The Map of Knowledge

The Map of Knowledge[PDF / Epub] ☃ The Map of Knowledge By Violet Moller – After the Fall of Rome when many of the great ideas of the ancient world were lost to the ravages of the Dark Ages three crucial manuscripts passed hand to hand through seven Mediterranean cities and After the Fall of Rome when many of the great ideas of the ancient world were lost to the ravages of the Dark Ages three crucial manuscripts passed hand to hand through seven Mediterranean cities and survived to fuel the revival of the Renaissance an exciting debut historyThe foundations of modern knowledge philosophy math astronomy geography were laid by the Greeks whose ideas were written on scrolls and stored in libraries across the Mediterranean and beyond But as the vast The Map PDF/EPUB or Roman Empire disintegrated so did appreciation of these precious texts Christianity cast a shadow over so called pagan thought books were burned and the library of Alexandria the greatest repository of classical knowledge was destroyed Yet some texts did survive and The Map of Knowledge explores the role played by seven cities around the Mediterranean rare centers of knowledge in a dark world where scholars supported by enlightened heads of state collected translated and shared manuscripts In th century Baghdad Arab discoveries augmented Greek learning Exchange within the thriving Muslim world brought that knowledge to Cordoba Spain Toledo became a famous center of translation from Arabic into Latin a portal through which Greek and Arab ideas reached Western Europe Salerno on the Italian coast was the great center of medical studies and Sicily ancient colony of the Greeks was one of the few places in the West to retain contact with Greek culture and language Scholars in these cities helped classical ideas make their way to Venice in the th century where printers thrived and the Renaissance took root The Map of Knowledge follows three key texts Euclid's Elements Ptolemy's The Almagest and Galen's writings on medicine on a perilous journey driven by insatiable curiosity about the world.


The Map of Knowledge MOBI ¾ The Map  PDF/EPUB or
  • Hardcover
  • 336 pages
  • The Map of Knowledge
  • Violet Moller
  • English
  • 19 April 2014
  • 9780385541763

10 thoughts on “The Map of Knowledge

  1. Darrin says:

    There was a program on PBS when I was in middle or high school that was I think produced in the UKlike most really good science programs The program was called Connections and it would take a subject and connect all the historical dots as to how it came about and sometimes the connections between historical figures objects cities places concepts and moments would be really obscure Who knew for example that there was a connection between the modern concept of credit and Napoleon's problem of feeding a large army and the development of refrigerationThe Map of Knowledge is like thisI found myself riveted I and I think many of us in the public school system in the US got basic world history in high school This was usually a discrete set of historical moments that were never really connected for you in the classroom except to know that these things happened in chronological order usually from some arbitrary oldest topic to some point closer to the present day There was ancient Greece Rome the Crusades the Dark Ages Rome again and the rise of Christianity the Renaissance etcBut what you didn't know and were never taught was how these different historical subject areas were connected and what connected them and why they happened I will bet few of us had any notion that but for Islam and the Arab world much of ancient Greek and Roman history might have been lost and the Renaissance in Europe may have been long delayedA very interesting book and well worth taking the time to read Violet Moller did a huge amount of work for this as evidenced by the bibliography and she really opened my eyes to an area of history I knew little about

  2. Amy Clarke says:

    This book is an interesting discussion of how classical ideas made their way through history It follows the writings of three Ancient Greek scientists Ptolemy Euclid and Galen from their inception in Antiuity to their dissemination through the printing press in the 15th Century via seven selected cities As a result this book is a fusion of pure history and a history of ideas Moller discusses both the fortunes of the seven cities she has chosen for example the rise of Palermo under the Normans and the fortunes of the ideas themselves for example the decline in Galenic medicine during the Renaissance The result is a decent survey of aspects of Ancient Greek thought and Medieval history Moller is strong on her discussion of the interplay between Arabic and Christian centres of learning and the complex relationships between the two However given that this book combines Ancient and Medieval history with a history of ideas in just under 300 pages it is very much an overview of the topic This is not necessarily a criticism as it made for a very accessible and enjoyable read but anyone with a reasonable grounding in history or Greek thought might find this book a little light on detail at times Overall I would recommend this book as an interesting well written introduction to the relationship between Ancient Greek Christian and Arabic worlds albeit one that could have used in depth analysis at times

