The History and Achievements of the Islamic Golden Age : The Great Courses: Civilization & Culture

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Eamonn Gearon
  • Series: The Great Courses: Civilization & Culture
  • 11 hrs and 58 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

The study of Western Civilization traditionally follows a well-known but incomplete arc: the grand achievements of Greece and Rome, several hundred years of the Dark Ages, and then the bright emergence of the European Renaissance. But amid the "dark" Middle Ages, the Abbasid Empire, which ruled the Middle East as well as much of Northern Africa and Central Asia from 750 to 1258, serves as a vitally important but often overlooked bridge between the ancient and modern worlds.
The History and Achievements of the Islamic Golden Age is your opportunity to get to know the story and the accomplishments of this great period in human civilization. Taught by acclaimed lecturer Eamonn Gearon, these 24 remarkable lectures offer brilliant insights into an era too often overlooked by traditional history textbooks. You'll meet a wealth of scholars, scientists, poets, and philosophers who paved the way for the Renaissance and continue to affect our world in surprising ways.
For instance, gain insights into:


The origins of the scientific method, along with the development of algebra, chemistry, physics, and astronomy as discrete fields of inquiry
The invention of the modern "teaching hospital" and a medical encyclopedia that served Europe for the next 600 years
The preservation and translation of the world's great literature, from the Hadith (or sayings of Muhammad) to the master works of Greece and Rome
Ontological philosophy that served future Jewish, Christian, and Muslim theologians concerned with the nature of God and the relationship between faith and reason

It is nearly impossible to overstate the power and importance of this crucial 500-year history, headquartered in Baghdad but stretching around the world. While much of Europe was quietly passing the time, the Abbasid Empire was an international, multicultural hub of trade, travel, education, art, science, and much more.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

You gotta get smart to see how dumb you are”.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

At first, I hesitated to select this title. Maybe like you, the current situation in many Islamic countries shaded my expectations of what could have been achieved a millenia ago. Now I know. It was enormous.


What was one of the most memorable moments of The History and Achievements of the Islamic Golden Age?

The scope is ambitious but it manages to sparkle as well. I loved the many, small portraits of the thinkers. E.g. a wily scientist who feigned insanity to escape execution by his sponsor. Or a poet who extolled the delights of getting drunk – in an Islamic country. Human genius, human nature.


What does Professor Eamonn Gearon bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I love the spoken word. To listen to a story told by a gifted storyteller is pure magic.


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I deeply respect the work and dedication that went into it. This is a work that acknowledges the contribution of minds that have borne us further. But the author has labored in an area which has been deprived of both attention and public sympathy. This is true dedication and scholarship.


Any additional comments?

This book deserves a broad readership.

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- Richard

Nothing short of wonderful!

Professor Gearon is eloquent, entertaining, passionate and I dare say a polymath himself. He inspires love for the subject. What a pleasure to have such gifted professors!
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- Keep It Real

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-03-2017
  • Publisher: The Great Courses