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a mysterious battle between Islam and Byzantium

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  Quote nadada Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: a mysterious battle between Islam and Byzantium
    Posted: 12-Nov-2013 at 05:49
Hi all,

I was reading the Nobel Lecture by Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz when I came across the following interesting piece of information:

In one victorious battle against Byzantium it [the Islamic civilization] has given back its prisoners of war in return for a number of books of the ancient Greek heritage in philosophy, medicine and mathematics. This is a testimony of value for the human spirit in its demand for knowledge, even though the demander was a believer in God and the demanded a fruit of a pagan civilization. (Source: Naguib Mahfouz - Nobel Lecture)

Does anyone happen to know which battle he was referring to and the names of the people involved in that historical event?

I'd greatly appreciate any information you can give to shed light on this mysterious event (to me).

Best.
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Nov-2013 at 22:56
Never heard of something like that. In all due respect, it seems like a piece of propaganda to me - it is too vague and general. However, Greek books on practical knowledge /mathematics, astronomy, etc/ were highly valued by early Arabs, so I wouldn't say that such an action was impossible.
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Nov-2013 at 15:45
I think there's a thought how it may have a connection with the battle of Yarmuk.
What a handsome figure of a dragon. No wonder I fall madly in love with the Alani Dragon now, the avatar, it's a gorgeous dragon picture.
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  Quote Baal Melqart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Nov-2013 at 07:33
Originally posted by Don Quixote

Never heard of something like that. In all due respect, it seems like a piece of propaganda to me - it is too vague and general. However, Greek books on practical knowledge /mathematics, astronomy, etc/ were highly valued by early Arabs, so I wouldn't say that such an action was impossible.



If by early Arabs you mean post- 7th century, then yes. The first Arabs that were engaged in a way against the Byzantines were definitely not interested in literature, philosophy or science. They were nomads who had just clashed with two great civilisations and were busy engaging in military expeditions, when they weren't killing each other that is!

I'm sure that this information is false or at least that even if it did indeed occur, Naghib Mahfouz is depicting it out of its true context. It's just rhetoric.



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  Quote yomud Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Nov-2013 at 19:00
guys forgive me for what im going to say but you people have so much  anti islamic  view   muslems in that era living as secular nations ! they were't some thing what they are today ! so plz

dont do this islam = al qaeda


nadada it's happend in so many wars but i think in era of harun al-rashid and Al-Ma'munit's reach on it's peak

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harun_al-Rashid
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Ma%27mun

It is said that, had he been victorious over the Byzantine Emperor, Al-Ma'mun would have made a condition of peace be that the emperor hand over of a copy of the "Almagest


they books were sended to house of wisdom in baghdad this was the islamic golden age and muslem didn't just used byzantium books but also books from india and china they gather any knowledge they could find



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  Quote Baal Melqart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Nov-2013 at 07:06


Yomud, there is a reason why I mentioned post- 7th century... I am well aware that things changed drastically by the time of Harun al-Rashid.



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  Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Nov-2013 at 07:50
Guys, Nadada is out of the PRC.  I ran their ip and email through stop spam and they came up clean.  If Nadada returns and answers, it will be the first legit poster from the prc in 3 years.Clap
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  Quote Ollios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Nov-2013 at 11:03
not just in early ages

" And in the ninth century the Caliph of Baghdad invited the Byzantine Leo the Mathematician to visit him, because Leo was a renowned expert on Classical science, mathematics and astronomy."
http://www.mosaicmatters.co.uk/features/islambyzantium.htm

there could be some cuts but the cultural interaction never ever really end
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Nov-2013 at 22:58
You must remember that our currently accepted version of the past, considers that the Islamic part of the world, did indeed gather and save many ancient Greek documents and later they were returned to the Christian world, after being lost for hundreds of years, by these same generous Muslims!

I can only laugh at this! That is, where are these "generous" Muslims today? Just name them!

Regards, Ron
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Nov-2013 at 00:08
Yes, I meant 7 century Arabs. However, they were interested in works in the practical sciences, not, say, philosophy and psychology. Hence, the Arab sciences of the Golden Age, like medicine and astronomy were developed in the classical Greek tradition.

However, this happened then and there, and not here and now, so I don't see why this fact has to be dragged in any agendas from any possible side. I don't like any generally worded declaration like "the Islam did this and that" /or, for that matter - "the Christianty/the West/the Whatever/- there were real people and events, and as such those people and events must by cited, not some nebulous concepts.

