Europe

Europe’s Debt to the Islamic World

36 The Review of Religions – June 2003 ‘It was under the influence of Arabian and Moorish revival of culture and not in the 15th c e n t u r y, that the re a l renaissance took place. ’ Robert Briffault in T h e Making of Humanity. Introduction In recent years, Baghdad has been the focus of world news for the wrong reasons, yet ironically, the progress achieved by the industrialised world is due in large part to this very city. We will show in this essay how Baghdad saved the Greek intellectual heritage by tran- lating old rare manuscripts into Arabic; later these Arabic versions became the source of E u ropean re-birth and awakening. Between the middle of the 8th century and the beginning of the 13th, the Arabic speaking people were the main bearers of the torch of culture and civilisation in the world. Ancient science and philosophy p reserved in the Sanskrit, Pahlavi, Syriac, and Gre e k languages would have been lost f o rever had Muslim scholars not translated them into Arabic. These works were later to be re c o v e red, and supplemented by European scholars in the 15th century paving the way for Western Europe’s renaissance. Baghdad was built by Caliph al- Mansur (754-775) in 762 on the west bank of the river Tigris. He employed 100,000 arc h i t e c t s , craftsmen and laboure r s . Because of its shape it was referred to as the Round City, although the builder had officially titled it Dar as-Salam (the abode of peace). The new city comprised of the Caliph’s palace, mosque and residences for his children and government buildings. There were offices for Europe’s Debt to the Islamic World – How Arabic translations brought about the Renaissance By Zakaria Virk – Canada 37 Europe’s Debt to the Islamic World The Review of Religions – June 2003 s e c retaries, halls for the ambassadors, scholars and other visitors. The buildings had green domes, some as high as 130 feet. There was a double wall around the city 90 feet high with four gates in the wall each adorned with an iron door. A new class of businessman, craftsmen, mer- chants, theologians and scholars a rose due to the sudden prosperity of the city. Trade was carried on throughout the caliphate, with fresh fruits and new products finding their way in the markets of the city. Business, industry and trade made great strides. Basra and Siraf were the busiest ports of the world. The Abbasid coins recently unearthed in Scandinavia testify to the fact that trade activity was worldwide. On Caliph Harun al-Rashid’s death, it is said, the state treasury contained 900 million dinars. Intellectual activity The real glory of Baghdad was not in wealth but in her intellectual creativity. Harun al- Rashid’s court attracted emi- nent poets, scholars, musicians and dancers. Science and art was patronised by the Caliph as well as by his learned viziers like Khalid and Yahya Barmaki. A special bureau of poetry was established which bestowed large sums of money on worthy poets. The intellectual activity of Baghdad passed through two stages, translation fro m Sanskrit, Pahlavi, Syriac, and G reek in the 9th and 10th centuries and later original works produced by eminent scientists like Ibn Sena (d.1037) and al-Tusi. The translation work started under the Umayyad rule. Khalid ibn Yazid (d.704), an Umayyad prince is reported to have translated works on chemistry, medicine and astrology. The translation movement received impetus under caliph al-Mansur and reached its apogee under caliph al-Mamun. The translation work was all but complete during the caliphate of al- Mutawakil (847-861). During the reign of Caliph al- Mansur (754-775) the trans- lation work was backed by the government, unlocking the 38 Europe’s Debt to the Islamic World The Review of Religions – June 2003 treasures of Greek knowledge. He founded a department in which classical and scientific works were translated fro m various languages into Arabic. People of high rank also took part in this endeavour. The translation work started with two manuscripts, one on mathematics and the other on astronomy that were brought to his court. The works of Greek mathematicians, which were translated during the Abbasid Caliphate and served as the starting point for Arab mathematics were those of Euclid, Ptolemy, Autolyscus, A r i s t a rchos and Arc h i m e d e s . Without these Arabic trans- lations, the philosophical, mathematical and scientific works of Greek masters would have been lost in Greek Imperial Palaces. Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al- Fazari (d.796) translated into Arabic in 772 the Sanskrit a s t ronomical work of Brahmagupta called S i d d h a n t a (Arabic Sindhind) by order of Caliph al-Mansur. This translation was possibly the vehicle for the transmission of the Hindu numerals from India to Islam later reaching Europe in its modified form as Arabic Numerals. In literature a book Kalila wa- Dimna was translated fro m Pahlavi into Arabic by Ibn al- Muqaffa (d758) which was the first literary work in Arabic. He is mainly known for his two translations, one Siyar al-Muluk al-Ajam (History of the Persian Kings) and Hazar Afsana (Alif Laila wa Laila), translated into English as Thousand and One Nights. Al-Hajaj ibn Yousuf ibn Mater was the first translator (829) of Ptolemy’s astronomical t reatise, Megale Syntaxis, into Arabic under the title al-Majisti. He was also the first to make an Arabic translation of Euclid’s Elements (830), which became a s o u rce for Geometry worldwide. Abu Yahya ibn Al-Bitriq (d758) was commissioned by al- Mansur to translate numerous medical works. He was one of the pioneer translators of Greek into Arabic. He translated Galen’s S i m p l i c i a; the D e Prohibenda Sepultura and the De 39 Europe’s Debt to the Islamic World The Review of Religions – June 2003 Cura Icteri of the pseudo-Galen. He also translated Hippocrates: De Alimento (Kitab al-gida), De Septimanis, (Kitab al-asabi), and Ptolemy’s Quadripartitum (Kitab al-Arabi’a). Sa’id ibn al-Bitriq, was Patriarc h of Alexandria from 933 to 940 whose works put him on an equal footing with Qusta ibn Luqa. In the field of medicine he w rote Kitab fi tibb (lost), in h i s t o r y, Kitab at-Ta r i k h a l – M a j m u ’ a l – Tahqiq wa al-Ta s d i q, more commonly known under the name, Nazam al-Gawahar. As an apologist, he wrote in defence of C h r i s t i a n i t y, Kitab al-gadal bain al- muhalef wa al-nasrani. Institute of Advance Study During the Caliphate of al- Mamun al-Rashid (813-33) the translation work reached its zenith. Al-Mamun established a scientific academy in Baghdad, Bayt al-Hikmah in 830. It comprised a large library, an observatory near Shamsiyya gate, houses for scientists, a b u reau of translation, several copyists, and some basic scientific instruments. Any scientist belonging to any faith, region or culture was free to carry out his re s e a rch here . Mathematicians such as al- Kindi, al-Khawrizmi, al-Hajjaj, Hunayn ibn Ishaq, Sabit ibn Qurra, al-Jawhari and the Banu Musa brothers were appointed by al-Ma’mun to the House of Wisdom. Works on astronomy, mathematics, geography, philo- s o p h y, and medicine w e re re n d e red into Arabic. The g roundwork done by these scholars provided the foun- dation by which the stately edifice of Islamic learning was built. The caliphate of al- Mamun, undoubtedly consti- tutes the most glorious epoch in Islam. Abu Zakariya Yuhanna Ibn Masawayh (d.857) a physician, was its first dire c t o r. He translated various Gre e k medical works into Arabic. The Academy of Wisdom was a centre of practical and specu- lative studies and encouraged not only translations fro m Syriac, Pahlavi, Greek, and Sanskrit, but also the diffusion of translated works. His book was translated into Latin as Liber de simplicibus. 