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Moller also reveals the web of connections between the Islamic world and Christendom connections that would both preserve and transform astronomy mathematics and medicine from the early Middle Ages to the Renaissance Vividly told and with a dazzling cast of characters The Map of Knowledge is an evocative nuanced and vibrant account of our common intellectual heritage. In The Map of Knowledge Violet Moller traces the transmission of knowledge from the ancient Mediterranean via the Abbasid and Umayyad caliphates and centuries of scholars and translators from 500 CE to the European Renaissance This summary might sound a little dry but Moller s semi conversational style and the content made her overview of a thousand years of history highly readable Outside of academia I don t know that many people know how much of a debt we Westerners owe to the ancient world The ancient Greek and Graeco Egyptian scholars gave us again Westerners our start on the scientific method philosophy geometry medicine and so many other topics We would have lost so much if it hadn t been for medieval Arab scholars and translators At the same time however I lament what we lost anyway to time and deliberate destruction Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley for review consideration

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The Map of Knowledge

In The Map of Knowledge Violet Moller traces the journey taken by the ideas of three of the greatest scientists of antiuity – Euclid Galen and Ptolemy – through seven cities and over a thousand years In it we follow them from sixth century Alexandria to ninth century Baghdad from Muslim Cordoba to Catholic Toledo from Salerno’s medieval medical school to Palermo. Great book to read Easy to follow and keeps things interesting jumping from city to city among centuries to follow the birth of the printed knowledge It has a lot of references to classic works of literature and to the culture where they developed Read if you are into classical history

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Capital of Sicily’s vibrant mix of cultures and – finally – to Venice where that great merchant city’s printing presses would enable Euclid’s geometry Ptolemy’s system of the stars and Galen’s vast body of writings on medicine to spread even widely In tracing these fragile strands of knowledge from century to century from east to west and north to south. I was very disappointed in this as I was expecting a lot and for it to be a lot interesting Instead it reads like a Wikipedia page The author bends over backwards to point out that the Muslim world was keeping the light on in the sciences during Christian Europe s Dark AgesFirst of all I was fully aware of the contribution to scholarship in the Arab world during the centuries of their short lived dominance I studied Arabic and the Muslim world for many years Her exuberance to inform the ignorant of the Arab achievements at times seemed to be unnecessary cheerleading or a lecture on political correctness She points out again and again the lack of medical education in Europe during the centuries between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance but what did anyone anywhere contribute to medical science in that era Not much It wasn t until the late years of the 19th century that any real progress was made in medicineShe includes only a sentence or two to mark just when the light went out in the Muslim world around the middle of the 15th century Sic transit Gloria mundi as the Latins would say The lights went out even earlier in Spain well before the final Reconuest of 1492 in Granada More and religious Muslim sects ruled Al Andaluz leaving behind scholarship and learningShe also makes a lot of hay over the supposed religious tolerance or the Muslims something that has been repeated ad nauseam although it s a bit of a myth or at least an exaggeration Of course they treated women as badly as anyone in history so at least half of their subjects were political prisoners at best and few if any were educated


10 thoughts on “The Map of Knowledge

  1. says:

    There was a program on PBS when I was in middle or high school that was I think produced in the UKlike most really good science programs The program was called Connections and it would take a subject and connect all the hist

  2. says:

    This book is an interesting discussion of how classical ideas made their way through history It follows the writings of three Ancient Greek scientists Ptolemy Euclid and Galen from their inception in Antiuity to their dissemination through the printing press in the 15th Century via seven selected cities As a result this book is a fusion of pure history and a history of ideas Moller discusses both the fortunes of the seven cities s

  3. says:

    Great book to read Easy to follow and keeps things interesting jumping from city to city among centuries to follow the birth of the printed knowledge It has a lot of references to classic works of literature and to the culture where they developed Read if you are into classical history

  4. says:

    I was very disappointed in this as I was expecting a lot and for it to be a lot interesting Instead it reads like a Wikipedia page The author bends over backwards to point out that the Muslim world was keeping t

  5. says:

    A very interesting book that answered a uestion that I now wonder why I never thought to ask it what happened to all the science and philosophy of the ancient world during the thousand years of the Dark Ages when in most of Europe Christianity was keen on banning and burning such pagan thoughts? How come so many of them were still available and alive in some form or other when the Renaissance came about?This book provides the answ

  6. says:

    Moller traces the history of Galen Euclid and Ptolemy as their ideas are first written down then fostered in the Middle East and re introduced to Midevil Europe at the start of the RenissanceLimiting the scope of Classical transmission to these men and not including say Aristotle seems a bit odd interesting trivia Aristotle was the

  7. says:

    Most students in the USA have had only a Euro centric perspective of history provided to them exclusively with a Christian White view leaving out massive accomplishments of non Christian cultures For instance the Dark Ages happened largely just in Europe but not necessarily in eastern regions where learning and culture flourished and Muslim Jewish scientists and scholars produced great work Substantial piece of scholarship

  8. says:

    In The Map of Knowledge Violet Moller traces the transmission of knowledge from the ancient Mediterranean via the Abbasid and Umayyad caliphates and centuries of scholars and translators from 500 CE to the European Renaissance This summary might sound a little dry but Moller’s semi conversational style and t

  9. says:

    You might like this audiobook like I did if you like to learn about the start of religious thoughts science medicine and books

  10. says:

    Enlightening survey of math science and medicine from late classical times to the beginning of the Renaissance Moller focuses on Eu