|I don't understand, did you read my citations? I'll ask again. WHEN do you think Islamic scholars started reading Aristotle? WHERE do you think they came across these texts? WHO had kept them? If you expect me to take you seriously that I'm not proving myself here, despite the sources I gave you showing who kept these texts, then please by all means provide the time line from when Aristotle wrote his works to how they came into contact with Muslim scholars? We are talking about almost a millennium here, please provide proof someone other than the Byzantines were keeping these books all those centuries long before the Muslims came into contact with them. We know that the Byzantines (which is another name for the Eastern Roman Empire) didn't fall until the 15th century, we know that the Western half of the empire fell to constant barbarian invasions and lost their knowledge of the classical world. We are talking about Greek and Roman texts, obviously the only empire left standing that had the resources and the stability to keep a library of these texts and had the direct historical link to them were the Byzantines. And I even cited you the Library of Constantinople. And yet you still persist in claiming I haven't made my case! |
It's really quite simple and easy for you to prove me wrong. All you have to do is give me the proof that someone other than the Byzantines had custodian of these texts before Islamic scholars came into contact with them. It's really that simple.
You are aware Islam didn't even come to be a religion until the 7th century right?
Again, what centuries exactly?
It's difficult to say exactly, but I can give an approximation. It would be between the time period of the fall of the Western Roman Empire to when Islamic scholars came into contact with these ancient texts. I'd say from the 5th century to the 9th century at minimum. But it could be even earlier than 5th century, the loss of the knowledge of antiquity in the Western Roman Empire was a gradual thing. It wasn't like in just one day all of that knowledge was lost. Nor was it the case all of a sudden in one day all of the knowledge of the classics was absorbed by the Caliphates and their scholars. But we do know how they came into contact with them, we do know these two cultures were at war with each other for centuries, and naturally knowledge of the other was passed back and forth.
- Averroes, Muslim but born in Spain
Averroes - 1126 – December 10, 1198
- Avicenna, a Persian Muslim
Avicenna c. 980 - 1037
- Maimonides, Jewish and born in Spain
1135, December 12, 1204
Note it says Hunayn ibn Ishaq was in the Abbasid Empire, not the Byzantine Empire.
The problem Merlin is that you're taking whatever snippets you're finding of instances of scholars citing Aristotle and completely ignoring not only the chronological order of these scholars but how these texts were even made to be available for foreign consumption. Hunayn ibn Ishaq learned Greek so that he could translate these works for the Caliphate. Well where did he learn Greek? Who spoke Greek? Why did he need to learn Greek to make these translations? The Byzantines spoke Greek. Greek was the official language of the Eastern Roman Empire. These texts were in Greek because they were kept by a Greek-speaking empire! According to wikipeida:
"he traveled to Alexandria and/or Byzantium to master Greek language. In his return to Baghdad, Hunayn displayed his newly-acquired skills by reciting the works of Homer and Galen. In awe, ibn Masawayh reconciled with Hunayn, and the two started to work cooperatively." "he translated some of Plato’s and Aristotle’s works and the commentaries of ancient Greeks." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunayn_ibn_Ishaq
The first Christian territories Muslims began to conquer were Byzantine territories. Syria, Asia Minor, Judea, Egypt, all once under the domain of the Romans and eventually lost to the Muslims. That is how they came into contact with these texts.
"The Byzantine–Arab Wars were a series of wars between the Arab Caliphates and the East Roman or Byzantine Empire between the 7th and 12th centuries AD. These started during the initial Muslim conquests under the Rashidun and Umayyad caliphs and continued in the form of an enduring border tussle until the beginning of the Crusades. As a result, the Byzantines (the Romans or "Rûm" in Muslim historical chronicles), saw an extensive loss of territory.
The initial conflict lasted from 634 to 718, ending with the Second Arab Siege of Constantinople that halted the rapid expansion of the Arab Empire into Anatolia. Conflicts however continued between the 800s and 1169. The occupation of southern Italian territories by the Abbassid forces in the 9th and 10th centuries were not as successful as in Sicily. However, under the Macedonian dynasty, the Byzantines recaptured territory in the Levant with the Byzantines armies' advance even threatening Jerusalem to the south. The Emirate of Aleppo and its neighbours became vassals of the Byzantines in the east, where the greatest threat was the Egyptian Fatimid kingdom, until the rise of the Seljuk dynasty reversed all gains and pushed Abbassid territorial gains deep into Anatolia. This resulted in the Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus' request for military aid from Pope Urban II at the Council of Piacenza; one of the events often attributed as precursors to the First Crusade." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine%E2%80%93Arab_Wars
Again, unless you think they stumbled across some cave of these texts, unless you can show me someone other than the Byzantines were holding on to these texts for a millennium (tell me the library! tell me the scholars who passed them down from generation to generation!), unless you can prove to me the historians are simply lying there was a Library of Constantinople with a collection of Greek and Roman texts from antiquity, then I have no reason to take any of your objections seriously.
Time and again, they [Aristotle's works] fade from sight in one civilization only to reappear centuries later in another, often with the most extraordinary impact. "Lost" in Greece, they are later "found" in Rome.
Ah, more quotes from Rubenstein. The same guy that thinks the Byzantines aren't European.
I can only imagine Rubenstein means with the fall of the Byzantine empire the fleeing Greek scholars took copies of those texts with them to Italy. They never lost them, it's that the Western Europeans lost them and "found" them when these Roman Greeks showed up with these books. I'm sure some of these Western powers had some contact with Aristotle through Arabic translations, but these Arabic translations were made from copies of the Greek copies in Byzantium.
Neglected by Byzantine Christians, they inspire a great burst of philosophic creativity in the Islamic world.
Neglected here doesn't negate the proposition they were the sole custodians of those texts up until the Muslim scholars came across them. It just means they didn't always place a huge importance on Aristotle, they seemed to place more of an importance on Plato. So I question the use of "neglect" here. They did keep the books, and subsequently towards the end of the Byzantime empire Aristotle saw a resurgence in popularity. I cited you a source of Photius in the 10th century that wrote notes on one of Aristotle's dialogues. Before any of those Islamic scholars you even listed talked about Aristotle.
Unread for centuries in the Latin West,
Yes the Latin West. Not the Greek East.
...their rediscovery in medieval Spain triggers an intellectual revolution in Europe.
Their rediscovery in medieval Spain? We're probably talking 12th century here right? So what happened to those Eastern Europeans talking about him for the past few centuries before medieval Spain started talking about him? Oh that's right, Eastern Europeans according to Rubenstein aren't European.
(Edited by John Armaos on 7/26, 8:53pm)