Greek Thought, Arabic Culture: The Graeco-Arabic Translation Movement in Baghdad and Early Abbasaid Society

by Dimitri Gutas

From the middle of the eighth century to the tenth century, almost all non-literary and non-historical secular Greek books, including such diverse topics as astrology, alchemy, physics, botany and medicine, that were not available throughout the eastern Byzantine Empire and the Near East, were translated into Arabic.

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Greek Thought, Arabic Culture explores the major social, political and ideological factors that occasioned the unprecedented translation movement from Greek into Arabic in Baghdad, the newly founded capital of the Arab dynasty of the ‘Abbasids’, during the first two centuries of their rule. Dimitri Gutas draws upon the preceding historical and philological scholarship in Greco-Arabic studies and the study of medieval translations of secular Greek works into Arabic and analyses the social and historical reasons for this phenomenon.

Dimitri Gutas provides a stimulating, erudite and well-documented survey of this key movement in the transmission of ancient Greek culture to the Middle Ages.

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