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Science in Al-Andalus

From July 03, 2017 until September 22, 2017Check schedule.
Casa Árabe headquarters (at Calle Samuel de los Santos Gener, 9). Check schedule. Prior registration required.
Register through this link.

Spanish and foreign experts are meeting in Cordoba from September 20-22, 2017 to discuss this topic. Registration is now open.

The international “Science in Al-Andalus” congress will attempt to make clear the scientific knowledge and concepts achieved by the scholars of Al-Andalus and discuss how they have developed and remain present up to the current day. Al-Andalus in general and Cordoba specifically played a notable role in passing on and promoting science, and for centuries a synthesis of the knowledge acquired by prior civilizations was carried out, as well as providing patronage for scientific research. This promotion of science, closely linked with and furthered by various economic, religious and political factors in the era, led to an unmatched level of science in fields such as mathematics, astronomy, astrology, time measurement, medicine and agronomy, as well as the development of scientific instruments, religion, etc.

As a result, various scholars from the era, including Ibn Hayyan, Ibn Abi ‘Usaybi’a, al-Humaydi, Ibn al-Faradi and al-Hasimi, ended up documenting the knowledge of over a hundred scientists, approximately fifty percent of whom worked in Cordoba, even if just temporarily.

In this sense, the granting of status as a capital city to Cordoba in 716 gave the city a central role not only in politics, but also in cultural and scientific life, eventually making it one of the brightest cities in the Middle Ages, competing with Baghdad and Byzantium. From this zenith in civilization, we have received not only a clear testimony of the intercultural scientific contributions that were made, but also the ability to integrate the different forms of knowledge from the era, as well as the way that knowledge was passed on a developed.

Course brochure
Science in Al-Andalus

Wednesday, September 20

9:00-9:30 a.m.: Accreditation and handing out of materials

9:30-10:00 a.m.: Opening event
Mònica Rius Piniés (University of Barcelona)
Cristina de la Puente (CSIC)
Pedro Martínez-Avial Martín, General Director of Casa Árabe

10:00-11:00 a.m.: Opening conference: General overview of science in Al-Andalus and its role as a bridge across which Arab science reached Europe
Julio Samsó, professor emeritus at the University of Barcelona

11:00-11:30 a.m.: break

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: The influence of Al-Andalus on Ottoman science
Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, member of the Turkish Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Commission

12:30-1:30 p.m.: Passing Arab astrology on to Europe through Al-Andalus
Teodoro Loinaz, University of Barcelona

4:30-5:30 p.m.: Mathematics in Al-Andalus and its influence on the Maghreb region
Ahmed Djebbar, professor emeritus at the University of Lille 1

5:30-6:30 p.m.: Astronomic tables from Al-Andalus and the Maghreb
Benno van Dalen, Academy of Sciences and Humanities of Bavaria

6:30-7:30 p.m.: Science, religion and politics in al-Andalus: an example of Arab-Islamic cultural identity
Mònica Rius-Piniés, University of Barcelona

7:30-9:00 p.m.
Concert: Al-Andalus: Music and poetry of Al-Andalus, by Emilio Villalba and Sara Marina

Thursday, September 21

9:30-10:30 a.m.: Astronomical instruments in Al-Andalus
Emilia Calvo, University of Barcelona

10:30-11:30 a.m.: Astronomical instruments from Al-Andalus in the Mashriq
François Charette, Academy of Sciences of Bavaria

11:30 a.m.-noon: Break

12:00-1:00 p.m.: Astrology in Al-Andalus
Montserrat Díaz Fajardo, University of Barcelona

1:00-2:00 p.m.: History of clocks in Al-Andalus
Salim Al-Hassani, Professor emeritus, University of Manchester

2:00-4:00 p.m.: Break

4:00-5:00 p.m.: Medicine in Al-Andalus
Camilo Álvarez de Morales, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

5:30-7:00 p.m.: Guided tour of the Mosque and Jewish quarter

Friday, September 22

9:00-10:00 a.m. Forested landscapes of Al-Andalus
Esteban Hernández Bermejo, Director of the Andalusian Germoplasm Bank

10:00-11:00 a.m.: Botany in Al-Andalus
Mustafa Yavuz, University of Istanbul Medeniyet

11:00-11:30 a.m.: Break

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Closing conference: The qibla in medieval Qurtuba and the orientation of the Great Mosque
David King, professor emeritus, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt

12:30-1:00 p.m.: Closing event
Benno van Dalen   
With a bachelor’s degree and PhD in Mathematics and Computer Sciences from the University of Utrecht, Van Dalen has worked at the Science History Museum in Frankfurt, where he was responsible for creating a database of Islamic manuscripts on astronomy, geography and mathematics in medieval Islam. He has carried out his work as a researcher at Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich and is currently at the Academy of Sciences of Bavaria. He is a member of the International Academy of History and Science of Paris.

Camilo Álvarez de Morales   
Álvarez de Morales has a PhD in Philosophy and Letters (Semitic Philology) and is the head professor of History of Pharmacology and History of Islam at the University of Granada. A scientific researcher for the School of Arab Studies (Spanish National Research Council), he has specialized in the history of Arab medicine and Islamic law. He has been a member of the European Union of Arabists and Islamists, at the Center for Historical Studies of Granada and Its Kingdom, a scholar with the Andalusian Academy of History and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and Historical Sciences of Toledo and a scientific contributor for various foundations, such as El Legado Andalusí and La Huella Árabe.

