Chapter 19 (Sunny Days For Science)



It feels like the whole planet was determined to banish them. But unlike Atlantis, the Mayan civilization still exists with their buildings, drawings and other stuff they left behind.

Again son, the love for power had major consequences and threw a great civilization away. This closed another chapter in our story as we are moving closer and closer to the end.

The next chapter in our story will explore the great Islamic Empire and how they contributed to science. The Islamic Golden Age was in the period between 8th century and 13th century CE. They were established across Persia, Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa, Iberia and parts of India. They started by collecting knowledge from different sources like Indians, Assyrians, Iranian and Greek and translating them to Arabic. They set up “The House of Wisdom” in Baghdad, Iraq around 850 CE.

Harun Al-Rashid, the Muslim leader, set up the House of Wisdom in Baghdad to be a knowledge beacon for all Muslims. The House of Wisdom had many roles: The most important one was the translation of knowledge into Arabic. Every piece of translated work was done and stored in the House of Wisdom. In addition, the House of Wisdom was a perfect place for Muslim scholars to meet and do their research together on any field even humanities. Muslims back then excelled in many fields including: Mathematics, Astronomy, Medicine, Physics, Alchemy (and later Chemistry), Cosmology, Ophthalmology, Geography, Cartography, Sociology and Psychology. They did not only study these subjects from the translated works, but on the course of their Golden Age, they added a lot to every single field. By the 9th century, the House of Wisdom had the largest selection of books in the entire world.

Not only Muslim scholars were helping prosper the science, but also Christians like Hunayn Ibn Ishaq, Tatian and the Bukhtishu dynasty. They were helping in translations into Arabic and in research as well. It was really a golden age in the sense that everyone was helping towards making this successful.

One interesting person from that period is Al-Khwarizmi. He is a Persian mathematician and one of the first directors of the House of Wisdom. His contributions to Mathematics are priceless. He is the one who adopted the Hindu numerical system to be used in the Arabic mathematics and he is also the one who created the zero symbol “0” as we know it today to represent the zero value. He is the person who created “Algebra” branch of mathematics and put its foundations and many methods for solving equations like ‘reduction’, ‘completion’ and ‘balancing’. The word “algorithm” is created from his name a credit to this great mind. Al-Khwarizmi invented a way equivalent to long multiplication for multiplying large numbers. As all this was not enough for him, he also contributed to astronomy by inventing the Quadrant (An instrument to measure time by observing the sun or the stars). In the Geography field, he produced a version of Ptolemy’s “Geography” reference containing the coordinates of 2,402 cities in the world as they knew it back then.

There were many other great scientists as well, like Alhazen (or Alhassan) Ibn Al-Haytham who challenged the old theory that we see because the light falls from our eyes onto the objects. And by experiments, he proved that we see because the light reflects from objects onto our eyes and that was the very basic theory of the camera device. He had other major contributions Physics, Mathematics, Astronomy, Music, Engineering and Philosophy.

It seemed like a perfect world for scientists back then. Everyone aspired to be a scientist and excel and contribute in something. The environment was perfect. There were almost no problems to practice science and collect knowledge. For centuries, the Islamic Empire was the beacon of science and knowledge in the world. But as we’ve seen so far in our story, nothing can last forever especially if it is a good thing. ‘The Abyss’ was there waiting for a chance to attack and destroy as always.

And they did.

<Chapter 18 (Revolution)

>Chapter 20 (Treason)


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