Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940; Glen M. Cooper (801) 422-8652

May 2, 2003

Library of Congress Hosts Symposium on Scientific Legacy of 9th Century Baghdad

May 12 Symposium Presented in Cooperation with the Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts at Brigham Young University

The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress and the Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts at Brigham Young University present "First Renaissance: The Scientific Legacy of 9th Century Baghdad" from 2:30 to 5 p.m. on Monday, May 12, in LJ-119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public.

A distinguished panel of experts -- including Dimitri Gutas, Yale University; George Saliba, Columbia University; and Alfred Ivry, New York University -- will explore a number of topics related to the importance of primary texts and the history of Arabic science to help raise awareness of the important role that the city of Baghdad played in the history of world civilization. In 9th-century Baghdad, Greek science and philosophy were translated and transmitted to the Arabic- speaking world, a transmission that made possible the flowering of medieval Islamic civilization and, eventually, paved the way for the Renaissance in the West.

In addition, the symposium will include a public introduction to the Graeco-Arabic Sciences and Philosophy series, a scholarly publishing effort of the Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts at Brigham Young University. One of the Institute's most important efforts to date is the publication of the complete medical works of Moses Maimonides (1135-1204), translated from Arabic by Gerrit Bos of the University of Cologne. Bos will speak about his work at the symposium.

Brigham Young University's Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts supports three major publication series: the Graeco-Arabic Sciences and Philosophy series, the Islamic Translation series, and the Eastern Christian Texts series. Each series produces bilingual editions and translations of important ancient religious and philosophical texts that have long been unavailable to scholars or inaccessible for careful study because of linguistic and other obstacles.

The Graeco-Arabic Sciences and Philosophy Series is dedicated to the publication of bilingual editions and translations of significant scientific works from the Arabic tradition. It is meant to embrace works of science broadly conceived, including-but not limited to-medicine, mathematics, astronomy, biology, anatomy, physiology, mechanics, botany, acoustics, and music theory. For more information about the Graeco-Arabic Sciences and Philosophy Series of Brigham Young University's Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts, see http://meti.byu.edu.

Through a generous endowment from its namesake, the Library of Congress established the John W. Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world's best thinkers to stimulate, energize, and distill wisdom from the Library's rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington, D.C. The Kluge Center houses five senior Kluge Chairs (American Law and Governance, Countries and Cultures of the North, Countries and Cultures of the South, Technology and Society, and Modern Culture); other senior-level chairs (Henry A. Kissinger Chair, Cary and Ann Maguire Chair in American History and Ethics, and the Harissios Papamarkou Chair in Education); and nearly 25 post-doctoral fellows.

For more information about the John W. Kluge Center, contact the Office of Scholarly Programs, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue S.E., Washington, DC 20540-4860; telephone (202) 707-3302, fax 202-707-3595, Web: http://www.loc.gov/loc/kluge/.

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PR 03-083
05/02/03
ISSN 0731-3527

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