Yep, all great stuff and I’m familiar with all of that history and find it infinitely fascinating.
geoffrey poremba
1

Yes, without a doubt at that period it was ‘the center of the world’. Yet I think one bit of gerrymandering that has occurred around the whole ‘Islam brought science to the backwards dark brutish West/Europe’ is that in fact those cultures were millennia ahead of Arabia/Islamic society. The West ‘descended’ into darkness and mayhem which is what allowed a relatively immature society to prosper in their wake. Most of the famous Islamic contributors to science were in fact Persian, Jewish, Roman, Greek or Spaniards that had converted to Islam. Some of this was by choice, alot was to avoid being classified as a second class tax/jizya paying citizen of the Caliphate (as the three choices were submit and retain your religion as second-class citizen and pay taxes, convert and you don’t pay taxes, or die). Much of the ‘glory’ people attribute to the Golden Age of Cordoba is due to the fact that after imposing hegemony from Iberia to Persia, the Caliphs had the ancient teachings of the several amazing western and eastern cultures translated so all could share in them; I speak of the Roman, Greek, Jewish and Persian Empires all of whom, had highly sophisticated cultures, architecture and science centuries and even milennia before they were resurrected in Cordoba. It was the resurrection, dissemination and mixture of those cultures which were 2000 years ahead of Arabia/Islam before they went dark that allowed the world to leapfrog into what eventually became The Renaissance. Yet it is often presented as a bunch of backwards loin wearing western savages who were shown the light of science and civilization by Arabian Islam. In Lawrence of Arabia King Faisal says to TE Lawrence “ In the Arab city of Cordova, there were two miles of public lighting in the streets when London was a village” yet there was no ‘Arab City of Cordova’ there was a Spanish/Iberian city of Cordoba, conquered by the sword by the Berber Muslims who likewise knew nothing of streetlights at the time which created a nexus of knowledge and learning from cultures the Berbers never approached before. Lawrence, paving the way for articles such as the one above says ‘Time to be great again my lord”, playing into the myth that Arabia had a great civilization centuries ahead of the reset of the world who lived in relative darkness when in fact the opposite was the truth. King Faisal had no greatness to return to at least the kind to which he referred. The British did, the West did, the Romans and Persians (Iranians) and Babylonians did. This is not to cast aspersions at all but by playing into this mythology we help support a narrative that perpetuates the violence we see today.

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