14 December, 2009

Chapter 3 - The House of Wisdom

I have begun writing Chapter 3 of my thesis. I am devoting this chapter more to the scientific achievements (including mathematics) coming out of the House of Wisdom. Here are the first couple of paragraphs just to give you an idea.


The House of Wisdom was established under the Caliph al-Ma’mun in the year . For the most part, the House served as a place of intellectual inquiry where scholars from around the known world came, often at the invitation of the Caliph, to conduct research and translate the classical texts into Arabic. It was the ‘Abbasid’s hunger for knowledge that inspired the House of Wisdom and fueled the drive to learn as much as possible about the world around them.

Many scholars came through the House of Wisdom, leaving their touch and establishing their place among the elite. It is from many of these scholars where we get our modern sciences including chemistry, algebra, astronomy, and geography. Much of the works written by the scholars are from the translation of works by the Greeks, Indians, and Persians. Yet much more is due to the House scholars’ continuous research and experimentation on this existing material and the discoveries and improvements made upon them. One such scholar is Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi (783-850) who was considered one of the leading Muslim astronomers and mathematicians of his day.


I have also selected and began translating a handful of my poems for my experiential learning portion. More to come...


Anonymous said...

Hi Ms July :), I really loved your work; however, when you talk about the House of Wisdom I believe it was established by Haroun Al Rashid not his son Almamoun !

good luck, kader

Julie said...

Thank you for your comment Kader! I did go back and did a little more reading on the founding of the House of Wisdom. While it is true that the House of Wisdom was established under the caliph al-Ma'mun, Harun al-Rashid actually established the first hospital in Baghdad, which the House became attached to (associated with) when it came to fruition. The hospital that Harun established is based on the institutions at Jundishapur. Harun was the caliph until the year 809 CE. The House was established around the year 830 CE (I believe 832 is the exact year).