Culture of the caliphate countries: features and history. Contribution of the Arab Caliphate to World Culture
The period when the Muslim world was underauthority of the Caliphate, is called the Golden Age of Islam. This era lasted from VIII to XIII century AD. It began with the inauguration of the House of Wisdom in Baghdad. There scientists from different parts of the world sought to collect all available at that time knowledge and translate them into Arabic. The culture of the countries of the Caliphate during this period experienced an unprecedented flourishing. The Golden Age ended during the Mongol invasion and fall of Baghdad in 1258.
Causes of cultural recovery
В VIII веке из Китая на территории, заселенные Arabs, penetrated a new invention - paper. It was much cheaper and easier to manufacture than parchment, more convenient and durable than papyrus. It also absorbed ink better, which made it possible to make copies of manuscripts more quickly. Thanks to the appearance of paper, books have become much cheaper and more affordable.
The ruling dynasty of the Caliphate, Abbasids, supported the accumulation and transfer of knowledge. She referred to the dictum of the Prophet Muhammad, which read: "Ink of a scientist is a greater shrine than the blood of a martyr."
The culture of the countries of the Arab Caliphate did not arise onempty space. It was based on the achievements of earlier civilizations. Many classical works of antiquity were translated into Arabic and Persian, and later into Turkish, Hebrew and Latin. The Arabs assimilated, reinterpreted and expanded the knowledge obtained from ancient Greek, Roman, Persian, Indian, Chinese and other sources.
Science and Philosophy
The culture of the Caliphate combined Islamic traditions withideas of ancient thinkers, primarily Aristotle and Plato. Arabic philosophical literature was also translated into Latin, contributing to the development of European science.
Relying on Greek predecessors, such asEuclid and Archimedes, the mathematicians of the Caliphate were the first to systematize the study of algebra. The Arabs introduced the Europeans to Indian numbers, the system of decimal fractions.
In the Moroccan city of Fez in 859 was foundeduniversity. Later such institutions were opened in Cairo and Baghdad. In the universities, theology, law and Islamic history were studied. The culture of the countries of the Caliphate was open to external influence. Among the teachers and students were not only Arabs, but also foreigners, including non-Muslims.
В IX веке на территории Халифата начала develop a system of medicine based on scientific analysis. The thinkers of this time, Ar-Razi and Ibn Sina (Avicenna) systematized modern knowledge of the treatment of diseases and presented them in books that later became widely known in medieval Europe. Thanks to the Arabs, the Christian world rediscovered the ancient Greek physicians Hippocrates and Galen.
The culture of the countries of the Caliphate includedbased on the precepts of Islam tradition of helping the poor. Therefore, in large cities, there were free hospitals that provided assistance to all patients who turned to them. They were financed by religious funds - vacufs. On the territory of the Caliphate appeared the world's first institutions for the care of the mentally ill.
Features of the culture of the Arab Caliphatebrightly manifested in decorative art. Islamic ornaments can not be confused with samples of fine arts of other civilizations. Carpets, clothes, furniture, dishes, facades and interior rooms of buildings were decorated with characteristic patterns.
The use of ornament is associated with religiousban on the image of animate creatures. But it was not always strictly followed. In the book illustrations, people's images were widely distributed. And in Persia, which was also part of the Caliphate, similar murals were painted on the walls of buildings.
Articles made of glass
Egypt and Syria back in ancient times werecenters of glass production. On the territory of the Caliphate, this type of craft was preserved and improved. In the era of the early Middle Ages, the best glassware in the world was produced in the Middle East and Persia. The highest technical culture of the Caliphate was appreciated by the Italians. Later the Venetians, using the workings of Islamic masters, created their own glass industry.
Striving for perfection and beauty of inscriptionspermeated the entire culture of the Arab Caliphate. A briefly expressed religious instruction or an excerpt from the Koran was applied to a variety of subjects: coins, ceramic tiles, metal grilles, walls of houses, etc. The masters who knew the art of calligraphy had a higher status in the Arab world than other artists.
Literature and poetry
At the initial stage, the culture of the countries of the Caliphatewas characterized by concentration on religious subjects and the desire to supplant regional languages in Arabic. But later there was a liberalization of many spheres of public life. This in particular led to the revival of Persian literature.
The greatest interest is the poetry ofperiod. Poems are found in almost every Persian book. Even if it is a work in philosophy, astronomy or mathematics. For example, almost half of the text of Avicenna’s book on medicine is written in verse. Widespread panegyrics. Epic poetry also developed. The peak of this trend is the poem "Shakhname".
Famous tales of "The Thousand and One Nights" also have a Persian origin. But for the first time they were collected in one book and written in Arabic in the 13th century in Baghdad.
Culture of the Caliphate countries formed underinfluenced by both the ancient pre-Islamic civilizations and the Arabs' neighboring nations. This synthesis is most clearly manifested in architecture. Buildings in the Byzantine and Syrian style are characteristic of early Muslim architecture. The architects and designers of many buildings built on the territory of the Caliphate were immigrants from Christian countries.
The great mosque in Damascus was built on the siteBasilica of John the Baptist and almost exactly repeated its form. But soon the Islamic architectural style itself appeared. The Grand Mosque of Keyruana in Tunisia became a model for all subsequent Muslim religious buildings. It has a square shape and consists of a minaret, a large courtyard surrounded by porticoes, and a huge prayer hall with two domes.
Культура стран арабского Халифата имела ярко pronounced regional features. So, for the Persian architecture were characterized by arched and horseshoe-shaped arches, for the Ottoman - buildings with many domes, for the Maghreb - the use of columns.
The Caliphate had extensive trade and political ties with other countries. Therefore, its culture has had a great influence on many nations and civilizations.