Steven's Reviews > The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization

The House of Wisdom by Jonathan Lyons
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's review
Nov 20, 2009

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bookshelves: culture, history, science
Read in November, 2009

I had inklings of a lot of what this book covered, but it's a good overview of the ways in which the West absorbed scientific and philosophical thinking from the great Arab thinkers of the middle ages. Lyons makes the excellent point that while some still think of the Arabs as merely recorders, maintainers and passers-on of earlier Greek thought, in actuality Muslim scientists and philosophers made great advances in science and philosophy while Europe struggled through it's dark ages. When the West finally woke up to what it was missing, there was a lot of catching up to do.

Rather than expounding on the details of all the achievements made by Muslims during this time, Lyons focuses on the figures who made the connections and brought these two worlds together, including Adelard of Bath, Averroes, Avicenna and the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II of Sicily.

If you're at all interested in this sort of thing, you'll like this book.
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