40 Europe’s Debt to the Islamic World The Review of Religions – June 2003 Hunain Ibn Ishaq (809-873) was the second director of the A c a d e m y. As an outstanding translator he re n d e red into Arabic the complete medical and philosophical works of Galen as well as Aristotle’s physics & the Old Te s t a m e n t f rom Greek. He travelled to Asia Minor to search for rare medical manuscripts and b rought these to Iraq. In his translation work, Hunayn was assisted by his able son Ishaq, and nephew Hubaish ibn al- Hassan. His many students completed the trans-lation of Plato, Hippocrates, Ptolemy, Euclid, and Pythagoras into Arabic, and made great original discoveries in arithmetic, particularly in integral calculus and spherical astronomy. Caliph al-Mamun (813-833) is said to have paid him in gold for his translations, weight for weight. Hunayn also composed a number of original medical writings, including the influential Questions on Medicine for Beginners, Summaries & c o m m e n t a r i e s on Galen’s 16 books, On the Method of Healing and On the Type of fevers. Two methods were employed for translations, one of them was that the translator studied each Greek word and its meaning, chose an Arabic word with corresponding meaning and used it. Then he turned to the next word until he had re n d e red the whole text into Arabic. The second method was that of Hunayn who considered the whole sentence, understood its full meaning and expressed it in Arabic without any regard for the individual word. With respect to technical terminology, the process of trial and error was used. It was a diff i c u l t process to express many foreign ideas, hence making trans- lations was not an easy task. Gradually the Arabic language developed the technical termi- nology it needed to express new thoughts, ideas and concepts. Ishaq Ibn Hunayn (d.910) was trained under his father’ s supervision in Greek sciences and the discipline of translation. His first language was Syriac, but his knowledge of Arabic was far superior to his father’s. He found special favour with Caliph al-Mutamid (870-892) and al- 41 Europe’s Debt to the Islamic World The Review of Religions – June 2003 Mutadid (892-902). His original works in medicine are On the Simple Medicine, Outline of M e d i c i n e, and History of P h y s i c i a n s. As one of the ablest translators, he translated various works of Plato, Porphyry, Alexander of Aphro d i s i a s , Ammonious, Autolycus, Galen, Euclid, Aristotle, Ptolemy and H y p s i c l es. Musa Al-Khawrizmi (d.780) was one of the earliest scientists who did his re s e a rch at Bayt al- Hikma. Al-Khwarizmi started his re s e a rch by translating and writing a commentary on S i d d h a n t a. He pre p a red an atlas of the maps of heaven which has been preserved. On request fro m his patron al-Mamun he wrote a book on algebraic calculations and e q u a t i o n s translated into Latin in 1143. Several of his books were translated into Latin in the early 12th century. In fact, his book on arithmetic, Kitab al-Jam’a wal- Ta f reeq bil Hisab al-Hindi, was lost in Arabic but survived in a Latin translation. His book on algebra, Al-Maqala fi Hisab-al Jabr wa-al- M u q a b i l a h, was also translated into Latin in the 12th century, and it was this translation which i n t roduced this new science to the West. His astronomical tables w e re also translated into E u ropean languages and later into Chinese. Several of his books were translated into other languages, and served as university textbooks till the 16th c e n t u r y. The three Banu Musa brothers devoted most of their wealth to the acquisition of Gre e k manuscripts, and their trans- lations into Arabic. Hunayn and Sabit ibn Qurra were two of the most famous translators they employed. It should be emphasised that the translations into Arabic at this time were made by physicians, scientists and mathematicians, not by lan- guage experts ignorant of mathematics, and the need for the translations was stimulated by the most advanced research of the time. It is important to realise that the translating was done as part of the curre n t re s e a rch effort. Arabic trans- lations of mathematical works of those times gave the Arabs the sources to develop the 42 Europe’s Debt to the Islamic World The Review of Religions – June 2003 science of mathematics to an admirably high degree and modern scientists owe much to Arab genius. Sabit ibn Qurra (836-901) founded a school of translation that included his son, two grandsons, and a gre a t – grandson. He revised old translations such as Euclid, and made new ones covering the bulk of Greek astronomical