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
The works of art featured in this unit were created with a practical purpose in mind. Together, they highlight achievements in three of the most developed scientific disciplines in the Islamic world: astronomy, astrology, and medicine.
Astronomical knowledge fulfilled a utilitarian function in the Muslim world by facilitating the proper ritual practice of Islam.
Surviving medical texts are a testament to the work of Muslim physicians and their desire to understand and heal the human body.
Read in-depth information about featured works of art related to this unit.
A list of resources for additional reading, with grade levels indicated
A list of sources used to compile the information in this unit