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Unit Four: Science and the Art of the Islamic World

Preparing Medicine from Honey: Folio from a dispersed manuscript of an Arabic translation of the Materia Medica of Dioscorides

Preparing Medicine from Honey: Folio from a dispersed manuscript of an Arabic translation of the Materia Medica of Dioscorides (detail), dated A.H. 621 / A.D. 1224. Calligrapher: 'Abdullah ibn al-Fadl. Iraq, Baghdad or northern Jazira

After reading this unit, you will be able to:

  • identify significant innovations in the Islamic world that contributed to the fields of astronomy, astrology, and medicine
  • understand how the esteem for scientific inquiry led to the creation and beautification of scientific instruments, implements, and manuals
  • understand how an interest in science prompted the translation of ancient texts into Arabic and ensured the preservation of this knowledge, which provided a foundation for future advances in both the East and the West

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