Cristina de la Puente  
Vice-President of Scientific and Technical Research at Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), she earned her PhD in Semitic Philology (Arab and Islamic Studies) at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and has completed post-doctoral studies at the University of Tubingen in Germany. Her research mainly revolves around the social history of the Islamic West, through a study of the set of legal and religious rules which provide information on a specific way of organizing society in accordance with the doctrines and practices of Islam.

David King  
First trained in mathematics at Cambridge University, he completed his graduate studies in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures at Yale. He was Project Director at the American Research Center in Egypt (1972-79) and Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Literatures at New York University (1979-85), then Professor of the History of Science at Frankfurt University (1985-). He is a specialist in medieval Islamic astronomy and mathematics, Arabic scientific manuscripts, and medieval Islamic and European scientific instruments.

Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu
A scholar, politician and diplomat who is current the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). He completed his studies at Ain Shams University and has a PhD from the University of Ankara. The founder and president of the Science History Department and the Istanbul University School of Letters, he has been a guest professor at several universities, such as Exeter University, the School of Sciences at the University of Ankara, the University of Inönü and the University of Munich, and he is a member of the International Society for Science and Religion.

Emilia Calvo
Holder of a bachelor’s degree in Semitic Philology and a PhD in Arab Studies and Islam from the University of Barcelona, Calvo has formed part of the “Millàs Vallicrosa” Arab Science History group, which belongs to the Semitic Philology Department at UB. She has completed research stays at the University of Frankfurt and the University of Pittsburgh. She is a specialist in the history of medieval science and has taken part in over ten prestigious foreign and domestic research projects. 

Esteban Hernández Bermejo  
With a PhD in Agricultural Engineering from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, he is a tenured professor and department head at the University of Cordoba and has been the promoter and director of Cordoba’s Royal Botanical Garden. The scientific director of the Castilla-La Mancha Botanical Garden, he is currently the director of the Andalusian Germoplasm Bank (BGVA). An expert on botany and agronomy in Al-Andalus, as well as ethnobotany and historical landscape gardening (in the period of Al-Andalus, as well), phytogenic resources and conservation biology.

François Charette
PhD in the History of Science from Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Bavarian Academy of Sciences. He has been an associate researcher at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main - Institute for History of the Sciences, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge), and at Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich. He has also been a guest professor at the School of Higher Studies in Social Sciences, Alexandre-Koyré Center - History of Science and Technology of Paris, and at the University of Tel Aviv - Cohn Institute for History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas in Tel Aviv.
Julio Samsó Moya
An Arabist, translator and historian, he has held the Arabic Language and Literature chairs at the Universidad de La Laguna and the Universidad Autónoma in Barcelona. For over twenty-five years, he has directed the School of Arab Science Historians at the School of Philology, and he has specialized in the Archeoastronomy of Al-Andalus and the Maghreb, Islamic studies and Hebrew studies. A member of various foreign and domestic academic institutions, he was the vice-president of the International Academy of Science History, and in 1981 he became a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Letters of Barcelona.

Mónica Rius-Piniés
A professor in the Department of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Barcelona, Rius-Piniés has studied the construction of new identities in Europe through literature by authors of Arab origin. Moreover, she has analyzed the relationship between science and literature within the colonial and post-colonial context of Arab countries. She has been a guest professor at several universities in Spain and abroad. She has been the coordinator of a Master’s degree program titled Construction and Representation of Cultural Identities and is the director of the Master’s program in the Arab and Islamic World (both at the University of Barcelona).

Montserrat Díaz Fajardo
An associate professor at the Department of Semitic Philology (Arab Studies) at the University of Barcelona, her research has focused on the publishing, interpretation and historical study of scientific manuscripts written in the Arabic language in Al-Andalus and the Maghreb (from the eleventh to fifteenth centuries).  She is an expert on astronomical and astrological traditions.

Mustafa Yavuz
Holder of a PhD in biology and botany at the Marmara University’s Institute of Biological Sciences. A professor of Biology at the University of Istanbul Medeniyet in the Science History Department. A specialist in biology, botany and medicine, Yavuz is a member of the Islamic Association of Manuscripts at Cambridge University and the Association for Research on Lichens.

Salim Al-Hassani
Professor emeritus of Mechanical Engineering and an honorary member of Manchester University’s School of Humanities. President of the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilization, he founded the academic portal and is the chief editor of 1,001 Inventions. An expert on medieval science, he has led a campaign to promote the “cultural roots of science” as a platform for the community’s cohesiveness, world peace and the prevention of extremism.

Teodoro Loinaz
An associate professor at the University of Barcelona in the Department of Green, Latin, Romance and Semitic Philology. With a PhD in Arabic Philology, he is the representative of the PhD program in Science History at the University of Barcelona. He has focused his research on the history of the Arab and Islamic medical and pharmacological tradition, and on studying astrology texts written in the Catalan language during the Middle Ages

Fundación Ramón Areces