UNIONE EUROPEA
Direzione Generale
Occupazione e Affari Sociali
Direzione Generale Politiche
Regionali
Ministero Pubblica Istruzione
Direzione generale
degli scambi culturali
Divisione V
Liceo ginnasio statale
Francesco Scaduto
Bagheria
Programma Operativo Nazionale 2000-2006 "La scuola per lo sviluppo"
Misura 1 Azione 1.1b “Sviluppo delle competenze di base e trasversali nella scuola”
configurazione b:promozione delle competenze di base e di settore
Intervento 2005
Progetto PON
“An Open Window on the Arabian Culture in Sicily”
intervento 2005
A 100 hour course in five modules
from 2nd December 2005 to 25th May 2006
 to develop students’ communicative competence in the English
language from level A2 to B1(CEF);
 to enrich their knowledge through the study of some aspects of
Arabic history and culture ;
 to appreciate the contribution brought by the Arabs to the
history, culture, and traditions of Sicily;
 to understand that richness comes from diversity;
 to cooperate for the creation of a better world.
Students & Teachers
 The course was held in Bagheria Grammar School “F.Scaduto”
 2/3 hour lessons took place twice a week in the afternoon
 23 students(3 as a reserve) were selected after an entry test to
establish the required A2 level CEF
 the following 20 students completed the course successfully:
Basta Paola-Benanti Filippo-Buttitta AlessandroCappuccio Martina-Cecchini Eliana-Ciminato FedericaDebole Noemi-Di Salvo Elisabetta- Gangi Flavia-Leone IsabellaLo Piparo Gina- Maggiore Marianna- Mamone AntonellaManzella Daniela- Manto Giulia- Mineo Valeria- Pinello AmbraPintacuda Rossella-Riccobono Marta-Virruso Francesca
 Internal and external teachers were involved:
three of the school language teachers were employed as tutors:
C. Aiello- O. Manicastri- A. Palermo
two from the British Institutes of Palermo:
Fergus Coughley- Melanie Flynn
 An expert in Arabic culture : J. Sparagano
What we students learnt
Notions-structures- communicative functions- vocabulary expressions in the English language:
to talk about daily routine
to talk about hobbies/holidays
to talk about on going actions-recent-past and future events
to talk about duration
to talk about weather conditions
to express dates- quantities
to report about what has been said
to make suggestions- to ask for/give advice
to express opinions
to describe places/ people
to talk about personality
to make hypothesis
to ask for/give directions-instructions-explanations
to order food/ to book something
to invite/to accept/to refuse
to talk about likes/dislikes
to express agreement/disagreement
Some information about the Arab world
and the Muslim contributions to
Sicilian culture
 The Muslim domination of Sicily
 Mohammed’s life and consequences of the spread of Islam
 Sicily before and after the Norman conquest, the Muslim contributions
to economic and social life:
 innovations in agriculture
 eating habits
 language
 art and architecture
 Contributions to Science and Medicine
ARABIC HISTORY
TIMELINE
by
Valeria Mineo VE
Rossella Pintacuda VG
MUSLIM SICILY
 Dominating Sicily meant a major role in
controlling the affairs of the Mediterranean
World, therefore during the Middle Ages the
major Mediterranean powers fought for the
possession of the island.
 At the time of the Islamic conquests in the
mid-seventh century, Sicily (together with
the southern and eastern portions of the
Italian Peninsula) was a province of the
Byzantine Empire.
 The period of Muslim rule in Sicily coincided
with the early phases of the commercial
revolution of the Middle Ages and was an
era of brilliant economic prosperity for the
island.
ARABIC DOMINATION
IN SICILY
 827





831
843
859
1061
 1072
 1085
 1091
Ziyadat Allah mounted an expedition that
succeeded in establishing a long term foothold
on the island
Mazara was taken by the Muslims
Palermo fell
Messina fell
Enna fell
The Normans landed in Sicily
Roger I succeeded in capturing Messina
Palermo fell in the Norman domination
Toledo fell
Roger I was the first to rule the island after the
Muslims.