And I don't see nothing anti-Muslim in such a view.
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Nov-2013 at 00:11
Originally posted by yomud

guys forgive me for what im going to say but you people have so much  anti islamic  view   muslems in that era living as secular nations ! they were't some thing what they are today ! so plz dont do this islam = al qaeda nadada it's happend in so many wars but i think in era of harun al-rashid and<span dir="auto"></span><span dir="auto"> Al-Ma'mun</span>it's reach on it's peak http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harun_al-Rashidhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Ma%27mun
It is said that, had he been victorious over the Byzantine Emperor,
Al-Ma'mun would have made a condition of peace be that the emperor hand
over of a copy of the "Almagest
they books were sended to house of wisdom in baghdad this was the islamic golden age and muslem didn't just used byzantium books but also books from india and china they gather any knowledge they could find

Had he been victorious, he would do this and that - so far, this is relative clause, not a real event.
Give me real events, with e real war, names, date, contract. Thank you in advance.

Edited by Don Quixote - 17-Nov-2013 at 00:12
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  Quote Ollios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Nov-2013 at 02:24
Originally posted by Don Quixote

Hence, the Arab sciences of the Golden Age, like medicine and astronomy were developed in the classical Greek tradition.


Is it a joke??? A simple example for you to understand how do your words sounds to me.

"Hittites didn't do anything with the chariot. This system uses just Sumerian wheels."

Whatever, this is not the point,
the isssue is knowlegde transfer from Byzantium Empire to Islamic Empire

NOT
the Islamic wisdom which goes/not goes to Medieval Europe or Is Islamic science unique or just copy of the Greek version




Edited by Ollios - 17-Nov-2013 at 02:26
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Nov-2013 at 14:10
I didn't say that Muslims didn't add anything to medicine and astronomy, I said that they used mainly Greek ideas as starting point. And I don't see anything wrong in such statement, one has to start from somewhere. In the same way one may say that the Greek medicine was originally started from Egyptian ideas, of course it didn't stay there; the same thing with the Islamic one.

Go and compare the Hippocratic Cannon with the Cannon of Ibn Cina, if you need proof.

Of course there was such knowledge transfer, plus added info from India etc. I don't see any problem with that - knowledge always transfers, gets added to, and transfers again, all along the timeline and across the globe.

However, the topic here is not about knowledge transfer, but about in which battle the Muslim conquerors released POW in order to get ancient Greek books. Now, if this thread is going to go on the usual way of Islam-versus-West-mutual-suspicions-and-accusations, I'm just going to close it.

So, if you have info on this particular topic, please share it; if you don't, please don't dilute the issue with deja-vus.

Edited by Don Quixote - 17-Nov-2013 at 14:29
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  Quote Ollios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Nov-2013 at 16:17
Originally posted by Don Quixote

I didn't say that Muslims didn't add anything to medicine and astronomy, I said that they used mainly Greek ideas as starting point. And I don't see anything wrong in such statement, one has to start from somewhere. In the same way one may say that the Greek medicine was originally started from Egyptian ideas, of course it didn't stay there; the same thing with the Islamic one.

Go and compare the Hippocratic Cannon with the Cannon of Ibn Cina, if you need proof.


We are understanding what the other one doesn't want to mean. This is just the result of web talk. Same as you, I didn't ingore the greek influence on Islam or Egyptian influence on Greeks

Originally posted by Don Quixote


However, the topic here is not about knowledge transfer, but about in which battle the Muslim conquerors released POW in order to get ancient Greek books.

So, if you have info on this particular topic, please share it; if you don't, please don't dilute the issue with deja-vus.


why you are repling, if you don't know the name of the battle which is asking?

Originally posted by Don Quixote


Now, if this thread is going to go on the usual way of Islam-versus-West-mutual-suspicions-and-accusations, I'm just going to close it.


I agree, but I am not the one. I wait to post untill yomud words. In most of case, people who broke someones heart don't relase it. 

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Nov-2013 at 23:01
Well, I replied to say that I don't know the name of the battle, but to me it sounded as a suspiciously general statement; so I assessed the possibility of such an event.

However, I don't want this thread to become sidetracked due to specific emotions...and I have no desire to place blame, my last remark here is to be considered by every contributor to the thread. All I want is we to get back on the OP and keep on it.

So far the only offer on the OP here was that the battle of Yarmouk could be the one; I did a small net research but so far I failed to find an evidence that exchange of POW for books has been done. Any ideas?
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  Quote Ollios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Nov-2013 at 00:27
Originally posted by Don Quixote

Well, I replied to say that I don't know the name of the battle, but to me it sounded as a suspiciously general statement; so I assessed the possibility of such an event.


This is the point which I don't understand. When the time comes and the issue is a single small goodness about Islam history, some people always be suspicious.

İnformation transfer always be

*" And in the ninth century the Caliph of Baghdad invited the Byzantine Leo the Mathematician to visit him, because Leo was a renowned expert on Classical science, mathematics and astronomy."
http://www.mosaicmatters.co.uk/features/islambyzantium.htm

Even during the Ottoman time
*For instance, Sultan Mehmet II ordered Georgios Amirutzes, a Greek scholar from Trabzon, to translate and make available to Ottoman educational institutions the geography book of Ptolemy. One of the oldest sources on the history and philosophy of Christianity was also developed for the palace school: the İ'tikad nâme, a work on Christian beliefs by Patriarch Gennadius.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_and_technology_in_the_Ottoman_Empire

As we know today there were some Roman(West and East) Emperors who thought that old Greek sources are paganic and need to be destoried. They tried to do it.



