaleza, su valor y el papel que ha desempeñado en el progreso del mundo.

Más particularmente, en las ciencias naturales, la filosofía y las matemáticas, en las que los estudios se prueban más severamente las facultades mentales de cualquier pueblo, y las de los sarracenos estaban especialmente comprometidas, sólo se puede llegar a un juicio independiente como resultado de un escrutinio imparcial de la opinión pública. todo lo que se conocía en estos departamentos antes del período del Islam, y una comparación de lo que se conocía con el estado del conocimiento como el declive del poder mahometano en España. Los detalles de dicho escrutinio no se pueden introducir aquí. Debemos contentarnos con enunciados generales, esforzándonos por extraer de estos campos, así como de los de la poesía, el material para una estimación justa de la misión de la cultura sarracena en el mundo.

Los escritores han diferido mucho en sus opiniones sobre la naturaleza y el valor de esa misión. Algunos, cautivados por su brillante ejecución, han calificado a los actores entre los creadores de la ciencia y los contribuyentes a la cultura. Otros han aplicado un juicio más crítico a los hechos de la historia y han tenido en mucha menor estima el resultado de la originalidad árabe. Los diferentes resultados se refieren a los estándares adoptados por las dos clases de escritores. Los jueces más severos han puesto los logros de los sarracenos a prueba de los avances realizados en la ciencia teórica y sistemática, mientras que los jueces más indulgentes han basado sus decisiones en la medida en que el pueblo llevó su conocimiento general y más superficial de los departamentos que cultivaba. Los puntos de vista están tan separados que no debemos sorprendernos de conclusiones radicalmente diferentes. No es justo poner a prueba a los árabes estrictamente con ninguno de estos criterios. Tienen un derecho a nuestra admiración que no es el resultado total ni puede ser medido exclusivamente por uno u otro. Tampoco sería correcto formar nuestra opinión independientemente de las circunstancias de la nación, las condiciones desde las que saltó al rango de poder gobernante, el período en el que hizo su aparición, los recursos a su disposición y la duración. de tiempo dedicado a desarrollar sus resultados.

La nación inició su carrera científica con las manos vacías. Por su ubicación peninsular, había estado en gran parte fuera del alcance de esas grandes corrientes civiles, religiosas e intelectuales que iban y venían desde las montañas persas hasta el Mediterráneo, y fluían alrededor de las fronteras de ese mar. Entró en estos movimientos como un elemento nuevo, sin aportar nada que les hubiera pertenecido anteriormente, salvo las ideas religiosas que les había prestado. Sin embargo, en posesión de la frescura mental, aportó mucho, y mucho que fue a su favor. Los árabes no eran un pueblo decaído, cansado y cansado de cuestionamientos y filosofías. Para ellos, el conocimiento no era algo rancio. Entraron en un imperio en decadencia tanto del pensamiento como de las armas, trayendo consigo entusiasmo y esperanza, vigor físico y celo religioso. Tenían el rocío de su juventud.

En las condiciones del mundo entonces existentes, y en vista de la historia previa de la filosofía y la ciencia, puede considerarse una cuestión abierta si el aislamiento de los árabes no les había preparado alguna ventaja especial en la carrera que iban a correr. Ciertamente, en otros aspectos, fueron colocados afortunadamente para una carrera rápida y honorable. Como conquistadores, se convirtieron inmediatamente en herederos de las antiguas sedes de la civilización en Oriente, Egipto, el norte de África, España y las islas del Mediterráneo. Controlaron todo el valor que esa civilización había dejado al mundo. Tomaron posesión de las principales sedes del saber y se pusieron en contacto inmediato y dominante con los representantes de ese saber. En el avance de sus armas conocieron las artes de la India, abrieron la comunicación con China, controlaron las escuelas de Asia occidental, se convirtieron en los señores de Alejandría y sus tradiciones, mientras que, aunque no pudieron conquistar Constantinopla, sí pudieron exigir, y hizo exacto, sus tesoros literarios como tributo. En una palabra, poseían la tierra. Cuando su atención se dirigió una vez a los secretos que guardaba la tierra, tenían el poder, la voluntad y la energía para ordenar su revelación. Los kalif, movidos por nociones exageradas del valor de la astrología y la alquimia, así como por el orgullo racial que los caracterizaba, se convirtieron en patrocinadores entusiastas de las ciencias.

Tampoco se dio poco tiempo para el cumplimiento de la misión de la nación. Desde la muerte de Mahoma hasta la expulsión de los moros de España transcurrió un período de ochocientos sesenta y nueve años. Y si, para permitir el auge de la actividad literaria al comienzo de este período y el declive en su cierre, datamos del año 800 al año 1300, aún nos quedan quinientos años en los que la mente árabe tuvo libertad. alcance para elaborar sus resultados.

