Abbasid Caliphate

1258 Feb 1


Baghdad, Iraq

Key Findings:

  • The Abbasid historical period is considered the Islamic Golden Age.
  • During this period the Muslim world became an intellectual center for science, philosophy, medicine and education.
  • Arab scientist Ibn al-Haytham developed an early scientific method in his Book of Optics (1021).
  • Medicine in medieval Islam was an area of science that advanced particularly during the Abbasids' reign.
  • Astronomy in medieval Islam was advanced by Al-Battani, who improved the precision of the measurement of the precession of the Earth's axis.
  • The best known fiction from the Islamic world is The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, a collection of fantastical folk tales, legends and parables compiled primarily during the Abbassid era.
  • Arabic poetry reached its greatest height in the Abbasid era.
  • Under Harun al-Rashid, Baghdad was renowned for its bookstores, which proliferated after the making of paper was introduced. Chinese papermakers had been among those taken prisoner by the Arabs at the Battle of Talas in 751.
  • A major development was the creation or vast enlargement of cities as they were turned into the capital of the empire, beginning with the creation of Baghdad in 762
  • Egypt being a center of the textile industry was part of Abbasid cultural advancement.
  • Advances were made in irrigation and farming, using new technology such as the windmill.
  • Crops such as almonds and citrus fruit were brought to Europe through al-Andalus, and sugar cultivation was gradually adopted by the Europeans.
  • Arab merchants dominated trade in the Indian Ocean until the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century.
  • Engineers in the Abbasid caliphate made a number of innovative industrial uses of hydropower.
  • A number of industries were generated during the Arab Agricultural Revolution
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Last Updated: Sat Jan 06 2024