Ancient Greek science and philosophy reached Christian Europe mainly through the Islamic world. A large corpus of Greek scientific works had been translated into Arabic (often via Syriac) in the eighth and ninth centuries, and Muslim thinkers continued to practice and advance these so-called ‘foreign sciences’. Jews who lived under Islamic rule contributed scientific works of their own, written in Arabic.

In the twelfth century the works of Greek, Muslim and also some Jewish thinkers started to be translated from Arabic into Latin, often with the help of Jews. Hebrew translations from Arabic made the same works available to Jews in Europe. Thus the works of famous ancient thinkers such as Aristotle, Hippocrates, Euclid or Ptolemy travelled from culture to culture and formed the basis of Muslim, Christian and Jewish science and philosophy alike.

(All images protected by copyright. Please do not use without permission.)

Back to top