The Long Ninth Century in Arabic-Islamic Knowledge and Culture

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Third Annual Lecture Series at Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies (BGSMCS) to Start April 26 - Organized and Moderated by Arabic Studies Scholar Beatrice Gründler

The Long Ninth Century AD in the Arabic-Islamic Near East will be addressed in a lecture series at the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies. The series includes three lectures to be given in English. The lectures will be held between April 26 and June 28, 2016, at Freie Universität Berlin, and admission is free. The first lecture will be given by the renowned professor of Greek-Arab studies, Dimitri Gutas (Yale University and Einstein Visiting Fellow der BGSMCS). It will deal with the reception of the Greek philosopher Aristotle in the Arab-speaking world. The works of Aristotle, whose 2400th birthday is being celebrated this year, were introduced in European languages through translations from Syriac and Arabic.

The Long Ninth Century AD was a period of intense cultural activity in the Arabic-Islamic Near East. Under the rule of the Abbasid dynasty, a society emerged that saw itself as cosmopolitan and intellectual. A cultural successor to Byzantium and Persia, this society imported and developed their heritage, notably Greek philosophy and natural sciences and Persian statecraft, and simultaneously created new scholarly disciplines to investigate its own linguistic, literary, and religious heritage and the contemporary world around it.

In this series, three scholars will address the reception of Aristotle in the ninth century, the new ways of life of the residents of Baghdad, and the geographical fiction by the writer and scholar Ibn al-Faqih al-Hamadhani.

This lecture series is linked to the two previous series at the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies that were held in 2014 and 2015. They addressed the consequences of the presence of Muslims in Europe for the European identity and the significance of Islamic art in the 21st century.

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