From the middle of the eighth century to the tenth century, almost all non-literary and non-historical secular Greek books, including such diverse topics as astrology, alchemy, physics, botany and medicine, that were not available throughout the eastern Byzantine Empire and the Near East, were translated into Arabic.
Greek Thought, Arabic Culture explores the major social, political and ideological factors that occasioned the unprecedented translation movement from Greek into Arabic in Baghdad, the newly founded capital of the Arab dynasty of the 'Abbasids', during the first two centuries of their rule. Dimitri Gutas draws upon the preceding historical and philological scholarship in Greco-Arabic studies and the study of medieval translations of secular Greek works into Arabic and analyses the social and historical reasons for this phenomenon.
Dimitri Gutas provides a stimulating, erudite and well-documented survey of this key movement in the transmission of ancient Greek culture to the Middle Ages.
'important for any classicist interested in the legacy and transmission of Greek culture and provides excellent comparative material for those working on the interaction of all ancient cultures, including especially the development of greek thought at Rome.' - Simon Swain, The Classicla Review
'A remarkable work. It has all the makings of a classic.' - Remke Kruk, Boekbesprekingen
'Gutas' book is a most welcome tool for classicists and oreintalists…Gutas' informative book arouses the curiosity of specialists as well as of a broader public.' - Hans Daiber, Classical World, Winter 2001.