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Lost Enlightenment

Lost Enlightenment 1

Central Asia's Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane

by S. Frederick Starr
Paperback
Publication Date: 02/06/2015
5/5 Rating 1 Reviews
RRP  $42.99 $38.90

In this sweeping and richly illustrated history, S. Frederick Starr tells the fascinating but largely unknown story of Central Asia's medieval enlightenment through the eventful lives and astonishing accomplishments of its greatest minds--remarkable figures who built a bridge to the modern world. Because nearly all of these figures wrote in Arabic, they were long assumed to have been Arabs. In fact, they were from Central Asia--drawn from the Persianate and Turkic peoples of a region that today extends from Kazakhstan southward through Afghanistan, and from the easternmost province of Iran through Xinjiang, China.

Lost Enlightenment recounts how, between the years 800 and 1200, Central Asia led the world in trade and economic development, the size and sophistication of its cities, the refinement of its arts, and, above all, in the advancement of knowledge in many fields. Central Asians achieved signal breakthroughs in astronomy, mathematics, geology, medicine, chemistry, music, social science, philosophy, and theology, among other subjects. They gave algebra its name, calculated the earth's diameter with unprecedented precision, wrote the books that later defined European medicine, and penned some of the world's greatest poetry. One scholar, working in Afghanistan, even predicted the existence of North and South America--five centuries before Columbus. Rarely in history has a more impressive group of polymaths appeared at one place and time. No wonder that their writings influenced European culture from the time of St. Thomas Aquinas down to the scientific revolution, and had a similarly deep impact in India and much of Asia.

Lost Enlightenment chronicles this forgotten age of achievement, seeks to explain its rise, and explores the competing theories about the cause of its eventual demise. Informed by the latest scholarship yet written in a lively and accessible style, this is a book that will surprise general readers and specialists alike.

ISBN:
9780691165851
9780691165851
Category:
General & world history
Format:
Paperback
Publication Date:
02-06-2015
Language:
English
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Country of origin:
United States
Dimensions (mm):
235x164x37.75mm
Weight:
0.94kg

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

5 / 5 (1 Ratings)
  • Lost entitlement

    by on

    A little early to give an overall opinion. This should be required reading for history students. Dispels so much misinformation about Central Asian countries. Afghanistan in pariifular, so much knowledge came from here, much of which the Arabs have been credited with. Still much to read , but so much information to absorb. In my opinion, most enlightening.