It’s similar to the way we call all of the mathematicians of ~ 500 BCE – 500 CE “Greek”, even though most of the later ones were Roman citizens living in Egypt or elsewhere.
Or the way we call Mesopotamian mathematics generically “Babylonian”, even though most of it was from other cities, and some of the relevant developments lumped in are from before Babylon per se existed, done by people of a different ethnic group who spoke a different language.
Or the way Soviet scientists are often called “Russian”.
The Persian mathematicians living in Persia in the times after the Islamic conquest simply weren't Arabs, exactly like the Greeks weren't Romans after the Roman conquest.
One doesn't get the new ethnicity by being occupied.
We unfortunately don’t have too many biographical details about most of the famous “Greek” mathematicians, so it’s generally not precisely known what their background was.
In the middle ages, there was greater Persia and two Iraqs (Iraq al-Arab to the west and Iraq al-Ajman to the east which is today's western and central Iran).
If we are being pedantic, either the polymaths in question were Persian (which they are) or Iraqi Arabs, not Iranians. In fact, Persian empire also encompassed parts of modern day Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Kazakhstan, until they came under the Turcko-Mongol rule.
Anyway, “Persia” (Persis) comes from the Greek version of “Pars”. Persians call their language “Farsi”, from the Arabic version, “Fars”. These all have the same origin, and date back millennia.
>Nor were all these mathematicians Arabs, but for convenience we will call our topic "Arab mathematics".
>The regions from which the "Arab mathematicians" came was centred on Iran/Iraq but varied with military conquest during the period. At its greatest extent it stretched to the west through Turkey and North Africa to include most of Spain, and to the east as far as the borders of China.
"Arabic Mathematicians" has some justification as (I suppose) most of these guys were publishing in the Arabic language. But to then switch to ethnic designator Arab is plain wrong.
Perhaps so, and "Persian math" doesn't take much to say.
But then, the distinction between Arabic and Arab is subtle enough that I wouldn't notice at a glance. (Other ethnicities don't even get a different adjective for language, e.g. Russian, French, etc)
It's hard to change language around things like that. For instance, Igor Sikorsky (of the Pan-Am Clipper, and later helicopter fame) is know as a Russian-American inventor, even though he was born, educated, and flourished as an aviator in Kiev, Ukraine (then a part of Russian Empire). Sikorsky's father was a Russian Nationalist. Should we call him a Ukrainian-American given all that? I would, but's a subject of contention over a hundred years after his Ilya Muromets (first 4-engine bomber in production) took flight.
For better or worse, though, we use language to get a point across. "Russian aviation" and "Russian rocketry" gets a certain notion across very fast, even though many key contributors to that notion, like Sikorsky and Korolev (of Sputnik and first-man-in-space fame, among other things) were born, raised, and educated in Ukraine.
Perhaps it's the same with "Arab math".
But as I have noticed many people don't feel comfortable to reference a religion, so they go with race.
But find it interesting that we label these scientist based on their origin, not the place that gave them all the reasons to become all they were capable of becoming..
This is like saying Sergey Brin is a Russian entrepreneur.
Perhaps you're not familiar with the history of that part of the world, but the individuals that I named were Persian speakers, who lived in a region that is called the Greater Iran today, and wrote most of their work in Persian. But in all fairness, Arabic was the lingua-franca at the time so they wrote books in Arabic too.
A better example would be to call Grigori Perelman an American mathematician because he published his work on arXiv .
But if he spoke Enlgish, had an English name, lived his professional life in America. and most of his major works were in Enlgish.
I'd supposed you'd call him an "Anglophone" academic, which is the sense that Arab is used in.
And yet they are called Arab mathematicians.
he spoke arabic. Most of his major works were in arabic, in Baghdad. and he has an arabic name.
From Wikipedia: Arabs are a population inhabiting the Arab world.
Also from Wikipedia: Persia, present day Iran, is not part of the Arab world.
Believe me, it's the same here in North-Africa and Arabs are really loathed. But again, it's a nomination that's often mistaken for an ethnicity.
I think it's pretty fair to call these dialects of Arabic the predominant languages.
If a Russian, scientist, lived and studied in USA, to which country would you attribute his work or achievements, Russia or USA
For those who would like to read a little more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Name_of_Iran
so I will stick to saying colonial as it accurately points to the western world as opposed to Africa or Asia for example
On that note, "India"/Hindustan/Hindu/etc. are somewhat similarly colonial-rooted names, ironically popularized by the Iranians.
But "Persian" is not something that foreigners imposed. It was originally the name of a particular Iranian nation that took over the empire thousands and of years ago. Their name then stuck around in some contexts long after that dynasty was gone, which is why the language is called "Farsi" (anglicised to "Persian").
