The House of Wisdom Library Essay

The House of Wisdom Library Essay

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The House of Wisdom was a highly respected library that not only contained books, but collected and preserved them. The main purpose of this vast library was to translate Persian books into Arabic, which later expanded into the translation Persian, Indian and Greek texts. It was built during the 800s and was founded by the Caliph Al-Ma’mun . He was born in 786 and died in 833 after leading a life full of passion for knowledge. He was a Caliph during the time the Abbasid Caliphate strived to intregrate ethnic and religious minorities into their culture, which is what gave brith to the Islamic Golden Age. As a young man, al-Ma’mun was very invested in learning, he studied anywhere from arithmetic to poetry and was a brilliant student of philosophy and theology. Even though he was not the only caliph to support scholarship, al-Ma’mun was by far the most cultured and passionate; he created an environment that supported original thinking and free debate. Long before his reign, al-Ma’mun’s great grandfather, al-Mansur, began the translation movement. This movement was the foundation of the House of Wisdom; it spread the idea that seeking knowledge is a necessary factor of life to society.
Among the many scholars working in the House of Wisdom, there was Al-Khawarizmi, known as the father of algebra. Born around 800 in Baghdad, al-Khwarizmi worked in the House of Wisdom as a scholar. Being involved in the center’s translation of ancient scientific knowledge helped him develop a unique knowledge of the accumulated wisdom of the world. His importance lies in his discoveries of mathematical knowledge which was later transferred to Arab and European scholars. His masterpiece, a book of clear explanations of what would become al...


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...y lost their power in the wake of Mongol invasions, the wisdom contained in the vast library was destroyed along with the entire city of Baghdad. However, because of the vast networks of learning that were established during the Islamic Golden Age, the academic knowledge was saved and deposited in various parts of the Islamic culture.



Works Cited

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2004/sep/23/research.highereducation1
Tom Sizgorich, Abbasid dynasty (
Jim Al-Khalili, The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance (London: Penguin Books, 2010), 6.
Al-Khalili, The House of Wisdom, 4.
Ibid., 37-38
Tom Sizgorich, al-Khwarizmi
Stockdale, Nancy, Abbasid Caliphate: The Abbasids: Patrons of the Islamic Golden Age, In World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2004. http://ancienthistory.abc-clio.com/.

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