and mathematical works. Caliph al- Mutadid (892-902) was his patron. His revision of Euclid’s Elements formed the basis of later Arabic versions. Yaqoob Al-Kindi (801-873) was among the galaxy of intellectuals who occupied the science academy of al-Mamun. His major task was the translation of Aristotle’s Theology into Arabic. He was a physician, a musician, a mathematician and an a s t ro l o g e r. He served as court physician to al-Mutasim (833- 842). His book on optics (Kitab al-Manazir) was translated into Latin and was used by Roger Bacon (1214-1294). He wrote 36 books on medicine. In 1962 his millenary anniversary was held in Baghdad, and one speaker attributed 281 titles to him. Most of his works have survived in Latin rather than Arabic. He polished the translations made by others and also wro t e commentaries. He was known as Alkindus in Latin. Ahmad ibn Yousuf al-Misri (835- 912) wrote a work on ratio and p roportion, a book On similar a rcs, a commentary on Ptolemy’s Centiloquium and a book about the astrolabe. Ahmad’s work on ratio and proportion was a c a refully constructed work that influenced early Euro p e a n mathematicians such as Fibonacci. Qusta ibn Luqa (835-912) was a prominent figure in the Graeco- Arabic translation movement that reached its peak in the 9th century. He made, revised, or supervised translations of six G reek masters Diophantus, Theodosius, Autolycus, Hero n , Hypsciles and Aristarchus into Arabic. He also produced more than 60 works of his own. He w rote mainly on medical subjects, but also on mathe- matics and astro n o m y. There 43 Europe’s Debt to the Islamic World The Review of Religions – June 2003 was also Mankah the Indian, who translated from Sanskrit into Arabic, and translated a treatise on poisons written by the Indian physician Shanaq. Al-Farabi (d.870) studied in Baghdad, his commentaries on Aristotle’s logic, physics, and metaphysics earned him the title of al-Muallim al-thani (the second teacher). He introduced Plato into Islam, having been inspired by his book Republic. Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (1201-74) w rote many commentaries on G reek texts including re v i s e d Arabic versions of works by Autolycus, Aristarchus, Euclid, Apollonius, Arc h i m e d e s , Hypsicles, Ptolemy, Theodosius, and Memelaus. In 1247 al-Tu s i w rote Tahrir al-Majisti (Com- mentary on the Almagest) in which he introduced various trigonometrical techniques to calculate tables of sines. Many historians claim that Copernicus used Tusi’s work. One of his pupils Qutab ad-Din al-Shirazi gave the first satisfactory mathematical explanation of the r a i n b o w. Islamic Spain Al-Hakam, the ninth Caliph of Islamic Spain (961-976) was the most scholarly ruler of Islam. A g reat patron of sciences, he encouraged the study of mathematics, astronomy and medicine. Cordoba was one of the greatest cities of the world at the time. Its university housed in the great mosque, embraced among its departments theol- ogy, jurisprudence, astro-nomy, mathematics, and medicine. C o rdoba’s workshops were producing some 60,000 bound volumes each year. Students from many European countries flocked to Cordoba, To l e d o , Granada and Seville to study sciences and other disciplines. When European rulers needed an artist, a physician, or a technologist, they invariably turned to the Cord o b a n government. A Saxon nun ( H rositha) styled Cordoba as ‘The Jewel of the World’. According to Philip K, Hitti, ‘Al-Hakam was a bibliophile; his agents ransacked the book-shops of Alexandria, Damascus and 44 Europe’s Debt to the Islamic World The Review of Religions – June 2003 Baghdad with a view to buying or copying manu- scripts. The books thus g a t h e red are said to have n u m b e red 400,000, their titles filling a catalogue of 44 volumes, in each one of which 20 sheets were devoted to poetical works alone.’ (Capital Cities of Islam, p.320) Al-Hakam, himself being an outstanding scholar, personally used a large number of these books and wrote marginal notes on most of the manuscripts which made them very valuable to later scholars. The celebrated Caliph paid extraord i n a r y prices for the rare manuscripts. According to Ibn Khaldun he p u rchased the first copy of Kitab al-Aghani, written by al- Isfahani for one thousand pure gold dinars. Translations in Europe The knowledge translated into Arabic was from Sanskrit, Pahlavi, Syriac and Gre e k sources. Most of the translators w e re physicians. The first manuscripts to be translated were in medicine, mathematics, and astronomy. A good number of the translators were Syrians, Persians and Nestorian Christians. Jewish translators did participate only later and made translations from Arabic into Latin. The contributions by Arab rulers were significant, consisting mainly in the patronage of translation work and securing Greek manu- scripts. The golden age of translations was the ninth c e n t u r y. Muslims became standard bearers of civilisation. Translation work was the driving force for Islam, as soon as it dried up the march of Islam came to a halt. The age of translations lasted for 150 years (750-900), and paved the way for the age of composition and innovation. The latter half of the ninth and the tenth centuries form the most creative period in the history of Islamic science and learning. In Western Europe the translation work from Arabic into Latin started in the 12th c e n t u r y. Spain in this re s p e c t played the leading role in 45 Europe’s Debt to the Islamic World The Review of Religions – June 2003 transmitting Islamic learning to Western Europe. There were towering intellectual figure s like Av e m p a c e of Saragossa, Abubacer (Ibn To f a i l), and Av e r roes (Ibn Rushd), the astronomers al-Bitrogi, and Ibn Aflah, Maslama al-Majriti, instrument maker and designer Arzachel (al-Zarqali), the great surgeon Albucasis (Abul Qasim- d.936), the great physician Avenzoar (Ibn Zuhr), Avicebron (Ibn Gabirol), and Maimonides (Ibn Maimoon d.1204) who enriched every field of knowledge. Within Europe men of diverse learning traveled to Islamic Spain to study; chief among them were Gerbert of Aurillac, Adelard of Bath, Plato of Tavoli, Robert of Chester, Herman of Carinthia, Rudolph of Bruges, Gerard of Cremona and Michael Scott. Most of them were engaged in translations fro m Arabic into Latin. The translation work was carried on at Barcelona, Tarazona, Leon, Pamplona, Toulouse, Narbonne, Marseilles, and later To l e d o became the chief centre. Toledo had been in Muslim hands from 712 to 1085, and soon became the residence of the King of Castile. The ancient city was the natural place for the exchange of Christian and Muslim learning. There was a wealth of Arabic books, and a number of local scholars were masters of two tongues. The translations here started around 1135 and continued until the time of King Alfonso X (1252- 84). A large part of the population used Arabic as their own language. Consequently it became the main channel for transmitting the tre a s u res of Islamic erudition to Europe. The translators worked in pairs. A scholar would translate the original Arabic into Romance (garbled Latin) and another would make the Latin version. Many European scholars like Michael Scott travelled to Spain and Sicily to learn Arabic and to make direct translation into Latin. Churchmen took an active role as patrons or translators. A rchbishop Raymond (11 2 5 – 1151) took the first initiative and established a school of translation on the pattern of 46 Europe’s Debt to the Islamic World The Review of Religions – June 2003 Baghdad’s Bayt al-Hikma. Then a rchdeacon of Segovia, Dominicus Gondisalvi (11 2 6 – 5 1 ) made several translations of Arabic philosophy (including K u l l i y a t of Ibn Rushd), the M e t a p h y s i c s and other works of Ibn Sena, Yanboo al-Hayat ( t h e Fons Vitae) of Ibn Gabirol, I h s a l a l – U l o o m of al-Farabi, and philosophy of al-Ghazzali. His classification of the sciences can be traced to al-Farabi. Translators of 12th century Some of the outstanding translators of the 12th century w e re: Adelard of Bath (111 6 – 1142) John of Seville (1126-51), Gundisalvo (1126-51), Herman the Dalmatian (1138-45), Hugh of Santala (1119-51), Robert of Chester (1141-50), Plato of Tavoli (1133-50), Stephen of Antioch (1128), Abraham ben Ezra (1092-1167), Abraham bar Hayya (1133-50) and Gerard of Cremona (1114-87). The twelfth century was a period in which translations fro m Arabic into Latin dominated all other achievements. The impact of this activity was enormous. Toledo became a world centre of c u l t u re. The transmission of Arabic knowledge helped pave the way for the founding of E u ropean universities in Bologna (founded 1113), and Salerno in Italy, Paris and Montpellier (founded 1181) in France, Oxford and Cambridge in England. The internal o rganisation of these Euro p e a n colleges was strikingly similar to the Islamic ones, for example the idea of Graduate (S a h i b) and u n d e rgraduate (m u t a f a q q i h) is derived directly from Islamic terms. The library of the Montpellier University contained all the translations of the Arab writers. In the 14th century Montpellier was the principle center for the teaching of Arabian medicine and astronomy. In 953 Otto the Great, King of Germans, sent as envoy a monk, John, who resided in Cordoba for thre e years, learned Arabic and took back with him numero u s scientific manuscripts. The teachings and influences of the Arabs, according to C. Elgood, spread thro u g h Montpellier and Bologna to 47 Europe’s Debt to the Islamic World The Review of Religions – June 2003 every medical school in Western Europe. In Paris at one time the whole faculty of medicine consisted of books by Al-Razi and Ibn Sena, to this day their portraits hang in the hall of the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Paris. Ibn-Sena and al-Razi’s textbooks were taught at Montpellier until 1555, while at the University of Loraine up to the middle of the 17th century, and lectures on Ibn Sena continued at Brussels University in Belgium until 1909. The curricula of Padua (founded in 1222), Palermo (founded in 1110) and of Oxford in England (founded in 1167), consisted largely of Arab medical textbooks. Al- Zahrawi’s medical masterpiece, al-Tasrif, was used for centuries as the manual of surgery in Salerno, Montpellier and other schools of medicine. Roger Bacon himself founded his monumental Optics on the basis of Ibn-Haytham’s work Kitab al-Manazir, in fact part V of his Opus Majus which is devoted to ‘perspective’ is virtually an exact copy of Ibn al- Haisham’s afore m e n t i o n e d book. He wrote a scientific encyclopedia resembling in many ways Avicenna’s al-Shifa. (Jewish Encyclopedia, vol 6, page 570). Thomas Aquinas was led to write his Summas by Arabic translations of Aristotle. Adelard of Bath (1075-1160) was one of earliest translators who made the wholesome con- version of Arab-Greek learning f rom Arabic into Latin. He made Latin translations of Euclid’s Elements from Arabic s o u rces which were for centuries the chief geometry textbooks in the West. His translation of al-Khwarizmi’s astronomical tables became the first Latin astronomical tables of the Arabic type with their Greek influences and Indian symbols. Abraham bar Hayya (1070-1136) spent most of his life in Barcelona, an area of both Arab and Christian learning, and was active in translating the masterpieces of Arab science. He deplored the lack of knowledge of Arab science and language among the people and helped translate works into Latin. He had also studied some of the important works on 48 Europe’s Debt to the Islamic World The Review of Religions – June 2003 algebra by Arab mathe- maticians, in particular al- Khwarizimi and al-Karaji. Abraham ben Ezra (1092-1167) translated al-Biruni’s commen- tary on al-Khwarizmi’s tables and made interesting comments on the introduction of Indian mathematics into Arabic science in the 8th century. He was the first to translate Islamic writings into Hebrew. G e r a rd of Cremona (111 4 – 8 7 ) arrived in Toledo from Italy in 1165. He was impressed by the wealth of the city’s Arabic l i t e r a t u re in science and p h i l o s o p h y. He spent the remaining years of his life in translating the best of the Arabic books into Latin. All in all he made seventy-one translations. The two most important translations he made were A