Entonces, ¿cuáles fueron los resultados?

Los sarracenos se convirtieron en un pueblo culto y, para aquellos tiempos, refinado, habiendo adquirido todos los lujos que ofrecían las artes materiales, y cualquier cultura que pudiera derivarse de los departamentos del conocimiento que apreciaban y en los que se supone que conocieron. the most of what antiquity had to teach, because they had access to the works of the ancients. In natural science they were the inheritors of the physics of Aristotle and Plato with the more advanced physics of Archimedes, the medicine of Hippocrates and Galen, the botany of Dioscorides, the mathematics and optics of Euclid, the astronomy of Hipparchus and Ptolemy in a word, the sum of the knowledge of ancient Greece,—and Greece had condensed into her science that of the world. If alchemy were of later birth than other branches of the study of nature, it is yet certain that it did not take its rise among the Arabians. Their most celebrated alchemist, Geber, confesses that he received the larger share of his knowledge from the ancients, and the secrets of the science, if such it could be called, were known in Egypt three hundred years before Mohammed saw the light. In that country Diocletian is said to have broken up the colleges of the priests, and burned the books in which it was believed that they preserved their alchemistic secrets, because the revolts of the country were maintained by the silver which they were able to manufacture out of baser substances. Nor would the fact, that Diocletian attributed such mastery of the art to the Egyptian priests be any proof that it was not practiced elsewhere, but only that a suspicion existed to the effect that what was in other places eagerly sought had become a cherished possession of that mysterious fraternity. That the Egyptians were the teachers of the Arabians has, however, been inferred from the circumstance that the latter exhibit no writings on this subject and show no knowledge of it until after the conquest of the land of the Nile.

In like manner, beside the geometry of Euclid, the Arabians had their version of the Conic Sections of Apollonius of Perga, and we are not to doubt that they received the science of algebra, to which they gave its name, from Diophantus, who wrote at Alexandria before the year 400 of our era.

Since they were, thus, heirs to the science of Greece, and, indeed, of the world, we are not surprised to find the Arabians possessed of those principles of mathematics, astronomy, statics, hydraulics, optics, medicine, and alchemy which they had learned from the ancients through their Christian and Jewish teachers. They were eager pupils in sciences which they had had no part in developing, having received from their instructors the things which are sometimes set down to their credit by those who have advocated their intellectual superiority. The astronomy of Hisparchus and Ptolemy taught them the order, nature, and motions of the heavenly bodies, which it had arranged in systems of eccentrics and epicycles the inclination of the ecliptic, and the measure of that inclination the first two lunar irregularities the form of the earth, and the methods of arriving at its measure. The same astronomy had discovered the precession of the equinoxes, catalogued the stars and given their relative positions for future reference. It had published astronomical tables, and had developed plain and spherical trigonometry for astronomical uses. It is not necessary to say that the principles of statics and hydraulics, together with the connected subject of specific gravity, had been propounded by Archimedes. In optics, the Greeks understood the rectilinear course pursued by unobstructed rays of light, and the equality of the angles of incidence and reflection when a ray of light falls upon a mirror and they had deduced many of the consequences of these fundamental truths, including their application to concave and convex reflectors. Ptolemy had carefully investigated the refraction which light undergoes in passing through media of different densities, and had applied the principles thus discovered to astronomical refraction. We need not enumerate the features of medical science known to Hippocrates and Galen, nor have we occasion in alchemy to go further than the confession of Geber, that he had derived nearly all his knowledge from the ancients. The facts before us show that the Arabians possessed a valuable inheritance in the learning of the nations at whose feet they sat as pupils. Occupying the birthplaces of much of this learning, they were near the birthplaces of the rest of it, and were in condition to command their resources. As a consequence they became learned. In like manner, they eagerly seized whatever arts had been discovered by other nations, and became refined. They learned to make paper from those who had to receieved that art from the Chinese they found an explosive powder—whence our gunpowder—already at hand from China or from India and they did not disdain to send to Constantinople for their architects. The decimal system, which is popularly credited to them, and is one of the most valuable instruments of mathematical calculation, they are known to have introduced from India. On every hand they displayed wonderful readiness of appreciation and facility of adaptation, quickly discerning and making use of advantages. We may therefore, most freely accord to them the praise of enlightenment and culture.

Did they possess a genius for science? Was the Arabian mind scientific in the sense in which the Greek mind had proved itself so, or in the sense in which the mind of Christian Europe proved itself so when, at length, the latter fell heir to the knowledge of the ancients?