 


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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Nov-2013 at 00:55
I have looked into the transference of knowledge due to the battle of Yarmuk, and this still looks to be the likely event. However no prisoners were taken in the actual battle by the muslim forces, although some may have been taken on the subsequent pursuit following the battle. Is it likely that there were exchanges of any type between the forces at any time? Yes, it is know that exchanges of many sorts took place. Is there readily accessible evidence that there may have been an exchange of knowledge for prisoners due to this battle? I would say no, not at the moment. It looks more likely that the knowledge gained was forcibly acquired through the battle.   I may also add, as I'm sure many people realize, that this is unlikely to have been an isolated incidence of knowledge transference at the time. 

Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 19-Nov-2013 at 01:00
What a handsome figure of a dragon. No wonder I fall madly in love with the Alani Dragon now, the avatar, it's a gorgeous dragon picture.
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  Quote yomud Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Nov-2013 at 18:23
well if you look at this
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_ibn_Zakariya_al-Razi

you will see what i meaning so many firsts start with him including alcohol and acids an about bin sinna he is not so friendly to razi he was hamedina capital of atabeg but razi was in ray the imperial capital so i think you better to look to razi rather than sina and if you do you will find out what he discovered was something totally new it was't just advancing . as his fomuse quote says "experience is better than knowledge"

and im agree with you guys we should look for battle
yomud are free people
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  Quote nadada Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Nov-2013 at 22:47
Hi all, I asked the question in good faith, not intending to troll or anything.
I also posted this question on another history forum and got the following (very helpful) information in the reply:

"In order to find manuscripts of the works of Plato and other Greek philosophers, which were available in the neighboring and often hostile Byzantine Empire, Haroun Al-Rashid and Al-Ma'moun used both diplomacy, and sometimes military means, to acquire manuscripts. In one of his battles with the Byzantines, Al-Rashid suggested exchanging Roman prisoners and officers for Greek books! However, the most effective way to secure these prized possessions was to send "intelligence agents" to hunt for the books and recruit Greek-speaking translators from within the Byzantine Empire.

The renowned Muslim historian Ibn Al-Nadim writes in his book of chronicles Al-Fihrast: "When Al-Ma'moun defeated the Roman king, he wrote to him demanding that he disclose all the books he had been keeping in secret places in Rome (Constantinople). The Roman king who first refused, agreed later to do that. Al-Ma'moun sent some of his scholars, including Al-Hajjaj bin Matar, Ibn Al-Batrik, Salam, the head of the House of Wisdom, and others. When the books were brought to him, he [Al-Ma'moun] ordered the books to be translated immediately. It is said that Yohanna bin Masaweh was among them too."

Another historian, Ibn Nabateh writes in his book Sharh-ul Uyoon about one Sahl ibn Haroun: "He was appointed by Al-Ma'moun as the guardian of the chest of books at the House of Wisdom. This chest contained the books of the ancient philosophers that were brought back to Al-Ma'moun from Cyprus. The story was, that when Al-Ma'moun reached a truce with the ruler of that island, he sent messengers to him asking for the chest of the books of the Greeks that were kept in a special chamber where nobody could have access to them. When Al-Ma'moun received the books, he became very happy and excited, and he appointed Sahl bin Haroun as a guardian for these books."

Source: Melting Pot for a Universal Renaissance (http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2013/4041baghdad_melting_pot.html)

I'm now a bit closer to finding the answer I was seeking although I still need to establish the name of the battle and place and date on which it occured. Hopefully, I'll be able to find that info at some point.

Here's the reason for my asking the question: I was impressed by the desire for knowledge by this leader (in this case it just happened to be a Muslim caliph) and the premium he put on books. The leadership in my country at the moment has very little need for books, and as a result young people read very little. If you think ignorance is bliss, think again when you have to live among such people.

Anyway, thanks to all for joining in the discussion. Any further info on the event is appreciated.
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Nov-2013 at 22:47
Originally posted by Ollios


Originally posted by Don Quixote

Well, I replied to say that I don't know the name of the battle, but to me it sounded as a suspiciously general statement; so I assessed the possibility of such an event.

This is the point which I don't understand. When the time comes and the issue is a single small goodness about Islam history, some people always be suspicious.

It's not at all that I meant Islam is suspicious; what is suspicious that no specific info is given as for such a battle, instead the term is general - that Islam in general did this and that. I find such wordings suspicious. It is the same if I was to say - Christianity did this and that. If one is to make a statement about a historic fact, one is supposed to at least give the name of such an event.

So, no need to be so defensive. I don't like the strain of Islam-versus-whatever here, so please keep to the OP, or otherwise this looks like trolling.

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