Not sure where you got this from, here in Morocco, calling a Berber an Arab is a pretty sure way to piss him/her off.
Plus Most of them were not born in Iran proper.
See the short "history" section in this article: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_views_on_evolution
... on what he referred to as the "gradual process of creation." He stated that the Earth began with abiotic components such as "minerals." Slowly, primitive stages of plants such as "herbs and seedless plants" developed and eventually "palms and vines." Khaldun connects the later stages of plant development to the first stages of animal development. Finally, he claims that the greater thought capabilities of human beings was "reached from the world of the monkeys."
It seems like he had a fully formed theory which is pretty accurate.
The book's name in English is: "The
Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing"
So Al-jabr meaning is very close to "calculation by Completion" in that context.
To my mind, mathematically it would be closest to the literal concept of integration, but that is calculus and not what is generally considered to be algebra.
This source states it as
>the science of restoring what is missing and equating like with like
This is also the origin of some definite articles in romance languages - el in Spanish and l' in French. So Alhambra in Spain might have been called Al Hambra or similar instead.
Interestingly, in Persian (which uses Arabic script and shares some loanwords) which is a totally different language, the definite article is assumed, and it instead has an explicit indefinite article (-i or -yi) added to a noun/adjective.
Allah is just the Arabic cognate, plus the definiteness marker. So yes, anyone speaking Arabic will use that word to refer to any god, and anyone speaking Arabic in the past would have used that word to refer to any god. Similarly, a German today wouldn't hesitate to apply the word "Gott" ("god") to Thor, because Thor is a god. Whether the hypothetical German is Christian isn't really relevant, and neither is the fact that the Christian god is nameless, being usually referred to by a title such as "God", "Lord", "Father", etc.
Inherited from what developed as a norm in Judaism, where the name existed but then stopped being read (the most famous "one who must not be named"), but the original name of the deity is preserved in the given names used around the world:
I've read that the form "Jehovah" results from reading YHWH as if it had the vowel points of the word adonai, "lord". But I can't help noticing that the prefix form of YHWH in names, for which the vowels are known, is yeho-. That really adds some credibility to "Jehovah", except that "Jehovah" supposedly comes from a completely unrelated convention.
How much do we know about the original vowels? How true is the adonai story?
is good and that it gives the sources to its claims. I'm not aware that the later scholars refuted the relevant points for this topic:
"At least as early as the third century B.C. the name seems to have been regarded by the Jews as a "nomen ineffabile," on the basis of a somewhat extreme interpretation of Ex. xx. 7 and Lev. xxiv. 11 (see Philo, "De Vita Mosis," iii. 519, 529). Written only in consonants, the true pronunciation was forgotten by them. The Septuagint, and after it the New Testament, invariably render δκύριος ("the Lord")."
Note: the Septuagint, the translation of the Hebrew bible to Greek is effectively what was since the development of Christianity called by the Christians "the Old Testament" and the Christian bible textual analysis proves that the authors of the New Testament almost exclusively used only the Greek translation and also wrote the New Testament as Greek native speakers in Greek, having even misunderstandings from interpreting the Greek words differently than the original Hebrew, even if Hebrew could also be misinterpreted during reading, but not in the same way. Anyway, that's how other languages got the "Lord" and equivalents in their translations from what was originally written: from the Septuagint and https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%CE%BA%CF%8D%CF%81%CE%B9%CE%B... (note the difference from the 1906 Jewish quote).
Anyway, there is also the article about Jehovah, "mispronunciation (introduced by Christian theologians, but almost entirely disregarded by the Jews) of the Hebrew "Yhwh"":
And this is where the faith of these involved in the discussion can influence their interpretation even more.
Still I believe this statement is true:
"Gesenius's proposal to read YHWH as יַהְוֶה is accepted as the best scholarly reconstructed vocalised Hebrew spelling of the Tetragrammaton" (i.e. transliterated into English as Yahweh)"
So the theophoric names use vowels unrelated to the original pronunciation? Those names all postdate the loss of the vowels?
I would be pretty surprised if that were true. Are the vowels in theophoric names fixed by some consideration other than the vowels in the word from which the names derive?
It’s not about all names, I guess you ask about YHWH. If you follow the links from previous messages you can see that we have information how the Greeks pronounced it and also the linguistic hints known to the language experts. Based on both it is quite accepted that it’s pronounced approximately yahweh with probably silent h and the ending e sounding like English a in an article like in “a house”. So the alternative maybe simpler spelling would be yaaw. But then people would ask where both h went.
