Algarve and the Arabs

"No people in the Early Middle Ages, contributed to human progress so much as did the Arabs, a term wich in our usage would comprise all Arabic-speaking peoples, including the Arabians, that is, the inhabitants of the Arabian peninsula.  Arab schoolars were studing Aristotle when Charlemagne and his lords were reportedley  learning to write their names. Scientists in Cordova, with their seventeen great libraries, one alone of which includede more than 400,000 volumes, enjoyed luxurious baths at a time when washing the body was considered a dangerous custom at the university of Oxford.  "

The greatest economic impact of Musslim culture was felt in agriculture.  Irrigation was improved and extended as huge water wheels were built to lift water from the rivers to the fields.  The mechanisation of corn milling spread in place of the labour-intensif pounding of mortars.  In Musslim Lisbon the city was comended by geographer Idrisi for its hot public baths and its good sanitation. Social life was dominated by music and dancing and the display of fine costums.



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