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Islamic Science and the Making of the European Renaissance (Transformations
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George Saliba has for more than thirty years written some of the most original and advanced studies of the sciences in Arabic. In this remarkable book, which he calls a historiographic essay, he addresses the question of the origin of Islamic science, using accounts of early Islamic scholars to show the essential roles of government bureaucracies; the great enlargement of Greek science, particularly astronomy, in the Islamic world; and new evidence for the paths of transmission of Arabic science to Europe, shown most clearly in the work of Copernicus. Finally, Saliba considers the so-called decline of Arabic science, showing that well into the fifteenth and even sixteenth centuries there was no decline, but rather that the sciences of Europe left behind the more traditional sciences, not only of Islamic civilization, but of the entire world. This is an essential book for understanding the place of science in the world of Islam and its fundamental importance to the development of modern science in the Western world. -- N. M. Swerdlow, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, The University of Chicago Saliba's book is essential reading for those who wish to understand the remarkable phenomenon of the 'rise' and 'fall' of the Islamic scientific tradition. His analysis takes place against the backdrop of the broader question of what produces scientific activity in a society, what sustains it and enables it to flourish. Saliba's singular achievement derives as much from the stimulating questions he raises as from his provocative answers. His iconoclastic views will fuel scholarly debates for decades to come. -- Gul A. Russell, Department of Humanities in Medicine, Texas A&M University

About the Author

George Saliba is Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies in the Department of Middle East and Asian Studies at Columbia University. He is the author or editor of six other books in Arabic and English.

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"Saliba's book is essential reading for those who wish to understand the remarkable phenomenon of the 'rise' and 'fall' of the Islamic scientific tradition. His analysis takes place against the backdrop of the broader question of what produces scientific activity in a society, what sustains it and enables it to flourish. Saliba's singular achievement derives as much from the stimulating questions he raises as from his provocative answers. His iconoclastic views will fuel scholarly debates for decades to come." --Gul A. Russell, Department of Humanities in Medicine, Texas A&M University

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