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05/10/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall
Photograph of Robert Morrison

The Migrations of Islamic Science in Renaissance Europe

Robert Morrison

The Renaissance is often seen as the result of Europeans’ re-engagement with the heritage of Classical Antiquity, which Islamic societies preserved during the Dark Ages. Recent research has shown, though, that the science of Islamic societies from the twelfth through sixteenth centuries was crucial for Renaissance science. This lecture will describe this late medieval Islamic scientific culture and the fascinating stories of how it reached Renaissance Europe, often as a by-product of economic activity and as a result of a quest for social capital. In fact, European scholars in the later sixteenth century and the seventeenth century continued to value the science of Islamic societies, even after European science had blossomed. Renaissance science turns out to have more diverse foundations than previously thought.
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