If we put the question in this form, we shall find that it cannot be answered by merely enumerating the multitude of things which the Arabians knew. We must consider the use they were able to make of their knowledge. It is an essential characteristic of the scientific spirit that it not only acquaints itself with a multitude of phenomena, but arranges such phenomena in harmonious systems which display pervading laws and point to originating forces. We may have vast accumulations of facts without science, and may go on adding to the store without directly advancing science. Some master mind must come and treat the accumulations scientifically. The discovery of a new fossil species or a new mineral, or, in the present state of chemistry and astronomy, of a new metal or a new asteroid, or, in mental science, the mere noting of a hitherto unnoticed form of action, may be an entirely insignificant event. The process of fact-accumulation often goes on for a long time without any result of importance to science as such. It is not a useless process, because facts are the a, B, C, or the bricks and mortar of science, but they are not science. What we so name is the architectural thought into which the bricks and mortar of facts are wrought, and by which we secure a harmonious unification of phenomena. Of this kind of work we find little or none among the Arabians. They took the systems which were handed over to them, along with a vast amount of material which had not yet been wrought into systems, and they left all substantially as they found it. In one department and another they increased the raw material, but they did not know how to work it up. They toiled perseveringly and with self-denial, travelling to the ends of the earth, examining, collecting, studying, and observing, but they had not constructive genius. In astronomy they made numerous observations with their improved instruments, and published astronomical tables, which, as the Saracens were able to observe more closely than their predecessors, were better than those that existed among the ancients. They measured over and over again the inclination of the ecliptic, and, in order to determine the earth's dimensions, they ascertained by careful toil the length of degrees of latitude in two different regions. But they made but one, or possibly two, new discoveries which might affect the condition of astronomical science: the motion of the sun's apogee, detected by El Batini, and the third irregularity of the moon, by Abul Wefa. The first of these observations reflects great credit upon its author. The propriety of giving to Abul Wefa the merit of the second has been questioned, and by some of the highest, authorities denied. In view of the dispute we must leave his desert undetermined. Whether or not he detected the motion, it is remarkable that the moon's variation, as the third irregularity is called, was lost sight of by the Arabians, if they ever knew of it. Abul Wefa did not pursue the subject, nor was the amount of the variation reduced to measure. The irregularity was so completely forgotten that when it was noticed by Tycho Brahe it was supposed to be an entirely new contribution to astronomical science. The one discovery in astronomy, therefore, which is fully conceded—that of the motion of the sun's apogee—stands as a marked exception in all the work of the Arabian astronomers, extended over a period of five hundred years. In contrast with this result, Christian Europe had not been in possession of Greek astronomy more than three or four hundred years before the whole Hipparchan theory was revolutionized by Copernicus, while Newton's great theory of universal gravitation was woven around the whole solar system only a century and a half later. The Saracens had complained of the unwieldiness of the Hipparchan system, but they lacked either the genius or the independence to break away from it.

Their career in other branches of science is of like character.

Into statics and hydraulics they introduced no new principle, nor were they able to move forward and establish a science of motion or dynamics. Their great physicist was El Hazen, to whose credit is to be placed the further prosecution of Ptolemy's observations on the refraction of light, or perhaps the independent discovery of the laws of refraction certainly the correction of one of Ptolemy's errors. The particulars of astronomical refraction he also definitely and clearly stated, and for this deserves much of the praise bestowed on him, though the ground had already been trodden by Ptolemy. Beyond this work of El Hazen the Arabians do not seem to have contributed to the science of optics, though there was great need of a further practical knowledge of the use of lenses. Before they were through with science, and as early as the thirteenth century, we have found an Englishman, Roger Bacon, busying himself with lenses, and insisting on the importance of optical improvements for the furtherance of astronomical observations.

It is in alchemy more than anywhere else that the Arabians have the credit of new discoveries. But it is universally conceded that in their hands it never attained to the dignity of a science. In their eager search for the elixir of life and the philosopher's stone, they were stimulated to the preparation of new compounds, some of which have proved of great utility in the arts and as instruments of science, but there was no approach to a scientific handling of facts. They are the reputed discoverers of nitric and sulphuric acid they prepared absolute alcohol and phosphorus they put sal-ammoniac, to nitric acid and dissolved gold but they did not know the composition of the acids which they discovered, nor was there any system which could connect the facts. They worked away with retort and furnace and reagent through five hundred years, but alchemy was still a chaos. It is hard to understand how so learned a writer as Dr. John William Draper can declare, on the ground of Geber's discovery of nitric acid, that his name marks an epoch in chemistry equal in importance to that of Priestley and Lavoisier. What scientific result, may be asked, followed the discovery of nitric acid, valuable as that reagent is? The discovery of oxygen by Priestley, and the decomposition of water by Cavendish, and the promulgation of the oxygen theory by Lavoisier, revolutionized chemistry. In like manner, when the same authority declares of Geber's theory—which makes all metals to be compounded of sulphur, mercury, and arsenic—that, though erroneous, "it is not without a scientific value," we can only accept the statement under narrow limitations.

