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The Muslim Discovery of Europe

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  237 ratings  ·  19 reviews
The eleventh-century Muslim world was a great civilization while Europe lay slumbering in the Dark Ages. Slowly, inevitably, Europe and Islam came together, through trade and war, crusade and diplomacy. The ebb and flow between these two worlds for seven hundred years, illuminated here by a brilliant historian, is one of the great sagas of world history.
Paperback, 350 pages
Published October 17th 2001 by W. W. Norton Company (first published July 29th 1982)
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Ahmad Sharabiani
The Muslim Discovery of Europe, Bernard Lewis
Bernard Lewis, FBA (born 31 May 1916) is a British American historian specializing in oriental studies. He is also known as a public intellectual and political commentator. Lewis is the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. Lewis' expertise is in the history of Islam and the interaction between Islam and the West. He is also noted in academic circles for his works on the history of the Ottoman Emp
محمد إلهامي
برناد لويس..

مستشرق أمريكي يهودي صهيوني متعصب.. نعم
عباراته فيها تزييف والالتواء ومحملة بقدر كبير من الإيحاءات السلبية.. نعم

إلا أنه غزير العلم واسع المعرفة، وواحد من الخبراء العارفين بالتاريخ الإسلامي، وكتبه -برغم كل ما سبق- تظل مهمة وضرورية ونافعة وتستحق القراءة.

يعيب هذا الكتاب نوع من الارتباك في الأفكار وتقسيمها، وانتثار المعلومات بغير رابط متماسك في كثير من الأحيان، وقفز على فجوات دون محاولة التفسير والتغطية أو حتى اعتراف بالنقص في المصادر والمعلومات. ...more
Nov 07, 2007 rated it did not like it
Edward Said has long derided Bernard Lewis--which means i was inclined to like lewis. i was shocked upon reading this book at the sloppiness of the schoalrship. ch.2 is a particularly egregious example. lewis repeatedly uses phrases such as "common attitude," "in general," "in Muslim writings," "most Muslim jurists," and so forth, but he often makes these as mere assertions, w/o providing *any* references. and of the 7 endnotes to this chapter, if we exclude the 3 to the Qu'ran due to interpreti ...more
Jun 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: law-school, history
Bernard Lewis takes excerpts and synopsizes dozens of individual Muslims' perceptions, lessons and realizations about Europe. Almost all of them are intriguing. Lewis also covers diplomatic contact between Islamic and European countries. The nation-to-nation contact parts of the book are the best because he explains what Europe learned from Islamic civilization and vice versa. The book ranges from Muslims' early contact with Europe to the early 19th century. It was more a collection of travel lo ...more
Omar Taufik
As the previous books I read by the author, this book is filled with interesting details of the centuries long interaction between Islam and the West. These details were arranged with great talent reflecting the great knowledge of the author in the subject and the field.
The author arranges his book displaying and exploring the various aspects of interaction and mutual impact between both civilizations starting from the advance of Islam through it's historical conquests where Muslim percept
Oct 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Lewis is a renowned expert on Middle Eastern history and this book is very well researched. The West is generally ignorant of the Muslim Golden Age from, say, 800 to 1500. First Arab and then Turkish states flourished. They established powerful modern states which supported science, medicine, architecture, trade and military science. Their courts and cities were sparkling while most of Europe, and particularly northwestern Europe were Dark Age backwaters. Lewis tries to look from their perspecti ...more
Pablo Flores
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book extremely enlightening. It works as a reversal of the usual point of view of Western history books, which deal with Europeans meeting or clashing with the Muslims, newcomers at the world stage. It displays an impressive array of sources before the reader and it shows, with nuance and detail, how the Muslim world has viewed Europe and European affairs over time, going from disdain and (for a while justified) superiority to apprehension, fear and finally (sometimes grudging) acce ...more
May 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Since I knew very little about the Muslims in Europe, this was an eye opener as to their long rule on the Iberian peninsula, trading with European nations and the art, math, science that can be attributed to them. However, in spite of the title's emphasis on Muslims, the author seemed to side step their culture, social interaction and other aspects that would have explained why Muslims responded the way they did to Europeans. The author several times reverts to their "lack of curiosity" which se ...more
Jul 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Originally published in 1982, this work shines a light out of alignment with much of our understanding of the Muslim history. So, it is a worthy read but should be read as one in a group for the historiography.
Mark Oconnor
Dec 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Very thorough history of the Muslim view of European/Christian society from the 6th century through the Middle Ages and Crusades up to the beginning of the 19th century. I was rather surprised by how little curiosity was exhibited about the "infidels", but it explains this several times in the book as viewed through a religious worldview and prism. Got a little dry here and there, but overall informative. I wish the author had included some more material from the various diaries and writings he ...more
Louai Roumani
May 05, 2015 rated it liked it
As expected from Lewis, this book provides a wealth of insightful information on a perspective that is rarely highlighted. What Lewis achieves in substance he lacks in form; such a pity as to how disorganized and loosely connected the book is. Also as the book revolves around the 'discovery' of Europe, it implied addressing the initial encounters which took place in the 7th and 8th centuries. I was surprised that most of the content was related to the Ottomans in the 17th and 18th centuries rath ...more
Abdullah M. M. S.
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very interesting and informative piece of work. The angle the light was shed from was specially very interesting when the author compared two very rich and different civilizations (Muslim and European) in all aspects of life. I agree with most of the author's observations.