Also note that English pronouncing of J from the German transcriptions like in “Jar” is always wrong, it should always be Y.
Yes, Arab alchemists preceded European alchemists.
2- Everyone who wrote in Latin is Italian
3- Newton and Descartes wrote in Latin
::: Newton and Descartes are Italian.
Impeccable logic !
Another gem of flawless argumentation is to say "who cares about ethnicity?! and let's just move on". Well it's been almost two millennia of misunderstanding and misrepresentation. Why don't we just get this very simple fact correct and apply the same intellectual scrutiny that we apply to other areas here as well?
IMHO This is just inexcusable sloppiness and to be honest beneath any human being with a modicum of culture.
> It gave mathematics a whole new development path so much broader in concept to that which had existed before, and provided a vehicle for future development of the subject.
> Another important aspect of the introduction of algebraic ideas was that it allowed mathematics to be applied to itself in a way which had not happened before.
At that time, Islamic society was quite modern and tolerant - and even often the destination for persecuted religious groups such as the Jews in Spain.
It is absolutely clear that modern Islam is, in fact, much more "conservative" than it used to be in the beginning. Indeed, the very beginning of Islam was a radically progressive movement in the region. It freed slaves, it gave rights to women, it treated with other religions and it abhorred hereditary and even defacto differences between humans. Many of the things that we now find so backwards were a) not as strict at the time and b) much more advanced than other societies in the region.
A good example is the difference between the initial Islamic state and the Persian empire. The Persians didn't even fully understand that they were dealing with a sort of grassroots movement, and were constantly trying to find the equivalent of a high status ruler to talk to. But early leaders in the Islamic world were completely different, living in normal or even poor circumstances and operating in a much more democratic manner than was the norm.
Later, these societal properties were the reason that the Arabic world was able to preserve and advance science and culture. Sadly, this did not last into this century, but the reasons for this are complex and almost surely political.
I say this is important to remember because we need to realize that religion and - further - ethnicity (and of course race) are not ingrained attributes determining who is conservative. We need to remember that there was a time when Islam was the paragon of reason and rationality, while Christianity was the embodiment of fanatic action.
In the end, it is all politics, not the people. We do well to remember these things, because it keeps us from condemning other cultures, as it so often happens!
Much, though not all, of the big scientific work in the Islamic world was in Iran and central Asia. But eventually enlightenment led to counter enlightenment and the rise of Gnosticism and mysticism. Then the Mongols rode in and killed everyone. They were normally good about capturing cities in an economically useful state, especially if they surrendered, but Ala ad-Din Muhammad II really pissed of Genghis Khan who was mostly busy with China at the time and couldn't spare the troops for a conquest, just an invasion. So they killed everyone in the cities except a few hundred they shipped back to Mongolia. Then came back a few weeks later and killed any survivors who had come out of hiding. And central Asia went from a trade nexus with possibly the largest cities in the world to the state we know it in today.
On the other hand, however, much of the Arabic language and customs are of course shaped by Islam. For example, one difficulty of interpreting the Islam is that the words that are used now convey the connotation that was coined by centuries of religious practice, and it is difficult to know exactly what they originally meant. In addition, much like the Bible (translations), it coined many terms and semantic concepts.
Overall, the question you pose it not answerable in any way. Interpreting the core - the Koran - does not have a unique solution. And even though Islam has taken great care to preserve the text, traditions and reasons behind them, it is not clear cut. For example, the large majority of Muslisms prescribe to the Hadiths as interpretation and additional norms, but there are also Hadidths stating that you should not do that, and the Koran is enough. But on that basis, many more interpretations would be possible. Paradoxically - and in contrast to Christianity - the Muslisms who rely primarily on the book alone, are much more progressive than the ones also relying on the traditions.
I don't think your question will find a true answer.
As an ex-Muslim, the way I see it is: If you were to rely primarily/only on the Koran, it is because you want to justify and legitimate your own agenda. The Koran is very flexible and can be either very progressive or very conservative, strict and violent.
So you make your pick and then find the particular "bayt" that supports your claims :)
BUT: this is "islamic" in the sense that western science of the middle ages or Charles Darwin are "christian". These are names of cultures, not religions.
Only if they converted. Otherwise the slavery never stopped to be OK for that religion (those paying the "protection" are also not allowed to be enslaved). See the (currently insulting) word used for slaves in South Africa, where the slaves from the northern African areas were sold by the adherents to the said religion. Also in the other parts of the world:
> gave rights to women
Could you elaborate on those translated works? Perhaps cite some works that were of well known Indian origin?
There is no denying that in western Eurasia the Mediterranean was the seat of high culture and learning until about the 17th century.