The experience of the Arabians in philosophy repeats that which is illustrated in the natural sciences and in mathematics. In the school of logic and speculation they were learners, not originators. They devoted themselves to these studies with ardor and perseverance they became voluminous writers. But in the whole line of philosophers, from El Kendi down to Ibn Tofail, no one is looked back to by modern students as an authority. There was no Arabian Plato or Aristotle. The Mohammedan philosophers are chiefly celebrated for their commentaries on their Greek master, whom they blindly followed. Ibn Roschd, the greatest among them and the last who attained distinction, is quoted as saying that since Aristotle no one had added anything of consequence to logic, physics, or metaphysics thus denying any originality to the numerous speculative writers of his own faith. Mr. Renan, in his work on Averroes and Averroisin, after having, in one edition, denied any original merit to Semitic philosophy in general, characterizing it as an imitation of Greek philosophy, concedes, in another edition, ten years later, some real originality to the Arabian philosophical writers of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and grants that, as a consequence of maturer study, Ibn Roschd has rather increased than diminished in his estimation. On the other hand, Munk, after saying, that the Arabian philosophy culminated in Ibn Roschd, and that his doctrines were long current in Christian and Jewish schools, where they were both admired and combated, speaks of their author in moderate terms, as capable of being consulted with profit by modern students who would make the study of Aristotle a specialty.

Notwithstanding M. Renan's careful concession, students will generally agree with him that the chief interest attaching to the Arabian philosophical movement rests upon that sympathy which we fed for all intellectual struggles, under whatever faith. The service of the Mohammedan scholars in this department consists not so much in the discovery of anything new as in the preservation and transmission of the old.

In the matter of poetry the case is different. The art and inspiration of verse seem to be indigenous to Arabian soil. Their poetical literature antedates Mohammed, and is a conspicuous feature of the previous times of ignorance. The development of song, among them had a national character. It was not influenced by Greek models. It was Oriental, not Western. Arabians could not have had much taste for the loftier productions of the Greek muses. Though Homer was translated, in part at least, into Syriac and Armenian, and the Arabians were aware of his rank, they did not care to possess an Arabic version. Perhaps his mythology was offensive to their strict monotheism more likely, his whole style was discordant with the national spirit. Homer was never translated and, as the Saracens did not read Greek, it was impossible they should understand or appreciate the beauties of the prince among Grecian poets.

In view of these facts, Arabian poetry is, in our present discussion, of peculiar interest. It gives us the working of the national mind uninfluenced by the ancient culture. Left relatively free to run its course, poetry was developed among the Saracens to such an extent that their songsters have been supposed to outnumber those of all other peoples put together. They delighted especially in lyric and didactic compositions, in the former of which their passions found luxuriant expression. To the Arabian adoration of woman, as well as to the Arabian form of verse, the student of literature traces the songs of Troubadours in the south of Europe, and of the German Minnesingers in the north. The mingling of Christians with Mohammedans, under the Moorish sway the constant intercourse between their courts in Spain the conquest of Toledo by the Christians, involving a still more intimate contact the union of the courts of Barcelona and Provence, under Raymond Berenger and the fixation of the beautiful Romance Provencal, in which the Troubadours sung, furnished the conditions under which European poetry drew its form and a portion, at least, of its chivalric spirit from Arabian sources. The poetic flame flashed from Provence throughout Europe. Sovereigns were proud to be numbered among the composers of songs, in which love and war, devotion and courage, vied for expression.

The genius of the Saracens was poetic. Our review of the question whether it was, in the higher sense of the word, scientific leads us to a negative answer. Poetry and science may be developed together. Probably the highest results of both will be found in their combination. But, strictly speaking, they were not combined among the Arabians.

We are forced to draw a distinction, too often lost sight of, between learning and science. An individual may be learned, and yet be devoid of that constructive and generalizing faculty which is central and controlling in science, and which the Greek mind possessed in large degree. This faculty has distinguished the nations of modern Europe since they came under the influence of Greek thought. A people enlightened by the accumulated knowledge of the ages preceding its existence may yet be so unproductive in the higher fields, where the power of generalization displays itself, as to compel future students of history to deny it a place among the nations conspicuous for their scientific genius. This is the case with the Saracens. They were, for their time, marvelously active and intelligent, enlightened, but not scientific.

