Attention: This website is temporary hosted by the University of Ghent

It will be shortly transferred to the University of Leuven KUL


The Arab-Islamic Sciences


Christian an Muslim playing lute

         Muslim and Christian playing lutes

(13th cent.)

  • This website is a space devoted to the Arab-Islamic sciences in the pre-modern era (from the 9th cent. A.D.  ca. until the end of the classical era). The term “sciences” is intended in the modern sense of exact and natural sciences, which belonged to the ‘philosophical sciences’ in classical Islam. This website focuses on mathematics, physics and astronomy, although other disciplines are referred to when necessary. 
  • Given the integrated character of the pre-modern Arab-Islamic system of knowledge, the Arab-Islamic sciences can only be studied within that universal framework, which included the “philosophical sciences” (basically the sciences according to Aristotle’s classification –Methaphysics Book VI, and to  Porphyry’s Isagoge ) and the “traditional sciences” (the religious transmitted sciences of Islam).
  • This website is a work in progress and reflects an interdisciplinary research path that moves from the Arab-Islamic sciences to embrace a wider range of disciplines. It addresses  the question of the unity of knowledge. In this respect this initiative continues a tradition of studies  in the history and the philosophy of sciences and fits into the research path opened one century ago by researchers like George Sarton (d. 1956) .
  • This website does not aim at providing exhaustive information over the Arab-Islamic sciences. There is a variety of websites devoted to these topics (Links). The information published here reflects exclusively the aims and purposes of a particular interdisciplinary research path.