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How the Arab influence on science disappeared from our history books

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“Ninth-century Baghdad can be compared to Athens in the 4th and 5th centuries BC and later to Rome. It was a place where power and literature came together,” Debuff said. But when we think of the development of science, Baghdad is not a city that comes to mind immediately. Debuff thinks this is unfair. “You can say that Baghdad was the forerunner of the Renaissance. In the 9th century, the city was the most important center of translation in the world for the discovery of algebra.”

But it did not stop there. Debuff continues: “Not only did he translate classical texts, but scientists in Baghdad also took that knowledge to the next level. Aristotle’s logic and scientific thought first connected with monotheism. It made the city an important place.

Of great importance

The fact that the Iraqi capital had a great influence on the European Renaissance was unknown to Debuf for a long time. “It was only when I went to live in Cairo and began to examine the history of the Arab world that I realized that I was surprised to know very little about this history of great importance to Europe.”

Debuff decided to investigate why the influence of Baghdad is rarely seen in our history books. He quickly realized that it was not always so. “Until the seventeenth century, the role of Baghdad was not unknown, but it changed in the eighteenth century. In Germany, people thought that science and philosophy should be Christian.

Something Christian

According to Debuff, this is an ongoing process. “It no longer happens consciously. People sometimes try to correct it, but all knowledge is written from the story. Our view of science is historically and ideologically determined by the idea that science is Christian.”

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