Western Humanities Midterm Essay

785 WordsApr 9, 20134 Pages
Western Humanities Midterm Essay During the course I realized how large of a role art plays in helping create cultures and developing and preserving the history of civilizations. I find it interesting that when there’s no written history or any historical buildings, cultures will always make their own ancient past grander than what it really is. The Israelites, the Greeks and Romans all tell stories of their history that has no written proof. It seems that we as people want to have a connection to our roots and to understand where we come from. This is why I believe that most people want to believe in a higher power. I think that the timeline shows to some extent that art throughout history has been and still is the major form of…show more content…
Until now, I didn't realize how much Islam influenced art and practically kick-started science. I learned that the Abbasid caliphs established the House of Wisdom, a center of leaning and science. They gathered manuscripts in Greek and Sanskrit along with scholars who could understand and translate them from the areas that they conquered. The Abbasids were the first ones to study and translate important Greek and Indian mathematical book like Euclid's geometry text the Elements. They adopted a very Greek approach to mathematics of formulating theorems precisely and proving them formally in Euclid's ways. Islamists wrote many influential books on mathematics of algebra that we still use today. One of the books described how to write numbers in calculations using the place-value decimal system which is what we use today. This concept was developed in India in A.D. 600’s which was translated and adopted by Arabic mathematicians. About 300 years later this book was translated into Latin and it became the major source for European academics to learn the new system. This system is known as the Hindu-Arabic system which is taught to schoolchildren around the world. It’s amazing that a system of calculations was brought to Europe from practically the other side of the world. I wonder how long it would have taken to figure out the same system without Muslim involvement. I find it fascinating how almost a millennia ago

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