One who reads upon this subject will meet the complaint, and nowhere more conspicuous than in the works of Dr. Draper,—to whom, more than to any one else, Americans owe their impressions of the Saracens,—that Arabian science and our obligations to it have been systematically ignored. That author distinctly attributes this to "injustice founded on religious rancor and national conceit." The charges seem ill-founded. If religious rancor and national conceit had at any time prevented the Saracens from receiving the just acknowledgement of their merits, these causes would have operated most powerfully in the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries, when the antagonism between Mohammedanism and Christianity, Saracen and Latin, was perhaps as pronounced as at any time. But in those ages men who attained distinction as Christians and scholars not only studied among the Arabians of Spain, but afterwards, in their homes, made public acknowledgement of their indebtedness to them, and were loud in their praise of Mohammedan learning. The Arabian sciences, as they were termed by preëminence, were recognized by the best Christian minds of Europe and the Arabian philosophers were studied, respected, and allowed to influence Christian speculations. Except, possibly in the old Spanish territory, where Moors and Christians fought hand to hand, and where the race prejudice may have perpetuated itself, "religious rancor and national conceit" have probably had little to do with the matter. So far as estimates have been unfavorable, they are quite as likely to have resulted from the application of the stricter standards which some have felt themselves compelled to apply to what must, on every hand, be conceded to be the abundant Arabian learning.

But if it is true that this people gathered a rich harvest from other nations, what is their special merit? What useful part did they play in the history of learning, and what, in this regard, has been their value?

The Saracens appeared in history at a time when the world was undergoing great and painful intellectual transformations. In the East, the Greeks and their immediate pupils had run through their active scientific career. The productive period of Greek science, with the exception, perhaps, of medicine, terminated with Hipparchus. From that time forward little was added by the ancients to systematic knowledge. At the birth of Mohammed, the light of science in the East was struggling for existence in middle and western Europe it was extinguished among the tossing waves of political commotion. In such an intellectual crisis, the fresh Arabian mind, untutored and not to be fettered even by the restrictions of religion, was attracted by the struggling light. Eager, curious, aspiring, it discerned, or thought it discerned, the value of knowledge. The studies which science offered fell in with its fondness for nature, and that love of mystery which belongs to humanity rather than to any particular race. The passion for such studies went wherever Islam conquered. The Saracens became the custodians of the world's learning. They reached out in every direction, gathering from all sources the ancient treasures of knowledge, and, absorbing them into the body of Arabian science, distributed them with a lavish hand over all Mohammedan territory, and even offered them to the world. The light which was beginning to flicker flamed up and attracted the gaze of the Western nations, awakening them from that intellectual slumber which followed barbarian strife.

This, briefly stated, is the history and mission of Arabian science. It was Greek science rescued from extinction, held in trust, protected, nourished, lifted aloft, delivered over to modern Europe in the breaking up of the Saracen power.

Those who assert an order in human history as determinate, though not as clearly traced, as that which pervades our material environment, and who take pleasure in searching out that order, will derive satisfaction from contemplating, at this distance of time, the appointed mission of the Saracens, as mediators between the thought of the Old World and the New. Christian students discern in other religions a not unguided searching after higher ideals. They will acknowledge that when the awe of the desert found embodiment in the worship of one God, a great step was taken in advance of the former Arabian idolatries, and the way was prepared for a beneficent service to humanity, by the establishment, on the broad basis of monotheism, of a political empire which furthered an intellectual mission. That empire, starting from China, sweeping over the plains where lie the centres of the oldest known civilizations, covering in a broad belt the north coast of Africa, and embracing rich Spanish peninsula, touched, at last, the heart of the life that was forming out of the chaotic elements of early mediæval Europe. Whatever have been the remoter results of Islam as a religion, such an empire, including many peoples, did for ancient science and letters what the earlier Roman Empire had done for Christianity. It paved the way for their preservation and diffusion. When Arabian political unity was ruptured, the republic of letters had been founded. Its unity remained unbroken. Under one language and many bonds of sympathy, those who owed allegiance to different political rulers swore fealty to the expanding culture. The pulses of literary enthusiasm throbbed and gained force as they sped along the channels so opened.

The influence of all this upon European life needs to be appreciated in order that the intellectual mission of the Saracens may be understood. Christian Europe lay between the barbarian of the north and the Saracen civilization of the south. On one side it touched the extreme of rudeness on the other, the extreme of existing culture. It was moving toward the development of a new civilization peculiarly its own. In that development it was powerfully influenced by the forces on either side of it. The effort of Charlemagne to establish Christian schools was contemporaneous with that of Haroun El Raschid in a like direction. The Two emperors lived in friendly relations and intercourse. We have seen what advantages for such an enterprise the Saracen possessed over the Christian. Haroun was surrounded by a learning to which he had only to open the doors of his mosques. Charlemagne was struggling against an ignorance such as only long ages could dispel. When, finally, the schools of Christian Europe multiplied and took on large proportions, the more advanced scholars, dissatisfied with the meagre instruction afforded at home, attracted by the brilliant light which shone from the Saracen schools, turned their footsteps toward Spain. These men became the advocates, in Christian Europe, of a not only higher but different kind of learning from that which prevailed in the ecclesiastical establishments. They were the pioneer spirits of a broader culture.

