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Long before the European Renaissance, while the Western world was languishing in what was once called the "Dark Ages," the Arab world was ablaze with the knowledge, invention, and creativity of its Golden Age. Through the astrologers, physicians, philosophers, mathematicians, and alchemists of the Muslim world, this knowledge was carried from Samarkand and Baghdad to Cordoba and beyond, influencing Western thinkers from Thomas Aquinas to Copernicus and helping to inspire the cultural phenomenon of the Renaissance. John Freely's spellbinding story is set against a background of the melting pot of the cultures involved and concludes with the decline of Islam's Golden Age, which led the West to forget the debt it owed to the Muslim world and the influence of medieval Islamic civilization in forging the beginnings of modern science.
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