Essay Islamic Science in the Medieval Era

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There are many terms used to describe the period after the fall of Rome and before the Renaissance, three main terms being the Middle, Medieval, and Dark Ages. In general, these terms are used interchangeably, but are these fair substitutions? In recent years the term “Dark Ages” is becoming less and less acceptable as a phrase which describes the span of years it is meant to refer to. The use of the term “dark” implies a period of stagnation, which is becoming a questionable concept. In particular, the span of time referred to in this paper is 530-1452 BCE, with specific attention paid to the scientific discoveries and innovations rather than art or literature. These dates are significant because in 529 the Academy and Lyceum in Athens …show more content…
One might assert that the ideas of Islamic science during this period were not of value because if the innovations were so great, and the halt of progress in Europe was so encompassing, a knowledge vacuum would have been created, and the ideas would have poured into the knowledge starved areas. Further more, Europeans would expand outward to the Middle East in search of new-found knowledge due to the stagnation present in Europe. However, this is not the case, so therefore it is logical to assume that the knowledge in the Middle East was not that significant. In opposition, I would assert that major scientific innovation in some area in the world during a given time period is enough to remove the negative connotation of “dark”. The scientific discoveries do not have to be world-wide. Furthermore, the reason there was no spread of knowledge to Europe during this time was due to the isolation of the two very different cultures from one another, not the insignificance of Islamic ideas. The language barrier alone would be enough to interfere with natural flow of technology. Translations of texts and therefore ideas takes time, and any cooperation between these two groups prior to the tenth century would be halted for hundreds of years by the Crusades. Also, the church's relationship with young men not only occupied them thereby inhibiting their thought, but also their exploration, explaining the lack of European pro-activity in