On a still larger scale the Christian mind was brought in contact with Saracen learning through the adherents of Christianity who resided in Spain, as well as through court interchanges and protracted conflicts of arms. All along the line from Spain to Palestine, the great currents set in motion by the Crusades brought northern ignorance and enterprise into contact with Saracenic learning and refinement. Christian Europe was now emerging into its most vigorous life. The forces of Islam were beginning to wane. In the period of their decline, the service which the Old World civilization had once rendered to the awakening Arabic intellect was repaid to the awakening mind of Europe.

There is, perhaps, no better illustration of this influence of Saracen culture than that found in the Emperor Frederic II in the first half of the thirteenth century. In his Sicilian court, in the midst of a luxury and splendor which dazzled the world, Christian and Mohammedan stood on easy footing, and held unrestrained intercourse with each other. Influenced largely, no doubt, by the freedom in religious thought that had been developed among the Arabian philosophers, and of which Averroes is, to us, the traditional representative, Frederic, whose birth in 1194 dates four years before the death of Averroes, emancipated himself from the prejudices as well as some of the healthful restraints of his time, and, in the intervals of stirring wars, strove to be the introducer and representative of a new civilization, in which science, philosophy, and poetry, along with the refinements of art, should have a scope known only in Mohammedan society. His court became the wonder and scandal of Europe. His Mohammedan tendencies, exaggerated, we may not doubt, by his enemies, were a reproach. He cultivated the new sciences, was himself versed in them, and largely in their interest, we may presume, he founded the University of Naples. If it is impossible precisely to determine his influence on the intellectual life of Europe, it must be remembered how early and conspicuous was the part taken by Italy in the literary and scientific awakening which followed. The century in which Frederic flourished gave birth, soon after his death, to a Dante the next century produced a Petrarch the next, a Columbus the next, a Galileo. It is worthy of note that Columbus quotes Averroes as one of the authors to whom he is indebted for suggestions which led him to faith in the existence of a new world.

The service which the Saracens rendered in science and poetry was supplemented by a similar service in the arts which they brought from the East, and of which Spain became, in a peculiar sense, the home and the centre of distribution. Her civilization, as presented in cities and cultivated farms, made her seem little less than a paradise to the northern peoples. We need not wonder that, out of the raw life of Christian Europe, men loved to wander into the fair surroundings of tile Spanish university towns nor that, charmed alike with the sweetness of nature, the beauty of art, and the marvels of science, they went back to their coarser homes in the north wishing, and ready to suffer in securing, for their kindred the advantages of learning. In their self-denials, ostracisins, and persecutions might be found material for a chapter which would redeem them, in some measure, from the slight estimation in which they have been held, in common with all Latin Europe, where the condition of things was bad enough, but where were to be found those who pleaded for and strove after something better.

We might here close our review. But it is difficult to forego one or two suggestions, which, though they arise as after-thoughts out of this history, do, nevertheless, give to it a more than scholarly interest. In the departments of natural science and philosophy we find that the Arabian movement owed to Greece pretty much all that it ever attained. In view of present discussions over great educational problems, it is incumbent on us to note that, while the Arabian coveted Greek science, he could not be induced to acquire the language in which the science was preserved. He knew Greek thought only at second and third hand, which is nearly equivalent to saying that he did not know it at all as Greek thought. Everything was approached through a translation. The Greek genius, the spirit, which could no more express itself in a foreign tongue that could Athens be Athens if set down in the plains of the Nile, had to be clothed in Arabic forms before it could be received by the conquering Saracen. Aspiring to the utilities, the sublimities, of science, but despising the language in which these were embodied, he never caught the excursive, constructive Greek genius. Dependent from first to last on Jews and Christians for interpretations of the ancient masters, he did not breathe the air of freedom he never climbed Olympus. So we have the remarkable spectacle of a people toiling through centuries to become by means of translations masters of a foreign learning, that might build thereon a science of their own. It is probably the only instance of such an attempt, and we must pronounce this instance a failure.

