The House of Wisdom

What do the words algebra, benzene, and cipher have in common? They're all derived from Arabic.  Who was the first scientist to posit that light was composed of particles? Newton? Think again. In the centuries after the collapse of the Roman Empire, when much of the knowledge of antiquity was lost to Western Europe, science and learning thrived in the Arab world, which not only preserved knowledge of the classical world but also made original breakthroughs in chemistry, physics, mathematics and astronomy. The House of Wisdom is the story of this crucial chapter in world history. It's one of the books provided to SPL by the NEH Muslim Journeys grant. On Thursday, May 30, at 7 pm in the Central Library, Tufts University professor Malik Mufti will lead a discussion of this fascinating book. There are a number of copies in the network, so place your requests now. Happy reading...

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