l m a g e s t and the first Latin translation of the gigantic a l – Q a n u n; the most widely studied medical work ever penned. Robert of Chester (1141-50) an Englishman, translated al-Kindi (Ahkam al-Najum), Khalid ibn Yazid’s alchemical treatise, first translation of al-Khwarizmi’s algebra, Ptolemy’s treatise on a s t rolabe and also did the first Latin translation of the Holy Q u r’an. Plato of Tivoli (11 3 3 – 5 0 ) translated Ptolemy’s first work into Latin, i.e. a treatise on astrology from Arabic. He also translated works of al-Mansur (aphorisms), al-Khaiyat, al- F a rg h a n i (Elements of A s t ronomy), and ibn Saffar ( a s t rolabe). Marc of To l e d o (1190-1200) translated the Holy Q u r’an into Latin, Hunain’s translations of Galenic treatises, and several original works of Hunain. Thirteenth century Some of the pro m i n e n t translators of this century were Michael Scott, Samuel ibn Tibbon, Ibn Hasdai, Arnold of Villanova, Bonacost, Faraj ben Salim, Herman the German, Alfonso X, Judah ben Moses, Abraham of Toledo, Solomon ibn Ayyub and Moses ibn Tibbon. Michael Scott (1200-35) is the second most important trans- lator of the Arabic literary 49 Europe’s Debt to the Islamic World The Review of Religions – June 2003 t re a s u re for Europe. By his translations he intro d u c e d Europe to three new things of great consequence – Aristotelian z o o l o g y, al-Bitruji’s (d.1204) astronomy, and the philosophy of ibn Rushd (1198). His efforts made it possible for ibn-Rushd’s philosophy to reach and influence Europe immensely at a time when most Muslims were unaware of him. Scott did his best translations while in Toledo. Later he moved to Sicily to work as royal translator for the Holy Roman Empero r Frederick II. King Alfonso X (1252-84) o rganised an institute of translation where pro m i n e n t scholars like Judah ben Moses and Abraham of Toledo did the work. He ord e red the translation of works such as: Al- B a t t a n i (Canons), Ibn al- Haytham (Kitab al-Bari fee Ahkam al-Nujum, fee Haiyat al- Alam), Abdur al-Rahman al-Sufi (Kitab al-Kawakib), Qusta ibn Luqa (Kitab al-Amal Bilkurra al- Fulkiyya), al-Zarqali (two books on armilery sphere and a l – S a f i h a), five books on clocks, Ubaid Allah (Book of the crosses). The King had the translations made into the Castilian language rather than Latin. The best known of such translations were the Alfonsine Tables, based on the astro n o m i c a l observations made by al-Zarqali (Azarquiel) in Toledo in the 11th c e n t u r y. Copernicus later employed these Tables in evolving a new astro n o m i c a l system centering on the sun instead of the earth. Abraham of Toledo translated ibn al-Haytham’s (d.1040) treatise on the configuration of the universe, al-Zarq a l i ’ s treatise on the construction and use of astrolabe, and the 70th chapter (Surat al-Muarij) of the Holy Qur’an. Shem Tob ben Isaac translated important medical works, thus Muslim medicine became available to Jewish physicians who did not know Arabic. Nathan Hameati, an Italian known as the prince of translators, made translations from Arabic into Hebrew. It is noteworthy that ibn Sena’s masterpiece al-Qanun fee al-tibb (Lat. Canon) was translated 57 times, and was first published in 50 Europe’s Debt to the Islamic World The Review of Religions – June 2003 1473 and by 1500, sixteen editions had been published. It was published for the last time in 1593. In the works of Ferrari da Grado, who was steeped in Islamic medicine, Ibn Sena is cited more than 3000 times, al- Razi and Galen 1000 times, and Hippocrates only a hundre d t i m e s . The French surgeon Guy de Chauliac in his Great Surgery, completed in about 1363, quoted At-Tasrif over 200 times. Jacques Delechamps (1513- 1588), another French surgeon, made extensive use of At-Tasrif in his elaborate commentary. Abu Mashar (Lat. Albumasar) held the belief that astral influence controlled life and death. He communicated to Europe the fact that the laws of tides were based of the relation to the moon’s rising and setting. (Hitti, p. 252). Raymond Lull was a great Arabic scholar. He wrote several works in Arabic which he