20 August, 2009

Just Some Random Ramblings

Baghdad's cultural revolution ----------------------------------------

In all of history, every civilization seems to have had a cultural revolution of some sort. For the Middle East - or Muslim civilization - this seems to have begun in Baghdad during the 'Abbasid Caliphate in the 8th century. The House of Wisdom (Bayt al-Hikmah) is the cornerstone of this cultural revolution. But, what is a cultural revolution? Further, how does it pertain to Baghdad and the Muslim world?

What I know (from selected readings):
The House of Wisdom was founded in the 8th century in Baghdad during the reign of al-Ma'mun (one of al-Rashid's sons). It was to be an intellectual center where scholars and academics would come to study and translate great works from their native language into Arabic. The Translation Movement was also a big player in this cultural revolution. Because of this revolution, Baghdad became a cultural world center. Knowledge and the transmission of knowledge became an important aspect in society. Universities began to "spring up" around the Arab/Muslim world - the first being in Baghdad. The caliphate - before and during - sponsored the arts and letters not just within their "castles" but around the Arab/Muslim world.