: Baron Carre De Vaux

16-09-2012, 06:09 AM
Baron Carre De Vaux (1868-1939)
He was a great French Orientalist from the Catholic Institute of Paris where he studied and taught Arabic. He had scientific concerns and wrote in mathematics and philosophy. In 1891, he set an explanation to the Book of Spheres, by Yahya ibn Muhammad al-Maghribi. He published a book about the Water clock and another about the Almagest of Abul-Wafa al-Buzjani in 1892 and Hayrn al-Iskandaris Book of Instruments and Tricks in 1893. In 1900, he wrote a book about Avicenna and, in 1902, composed a book about al-Ghazli. In 1921-1926, he issued his five-volume book about the Thinkers of Islam. In 1904, he translated al-Masdis at-Tanbh Wal-Ishrt; Avicennas Poem of An-Nafs and ibn al-Fridhs Tiyyah.
From the Legacy of Islam:
The greatest discoveries
Although the author says at the beginning of his article: We must not expect to find among the Arabs the same powerful genius, the same gift of scientific imagination, the same 'enthusiasm', the same originality of thought that we have among the Greeks, many lines later he states that the Arabs have really achieved great things in science; they taught the use of ciphers, although they did not invent them, and thus became the founders of the arithmetic of everyday life; they made algebra an exact science and developed it considerably and laid the foundations of analytical geometry; they were indisputably the founders of plane and spherical trigonometry which, properly speaking, did not exist among the Greeks. In astronomy they made a number of valuable observations. They preserved for us in their translations a number of Greek works, the originals of which have been lost.[1] (http://islamstory.com/en/node/36730#_ftn1)
Things are distinguished in the light of their opposites
Another reason for our interest in Arab science is the influence it has had in the West. The Arabs kept alive the higher intellectual life and the study of science in a period when the Christian West was fighting desperately with barbarism.[2] (http://islamstory.com/en/node/36730#_ftn2)
In this way they advanced
From the twelfth century every one in the West who had any taste for science, some desire for light, turned to the East or to the Moorish West. At this period the works of the Arabs began to be translated as those of the Greeks had previously been by them. The Arabs thus formed a bond of union, a connecting link between ancient culture and modern civilization. When at the Renaissance the spirit of man was once again filled with the zeal for knowledge and stimulated by the spark of genius, if it was able to set promptly to work, to produce and to invent, it was because the Arabs had preserved and perfected various branches of knowledge, kept the spirit of research alive and eager and maintained it pliant and ready for future discoveries.[3] (http://islamstory.com/en/node/36730#_ftn3)

[1] (http://islamstory.com/en/node/36730#_ftnref1) Baron Carre De Vaux, Astronomy and Mathematics, Legacy of Islam, edited by Thomas Arnold, 376.

[2] (http://islamstory.com/en/node/36730#_ftnref2) Ibid. 377.

[3] (http://islamstory.com/en/node/36730#_ftnref3) Ibid. 377.