  3. Leftbanker says:

    I was very disappointed in this as I was expecting a lot and for it to be a lot interesting Instead it reads like a Wikipedia page The author bends over backwards to point out that the Muslim world was keeping the light on in the sciences during Christian Europe’s Dark AgesFirst of all I was fully aware of the contribution to scholarship in the Arab world during the centuries of their short lived dominance I studied Arabic and the Muslim world for many years Her exuberance to inform the ignorant of the Arab achievements at times seemed to be unnecessary cheerleading or a lecture on political correctness She points out again and again the lack of medical education in Europe during the centuries between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance but what did anyone anywhere contribute to medical science in that era? Not much It wasn’t until the late years of the 19th century that any real progress was made in medicineShe includes only a sentence or two to mark just when the light went out in the Muslim world around the middle of the 15th century Sic transit Gloria mundi as the Latins would say The lights went out even earlier in Spain well before the final Reconuest of 1492 in Granada More and religious Muslim sects ruled Al Andaluz leaving behind scholarship and learningShe also makes a lot of hay over the supposed religious tolerance or the Muslims something that has been repeated ad nauseam although it’s a bit of a myth or at least an exaggeration Of course they treated women as badly as anyone in history so at least half of their subjects were political prisoners at best and few if any were educated

  4. Carlos says:

    Great book to read Easy to follow and keeps things interesting jumping from city to city among centuries to follow the birth of the printed knowledge It has a lot of references to classic works of literature and to the culture where they developed Read if you are into classical history

  5. Fraser Kinnear says:

    Moller traces the history of Galen Euclid and Ptolemy as their ideas are first written down then fostered in the Middle East and re introduced to Midevil Europe at the start of the RenissanceLimiting the scope of Classical transmission to these men and not including say Aristotle seems a bit odd interesting trivia Aristotle was the first person known to have a private collection of books But I'm actually disappointed in Moller's focus on telling the story of the transcription efforts instead of the intellectual history of how these authors' ideas transformed over time So much of this book was focused on biographical details of glorified transcriptors who I'm never going to remember This feels analagous to telling the history of CERN through the eyes of the database administrators Isn't the story of Classical ideas being fostered under Islam before returning to the West already pretty well socialized? If you have a whole book why not delve into what Muslim scholars contributed to these ideas? If they didn't make material improvements why not? We get a few hints at this with the Salerno chapter on medicine and Moller spends a little bit of time on al Razi and al Khwarizmi but not nearly enough for my tasteAs much as I disliked Foucault at least he explained the content of the ideas he was documenting and how they transformed over time I was surprised to see references to books I've read Frankopan's The Silk Road Greenblatt's The SwerveThere is an insteresting sub thread on the history of cities Venice was the most engaging of these crazy trivia 30 million annual visitors today for only 54000 inhabitants I would have loved to have learned about Toledo Salerno and Seville

  6. Nina says:

    A very interesting book that answered a uestion that I now wonder why I never thought to ask it what happened to all the science and philosophy of the ancient world during the thousand years of the Dark Ages when in most of Europe Christianity was keen on banning and burning such pagan thoughts? How come so many of them were still available and alive in some form or other when the Renaissance came about?This book provides the answer in form of a journey telling us the stories of individuals who were significant for the upholding and thriving of knowledge in their respective times and placesMost significantly it clears up some false illusions and shows us how significant the Islamic world was for science in the middle ages even though these authors have later often been neglected to be mentioned or have been Latinised It also explains why this step may have been necessary to bring important knowledge especially about medicine into Christian EuropeWe hear the word algorithm all the time but how many of us know about al Khwarizmi whose name is the origin of the word algorithm?In short a very Enlightening book

  7. Thomas W says:

    Most students in the USA have had only a Euro centric perspective of history provided to them exclusively with a Christian White view leaving out massive accomplishments of non Christian cultures For instance the Dark Ages happened largely just in Europe but not necessarily in eastern regions where learning and culture flourished and Muslim Jewish scientists and scholars produced great work Substantial piece of scholarship

  8. Annie says:

    In The Map of Knowledge Violet Moller traces the transmission of knowledge from the ancient Mediterranean via the Abbasid and Umayyad caliphates and centuries of scholars and translators from 500 CE to the European Renaissance This summary might sound a little dry but Moller’s semi conversational style and the content made her overview of a thousand years of history highly readable Outside of academia I don’t know that many people know how much of a debt we Westerners owe to the ancient world The ancient Greek and Graeco Egyptian scholars gave us again Westerners our start on the scientific method philosophy geometry medicine and so many other topics We would have lost so much if it hadn’t been for medieval Arab scholars and translators At the same time however I lament what we lost anyway to time and deliberate destruction Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley for review consideration

  9. Tina says:

    You might like this audiobook like I did if you like to learn about the start of religious thoughts science medicine and books

  10. Christopher says:

    Enlightening survey of math science and medicine from late classical times to the beginning of the Renaissance Moller focuses on Euclid’s “The Elements” Ptolemy’s “Almagest” and the works of Galen showing how knowledge was preserved and transmitted in the centuries before the printing press She demonstrates how effective Muslim rulers and scholars were at preserving the writings of Ancient Greece at a time when Europe was descending into the Dark Ages and how Western humanist scholars gradually recovered this classical heritage over several centuries leading up to the Renaissance

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