In this respect, the course of the Saracens stands in contrast with that pursued by the scholars of Christian Europe. We have seen that Italy, France, Germany, England, were stimulated to the cultivation of' the natural sciences by the Mohamedans of Spain. But early in its history Christian learning detected the error which had been committed by the Saracens. Roger Bacon was the pioneer who, in the thirteenth century, some three hundred years before Melanethon, devoted his life to the prosecution and advocacy of a new education, of which the study of the Greek masters in their original tongue should form the basics, and in which the natural sciences should be a conspicuous feature. The Opus Majus of Bacon was scarcely more a treatise on philosophy than on pedagogy. Sound in its arguments, exalted in its enthusiasm, pleading in his tone, it was a bold push for a new intellectual order. It cost him persecution and imprisonment. But the science which finally prevailed in Europe was that for which he uttered his plea. It was founded on Greek culture. Such today is the science of the civilized world. What that of the Saracens might have become under a more thorough baptism in the Greek spirit it is impossible to say. We only know what it failed to accomplish. Possibly the Semitic mind was incapable of a larger sweep. Perhaps the Aryan mind alone has the scientific genius, as the Semitic has the religious.

A second point at which our review bears upon modern discussion is that of the relation of religion to scientific progress.

It is apparent to one conversant with the history of science and philosophy among the Mohammedans that the heights of culture actually attained were reached in spite of the restraints of Islam rather than through encouragement given by it. The religion of Mohammed, founded in opposition to liberal learning, never ceased to oppose that learning. From the time of Haroun El Raschid to that of Ibn Roschd science made headway against a religious fanaticism which manifested itself in the destruction of libraries, the burning of condemned books, the persecution of philosophers. Imprisonment, banishment, popular violence, threats of house-burning, fears of death,—to these were men exposed who cultivated the ancient learning under the rule of princes, who, actuated either by their own prejudices or by the desire of popular favor, used their influence in the interest of religious intolerance.

The zeal for science exhibited by great rulers, like El Mamson, Abd El Rhaman, and El Hakem, must not be allowed to blind our eyes to these facts. Religion, as popularly apprehended, has never been free from the fear of science. Ecclesiasticism, whether in the guise of Islam or of Christianity, trembles before the revelation of its falsehoods.

In the history of Mohammedanism we meet with an early assertion of the right of free inquiry. The impulse given to the Arab mind by conquest carried it out of the fetters of that religion in the name of which the conquests were made. The utilities of science, we might say its superstitions, conquered the superstitions of religion. But the conquest was not final. Learning succumbed at last to the demands of religious belief. The great intellectual movement ended in the downfall of science and philosophy, the supremacy of fanaticism.

On the other hand, the rise of science in Christian Europe was part of a general movement in the direction of freedom from ecclesiastical control. Men learned to distinguish between religion and the church. Then, the shackles being loosed, all truths became sacred. Nature and revelation, parts of one system, must agree in their final outcome. At first faintly visioning its goal, but apprehending it more and more clearly, this faith, firmly held by the finest Christian minds, has kept them calm among the clash of philosophies, the boasts of skeptical assault, and the fears of timorous believers. It has held the way open for the advance of science securing for scientific investigation the support of Christians, even at the moments when they disputed doubtful conclusions. The deep conviction enunciated by Roger Bacon six hundred years ago, and held by believing scholars since, that science is the handmaid of religion, has given to the study of nature its eminent position. Such men have known that among all oscillations of opinion the ultimate truth is secure. They have been willing to wait until the combined verdict of science and religion should be declared. Whatever might become of systems, or creeds, or ecclesiasticisms, the truth of Nature would be the truth of God. Faith is not hostile to science. Want of faith expresses itself in fears and clamors. A large faith lifts inquiry into those heights where all things are seen in the light of divine unity. Without such a fundamental principle as this the two departments of study cannot go on together. Where such a basis of harmony is wanting, religion, degenerating into superstition, will, as among the Mohammedans, smother the life of science or science, breaking loose from faith, will pursue its way to the ignoring of spiritual being.


David Olusoga rolling out a map.

David Olusoga at Markfield Beam Engine Museum.

Steven Johnson looking at a W.E.B Dubois plaque.

David Olusoga with Dr. Christoph Tang in front of a projector.

Dr. David Ho with colleagues in Ho Lab at the Diamond AIDS Research Center.

Members of Makkah congregation.

Steven Johnson holding up a mask.


The golden age of Arab and Islamic culture
by Gaston Wiet. From "Baghdad: Metropolis of the Abbasid Caliphate", University of Oklahoma Press

Baghdad under the Abbasids
(c.1000 CE)
A contemporary description of the city in its heyday

Civil war and the Umayyads
From the death of the Prophet to the end of the Ummayad Dynasty (661-750 CE). By Richard Hooker

The Abbasid Dynasty (750 to 1258 CE)
by Richard Hooker

Law and justice
by J. Schact, Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Islam

Tales of the Caliphs
(c.940 CE)
Anecdotes from the Book of Golden Meadows by the early historian, Abul Hasan Ali Al-Masu'di.

