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Origins

In Hellenistic times and in late antiquity, scientific learning in the eastern part of the Roman world was spread over a variety of centres, and Justinian's closing of the pagan academies in Athens in 529 gave further impetus to this diffusion. An additional factor was the translation and study of Greek scientific and philosophical texts sponsored both by monastic centres of the various Christian churches in the Levant, Egypt, and Mesopotamia and by enlightened rulers of the Sāsanian dynasty in places like the medical school at Gondeshapur.

Also important were developments in India in the first few centuries AD. Although the decimal system for whole numbers was apparently not known to the Indian astronomer Āryabhaṭa I (b. 476), it was used by his pupil Bhāskara I in 620, and by 670 the system had reached northern Mesopotamia, where the Nestorian bishop Severus Sebokht praised its Hindu inventors as discoverers of things more ingenious than those of the Greeks. Earlier, in the late 4th or early 5th century, the anonymous Hindu author of an astronomical handbook, the Sūrya Siddhānta, had tabulated the sine function (unknown in Greece) for every 3 3/4° of arc from 3 3/4° to 90°.

Within this intellectual context the rapid expansion of Islām took place between the time of Muḥammad's return to Mecca from his exile in Medina in 630 and the Muslim conquest of lands extending from Spain to the borders of China by 715. Not long afterward, Muslims began the acquisition of foreign learning, and, by the time of the caliph al-Manṣūr (d. 775), such Indian and Persian astronomical material as the Brāhma-sphuṭa-siddhānta and the Shāh's Tables had been translated into Arabic. The subsequent acquisition of Greek material was greatly advanced when the caliph al-Maʾmūn constructed a translation and research centre, the House of Wisdom, in Baghdad during his reign (813–833). Most of the translations were done from Greek and Syriac by Christian scholars, but the impetus and support for this activity came from Muslim patrons. These included not only the caliph but also wealthy individuals such as the three brothers known as the Banū Mūsā, whose treatises on geometry and mechanics formed an important part of the works studied in the Islāmic world.

Of Euclid's works, the Elements, the Data, the Optics, the Phaenomena, and On Divisions were translated. Of Archimedes' works only two—Sphere and Cylinder and Measurement of the Circle—are known to have been translated, but these were sufficient to stimulate independent researches from the 9th to the 15th century. On the other hand, virtually all of Apollonius' works were translated, and of Diophantus and Menelaus one book each, the Arithmetica and the Sphaerica, respectively, were translated into Arabic. Finally, the translation of Ptolemy's Almagest furnished important astronomical material.

Of the minor writings, Diocles' treatise on mirrors, Theodosius' Spherics, Pappus' work on mechanics, Ptolemy's Planisphaerium, and Hypsicles' treatises on regular polyhedra (the so-called Books XIV and XV of Euclid's Elements) were among those translated.



I. Look up the italicized words in the dictionary and present a good translation of the sentences into Russian.

1. In Hellenistic times and in late antiquity, scientific learning in the eastern part of the Roman world was spread over a variety of centres

2. Muslims began the acquisition of foreign learning

3. The subsequent acquisition of Greek material…

4. Also important were developments in India in the first few centuries AD.

II. What does the pronoun "these" stand for in the sentence "These included not only the caliph but also wealthy individuals…" Translate it into Russian.

 

III. Analyse the cases of the Passive Voice in the sentences and translate them into Russian:

1.…it was used by his pupil Bhāskara I in 620

2.…such Indian and Persian astronomical material as the Brāhma-sphuṭa-siddhānta and the Shāh's Tables had been translated into Arabic.

3. The subsequent acquisition of Greek material was greatly advanced when the caliph al-Maʾmūn constructed a translation and research centre

4. Most of the translations were done from Greek and Syriac by Christian scholars

5. Of Archimedes' works only two—Sphere and Cylinder and Measurement of the Circle—are known to have been translated

6. On the other hand, virtually all of Apollonius' works were translated, and of Diophantus and Menelaus one book each, the Arithmetica and the Sphaerica, respectively, were translated into Arabic.

 

IV. Read the passage and answer the questions:

1. What gave an impetus to the diffusion of scientific learning in the eastern part of the Roman world?

2. Who was the translation and study of Greek scientific and philosophical texts sponsored by there?

3. How important were developments in India in the first few centuries AD?

4. When did Muslims begin acquisition of foreign learning?

5. What was the subsequent acquisition of Greek material advanced by?

6. Who supported the translations done from Greek and Syriac by Christian scholars there?

7. What works stimulated independent researches from the 9th to the 15th century?

 

V. Present a summerized Russian translation of the passage. Refer to task IV as the basis.


Date: 2015-01-29; view: 537


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