Article ID: CBB110028570

L’appropriation des sciences géométriques arabes en Occident médiéval (2020)


The focus of this study is the appropriation, by European scholars, of geometric knowledge from Islamic countries. Firstly, we explain the way in which the discipline developed by Arabic-speaking geometers was primarily based on Greek and Indian traditions. In order to do this, we have outlined five geometries: European, Archimedean and spherical geometries and geometry of conics and measurement. We thus show the various geometrical orientations favoured by the authors who flourished in Islamic countries, as well as their originality. Secondly, we pay particular attention to the European geometrical landscape before the advent of Arab knowledge and know-how which became gradually available from the tenth century onwards. Finally, we show to what extent Latin scholars (and to a lesser extent, Hebrew scholars) appropriated the geometric corpus available in Arabic, mainly through translations. After the twelfth century, Latin scholars acquired geometric texts enabling them, in their turn, to develop European geometrical science, which was essential in the university context of the quadrivium.

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Authors & Contributors
Moureau, Sébastien
Hogendijk, Jan P.
Filius, Lou
De Young, Gregg
Lorch, Richard P.
Micrologus: Nature, Sciences and Medieval Societies
Sciamvs: Sources and Commentaries in Exact Sciences
Suhayl: Journal for the History of the Exact and Natural Sciences in Islamic Civilisation
Bollettino di Storia delle Scienze Matematiche
Medicina nei Secoli - Arte e Scienza
Galenos: Rivista di Filologia dei Testi Medici Antichi
Edizioni Cadmo
Verlag der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
Cambridge University Press
Arab/Islamic world, civilization and culture
Arabic language
Latin language
Cross-cultural interaction; cultural influence
Nu'aim ibn Muḥammad ibn Musa
Ibn al-Nadim, Abu Al-Faraj Muhammad Ibn Ishaq
Gerard of Cremona
Time Periods
16th century
12th century
8th century
Mediterranean region
Basel (Switzerland)
Florence (Italy)
North Africa

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