On Thursday March 4, 2004, Dr. George Saliba Professor of Arabic and Islamic Science at Columbia University in New York City gave a lecture at the University of Waterloo titled "Reception of Islamic Sciences in Europe".The main points of the lecture were:
- That the Arabs/Muslims were not merely translators and transmitters of Greek knowledge, but just like other civilizations, they developed the science they received from the Greek, and revised it, added to it, disputed it, corrected it.
- That Europe was using Arab texts much later than is commonly believed, well after the Renaissance. Many examples shown in the lecture were of Arabic scientific works printed in Europe in the mid 17th century, more than two centuries after the Renaissance.
The complete research work that this lecture was based on can be found in his extensive article "Whose Science is Arabic Science in Renaissance Europe?". Lots of manuscripts in Astronomy, Medicine and other sciences are shown. Also, a few Astrolabes (navigational instruments).A very interesting read indeed.Other articles by Dr. Saliba on the internet:
- Seeking the Origins of Modern Science?
- Reply to above article by Toby Huff
- Saliba's response to the reply.
After attending this lecture, I did some searching of my own, and recalled some of the reading I have been doing over the years, that ties directly into this. The result is my article Arabic in post-Renaissance Europe.