Nevertheless, I don't think this comparative study included all the literature it should have included (Ibn Katheer's work is one of the examples). Therefore, the message that came through was biased to a slight e
Jan 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Lots of interesting information, would have been improved if I had a better sense of history. Provides sufficient timeline to get a sense in the changes in the Islamic world with regards to Europe. Parts of the book felt very redundant. I remember liking The Crisis of Islam much better.
Jun 06, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Humans
Bernard Lewis may be Dick Cheney's favorite intellectual, but this is an excellent compilation of primary sources from the Ottoman heyday on all things European.

How different societies view and attempt to understand each other is, of course, a highly relevant topic today and probably always will be.
Sep 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Opera molto interessante. Sappiamo tutto di noi, "la culla della civiltà", e cosa pensiamo degli "altri". Ma gli altr, il mondo musulmano come ci vedono e come ci hanno visto nel passato? Sorprendente, interessante ed illuminante. Lettura che consiglio.
التقييم يشمل الترجمة السيئة للكتاب ، الذي لم أستطع قراءته بلغته للأسف. وأنا أنصح بقراءته بلغته الأصل. أما المترجم الكريم فلم يكتفي بالترجمة ، بل وعلق كذلك على فقرات من الكتاب ، وليته لم يفعل. فله أخطاء عجيبة غريبة في هذا الكتاب.
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british, 1976-2000
Ogni capitolo riprende dall'inizio la successione cronologica, da un punto di vista diverso. Ma, talvolta, il punto di vista è mutato soltanto di poco (aggiungere esempi) e perciò dà vita a ripetizioni, che rendono più difficoltosa, meno fluente, la lettura e può nascere un po' di noia.
Mike Klein
Mar 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
A real good overview by someone who clearly knows his subject. At first I thought that the book being published before 9/11 would be a problem, but I came to believe it is actually a strength. Fairly dry and sometimes feel repetitive, but still worth reading and I recommend it.
Claire S
Apparently it will be necessary to read this book with a filter, so that the true parts get in and the unsupported conclusions and stereotypes etc.. remain inactive. Not sure how to do that.. maybe need to read other things on the same subject first - if there are any?
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Goodreads Librari...: Books needs to be combined with its mother release 3 191 Jan 11, 2017 09:23AM  

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Librarian Note: There is more than one author by this name in the Goodreads database.

Bernard Lewis was the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Near Eastern Studies Emeritus at Princeton University and the author of many critially acclaimed and bestselling books, including two number one New York Times bestsellers: What Went Wrong? and Crisis of Islam. The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years was a Nat
“Not being interested in other cultures is the normal state of mankind.” 0 likes
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