By Richard E. Rubenstein
Richard Rubenstein recounts with power and power this exceptional tale of the highbrow ferment that planted the seeds of the medical age in Europe and displays our personal struggles with religion and reason.
Read Online or Download Aristotle's Children: How Christians, Muslims, and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom and Illuminated the Dark Ages PDF
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Extra info for Aristotle's Children: How Christians, Muslims, and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom and Illuminated the Dark Ages
We can imagine the young provincial entering the Academy for the first time, full of dreams and self-doubt. In Stagira, his hometown near the Macedonian border, he is accounted a genius, but this is Athens, and the Academy is home to the greatest thinkers of the Greek world. No known subject lies outside the intellectual reach of the Academicians. " The acting director, Eudoxus, a student of medicine and politics, has developed a system to account for the movements of the heavenly bodies by picturing them as attached to nested spheres that rotate, each at its own pace, around the fixed earth.
The Christians would not drive the Muslims out of Spain altogether until the fall of Grenada in 1492, but by 1100, great centers of Islamic culture like Toledo and Lisbon were already under their control. The very length of this campaign, and the fact that the cities and peoples conquered were among the most civilized on earth, made it more "a work of co-penetration and synthesis" than a simple military crusade. "1 In a way, the Reconquest resembled the "barbarian" takeover of Rome centuries earlier, for the society that the conquerors acquired was far more developed than their own.
Could there be hidden in some long-forgotten storehouse a treasure trove of ancient knowledge—a body of learning so powerful and advanced that recovering it would revolutionize our thinking and transform our lives? From the standpoint of modern science, the notion is utter fantasy. We understand that scientific learning is cumulative, with each generation building on the work of its predecessors. We know a great deal more about the universe than our grandparents did, and their knowledge far outweighs that of their ancestors.