The Experiences of the Nations
(c. 980 CE)
A question of succession in the Abbasid court. By Ibn-Miskawaih

Towards a history of Aleppo and Damascus in the early Middle Ages (635-1260 CE)
by Professor R. Stephen Humphreys, University of California at Santa Barbara. (Lecture at the University of Kyoto, 29 October 1997)


A Short History of Beard Styles

Beards have had many uses during the history of humans. Early humans used beards for warmth and intimidation. In current times, they have been used to show masculinity, royalty, fashion, and status.

Prehistoric men grew beards for warmth, intimidation and protection. Facial hair kept prehistoric men warm and it also protected their mouths from sand, dirt, the sun and many other different elements. A beard on a man’s face creates the look of a stronger looking jaw line this exaggeration helped them appear more intimidating.

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In 3000 BCE to 1580 BCE, Egyptians royalty used a false beard that was made of metal. This false beard was held onto the face by a ribbon that was tied over their heads. This practice was down by both kings and queens. Ancient Egyptians were also known to die their chin beads with reddish brown to strong brown dyes.

Mesopotamian civilizations took great care of their beards. They would use products like beard oil to keep their beards looking healthy. They would also fashion their beards using ancient curling irons and make ringlets, frizzles, and tiered effects. The Assyrians dyed their beards black, and the Persians died theirs a orange-red color. During ancient times, in Turkey and India, when someone had a long beard it was considered a symbol of wisdom and dignity.

During ancient times, in Greece, beards were a sign of honor. Ancient Greeks commonly curled their beards with tongs in order to create hanging curls. Their beards were cut only as a punishment. Around 345 BCE Alexander the Great decreed that soldiers couldn’t have beards. He was afraid that opposing soldiers would grab on to the Grecians’ beards and use it against them while in battle.

Ancient Romans preferred their beads to be trimmed and well-groomed. A Roman by the name of, Lucius Tarquinius Pricus, encouraged the use of razors in order to guide the city to hygienic reform in 616-578 BCE. Although Pricus tried to encourage shaving, it still was not generally accepted until 454 BCE.

In 454 BCE, a group of Greek Sicilian barbers travelled from Sicily unto mainland Italy. They set up barbershops that were situated on the mains streets of Rome. These barbershops were typically only used by people who didn’t own slaves because if you owned a slave they would shave you instead. Eventually, shaving started to become the trend in ancient Rome, philosophers kept their beards regardless of the trend.

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Lucius Sulla
Jovian
Gaius Gracchus

Anglo-Saxons wore beards until the advent of Christianity in the 7 th century. Once Christianity came around the clergy were required by law to shave. English princes sported mustaches until 1066-1087 CE when a law by William the First created a law that required them to shave in order to fit in with Norman fashions.

Once the Crusades began the return of beards also began. For four centuries all sorts of facial hair was allowed. It was much like current times, where men could choose from beards, mustaches and clean shaven faces. In 1535 beards became fashionable again and with it came all sorts of sorts of styles and lengths. Anglo-Saxon men began to starch their beards in the 1560s.

In the early 1600s, a painter named Sir Anthony Vandyke began to paint many aristocrats with pointed beards. This style of beard was called the Vandyke. The men used pomade or wax to shape their beards, and they applied with tiny brushes and combs. The people of this time invented different gadgets in order to keep mustaches and beards in shape while they slept.

There have been many beard styles throughout the ages. A style made popular by Abraham Lincoln, is called the chin curtain. This is when there is facial hair along the jawline which is long enough to hang from the chin. American essayist, Henry David Thoreau, had a style called the chinstrap beard. This style is achieved when sideburns are connected to each other by a narrow hair line along the jaw.

English heavy metal musician, Lemmy Kilmister wore his facial hair in a style called, friendly muttonchops. Friendly muttonchops are formed when muttonchops are connected by a mustache and there is no chin hair. Another facial hair style is the goatee. The goatee is when only the hair around the chin and mustache are left on the face. American professional wrestler, Hulk Hogan, was famous for the style horseshoe mustache. This is a full mustache with ends that extend down in parallel strait lines all the way down to the chin line.

Currently, about 33% of American males have facial hair of some kind, while 55% of males worldwide have facial hair. Women found full bearded men to be only 2/3 rd as attractive as clean-shaven men.

Contemporáneo Beard Products

Beard products have come a long way from their humble beginnings. In ancient Egypt they used false beards, you can still purchase false beards. Unlike in ancient Egypt these false beards are not made of gold.

Also, just like men from Mesopotamia used beard oil, you can purchase beard oil.


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