later translated into Catalan, Latin or both. In his Compendium of al-Ghazzali’s logic, he made a summary of Ghazzali’s logic and translated it into Latin. The Arabic college in Majorca was founded at his request in 1276 by Pope John XXI. 14th century translators During the fourteenth century there was a gradual decline in translations from Arabic into Latin. By the end of the century they had almost ceased. Arabic into Hebrew replaced these translations. The Jews enjoyed complete freedom in Islamic Spain. Arabic being the medium of education in Spain, they took a leading part in the translations of Arabic works into Hebrew. Jews were the great exponents of Islamic learning. In Italy they founded schools along the line of the Andalusian schools in Bari, Salerno and Tarentum as well as others in France and England. The period of translation was followed by a period when Arabic learning was classified and assimilated. The gro u n d was now ready for the Europeans to produce their own creative works. This paved the way for the intellectual growth and re-birth of Western Europe. Some of the outstanding 51 Europe’s Debt to the Islamic World The Review of Religions – June 2003 translators of 14th century include Moses ben Solomon, Qalonymos, Samuel ben Judah, Samuel ibn Motot, Abraham A b i g d o r, Solomon ben David and Stephen son of Arnold. Role of Sicily Another place where translations were made was the island of Sicily. After the conquest of Islamic Sicily by the Normans in 1091, the Norman Kings exercised tolerance towards their Muslim subjects. Roger (d.1101), the first King of Sicily, calling himself al-Malik al- Muazzam al-Qidees, was accused of being more Muslim than Christian. Kaiser Frederick II ( 1194-1250), the enlightened ruler adopted Islamic customs and did more than others in the diffusion of Islamic learning. Jews played a vital role in the t r a n s l a t i o n s f rom Arabic. Faraj ben Salem translated al-Razi’s Kitab al-Hawi, (Latin L i b e r C o n t i n e n s) in Sicily. Mese of Palermo translated astro – nomical and medical works f rom Arabic into Latin. Southern Italy also assisted in d i ffusing the Islamic culture . Bonacosa translated the Kulliyat of Ibn Rushd at Padua in 1255, Paravisius translated in 1290 Ab-Taysir of Ibn Zuhr in Venice, and Andrea Alphago of Baluno (1520) translated the biograph- ical dictionary of Ibn al-Kifti as well as works of Ibn Sena and Ibn Rushd. Mention must be made of Constantanus Africanus (1010-87) who was born in Carthage, but moved to Salerno, before retiring in 1076 to Monte Cassino. There he spent his remaining years in great activity; among the 30-odd medical works attributed to him are translations of Hippocrates, Galen, Isaac Judaeus, and Ali Abbas (Haly Abbas). Impact of translations Some of the pro m i n e n t E u ropean scholars influenced by Islamic learning include A d e l a rd of Bath, St. Thomas Aquinas, Roger Bacon, Dante Algheri, Pascal, Copernicus and Newton. The effect of these translations on Western Europe was revolutionary. The influx of new books stirred the world of scholarship, compelled new developments in grammar, p h i l o l o g y, and above all 52 Europe’s Debt to the Islamic World The Review of Religions – June 2003 provided curriculum for schools and universities. Theory and practise of medicine along with other disciplines was advanced by these translations. A whole new range of ideas provided a new stimulus. In a nutshell these translations were a catalyst for the European mind and brought about the dawn of the Renaissance in the 15th century. References 1. Capital Cities of Islam by Phillip K. Hitti. 2. Arabic Thought and its Place in History by De Lacy O’Leary. 3. Jewish Encyclopedia, 17 volumes. 4. The Arabic language by Anwer Chejne, 1969. 5. Renaissance of the 12th Century by C.H. Haskins. 6. Arabic Thought and the Western World by E.A. Myers, NY. 7. Dictionary of Scientific B i o g r a p h y. 16 volumes, NY, 1970. 8. The Classical Heritage in Islam, by F Rosenthal, 1975 9. Studies in the History of Medieval Science, by C.H. Haskins, 1924. 10. How Greek Science passed to A r a b s, by De Lacy O’Leary, 1979.