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Q: Medieval History ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Medieval History
Category: Reference, Education and News > Teaching and Research
Asked by: dirskie-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 25 Oct 2005 12:01 PDT
Expires: 24 Nov 2005 11:01 PST
Question ID: 584768
What was the importance of the Arabic language between the 8th and
11th centuries under the Abassids? and please list sources.

Clarification of Question by dirskie-ga on 25 Oct 2005 20:24 PDT
why is the language's importancce suring the renaissance of that time?
Subject: Re: Medieval History
Answered By: wonko-ga on 04 Nov 2005 10:26 PST
Arabic played an important role in the development and flourishing of
Islamic culture during the Abbasid caliphate.  Most importantly, it
served as a unifying force for Islam as a whole.  For example, when
the Turks adopted Islam, they preserved their own language but
abandoned their earlier system of writing for the Arabic script,
adding many Arabic words to their vocabulary.  The adoption of Arabic
as the common language of Islam allowed the Abbasids to effectively
promote their radical theological position advocating that Muslims
should follow a single ruler.  To encourage others to adopt this view,
the Abbasid ruler al-Ma'mun founded a university, the House Of Wisdom.

The Arabic language had matured, becoming a language of science and
literature.  Considerable effort was put into translating all
available knowledge from Syriac and Greek documents into Arabic,
particularly at the House of Wisdom.  As the ideas of the Greeks, such
as Plato and Aristotle, entered into Islamic culture, a new philosophy
focused on rational inquiry and a limited amount of empiricism
encouraged scientific thought.  Original research was conducted in
fields such as astronomy that was published in Arabic, for instance. 
Islamic physicians recognized that bubonic plague could be transmitted
by clothing.  Islamic physicists founded the science of optics,
knowledge of chemistry was greatly expanded, and decimal-based
arithmetic, advances in algebra (which is an Arabic word), and new
knowledge of spherical trigonometry also developed.

As an example of the flourishing of literary works, "Arabian Nights"
was written in Baghdad during the Abbasid reign.  Poetry also gained
increasing prominence, with literary accomplishment being a means for
achieving recognition at the Abbasid court.

The adoption of Arabic throughout the Islamic world and its expansion
to incorporate the knowledge of other cultures, especially the Greeks,
greatly contributed to both the structure of the centralized
government of the time and considerable scientific and literary

I have located a variety of sources to aid you in understanding the
effect of Arabic on the flowering of Islamic culture:

"The Arabic Christian Literature" by Dr. George Khoury, Eternal Word
Television Network (January 22, 1997)

"Who Are Christians of Iraq" by Gilbert, Middle East Information
Center (November 30, 2004)
(I have provided a link to the Google cached page because the original
was not available.)

"The Arab Astronomers: Aldebaran, Deneb, Rigel, Betelgeuse ... " By
David W. Tschanz, Islam Online (July 26, 2001)

"Hunayn Bin Ishaq: The Great Translator" By David W. Tschanz, Islam
Online (May 30, 2001)

"The Abassid Caliphate" Jewish Virtual Library (2005)

"World Civilizations" seventh edition by Burns et al., WW Norton &
Company (1986) pages 381-387 and 517



Search terms: Abbasid Arabic
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