The Fall of Muslim Sicily
• In the 11th century the Muslim world was engaged in warfare
between
•
•
•
Sunnis and Shias
various taifas in Spain
various princes in the east
• Taking advantage of these problems, western Christian
countries started an offensive action on all fronts.
• The beginning of the end of the Muslims in Sicily began in the
11th century, with the war between the emir of Palermo and the
Zirid of Tunisia.
• The arrival of the Normans did not bother the Muslims who
continued to fight one another.
• It took the Normans about 20 years to take control over the
island.
The Beginning of the Norman Domination
Roger I recognized the outstanding
quality of Muslim culture and
encouraged the artisans to cultivate
their skills. His coronation mantle
bears a kufic script:
• During Roger II’s reign, Arab poets and geographers were
welcome to his palace, almost Muslim in style
• The main language of court and city was Arabic, as shown in
many documents and on coins
• The Muslim system of administration was appreciated by the
Normans, Muslims held some important positions
• In 1125 George of Antioch, a Christian native of Syria was a sort
of grand vizier and commander in chief
• The influence of Muslim thrift, capacity and skill was
everywhere manifest and acknowledged
• Under William I (1154-1166) the conditions of the Muslims
worsened
• The Lombards slaughtered the Muslim population, so many
eventually moved to safer areas outside the towns
 Under William II (1166-1189)the situation improved a little;
according to Ibn Jubair, he “resembles the Muslim king, in
manners and customs loving luxury, reading and writing Arabic
 Travelling to Sicily Ibn Jubar met the head of all the Muslims of
the island and after a talk with him, understood the
approaching end of the Muslim era: the nobleman had lost the
favour once enjoyed, the property owned, and had also
experienced prison
 Muslims were now persecuted and forced to become Christians
 Under Frederick, the Muslims were deported to the Italian
hinterland, Lucera, where Pope Gregory IX tried to evangelise
them, asking Frederick for support and threatening him of
excommunication for not being backed up
 By 1300 the Muslims were wiped out on the island.
The Arabs ruled Sicily from 827 to 1060.
It was not a united reign.
A series of local dominions were ruled by the “kaids”
At first, they persecuted the Christians, then tried to make them
convert to Islam.
Eventually the Muslims let the Christians and Jews freedom to
practice their faiths under the payment of a poll tax, “jizya”.
Many placenames bear
evidence of the Muslims’
presence on the territory
which, for administrative
purpose, was divided into
three parts:
Val di Mazara, the central
western area
Val Demone, the northeastern area
Val di Noto, the southeastern area.
MUHAMMAD’S LIFE
571 Muhammad was born in Mecca.
He belonged to the Quraysh tribe
that held the custody of the Kaaba
(a sanctuary of divinities )
596 Married his wealthy employer, the
widow Khadijah
615 Those who converted to the new
faith, were forced to migrate to
Abyssinia
622 "the hijra“ took place. The
migration of Muhammad from
Mecca to Medina marks the start of
the Moslem era
628 Muhammad led 1,400 Moslems
to the city of Mecca
630 The Kaaba finally became the holy
place for the Moslems
630 "year of delegations“
632 Muhammad returned to Medina
where he died on 8th June
During a period of meditation he
received his call as a prophet.
Voices commanded him:
• "recite thou in the name of thy
Lord who created”
•"o thou, enwrapped in the mantle!
Arise and warn“
He started preaching a monotheistic
religion.
The Holy Quran
The Qur'ān is the central
religious text of Islam.
Muslims believe the Qur'an
to be the literal word of God
as revealed to Muhammad
over a period of twenty-three
years by the angel Gabriel
and regard it as God's final
revelation to mankind.
The Qur'an consists of 114
surah (chapters) with a total
of 6236 ayat (verses).
• One-seventh of mankind
considers it as the
embodiment of all science,
wisdom and theology;
• It contains the religious laws
and governs fasting,
almsgiving, prayer, marriage
and divorce issues, the
treatment of slaves and war
prisoners;
• The Book and the sayings of
the Prophet prompted
people to learn, to seek
knowledge and to behave in
a responsible way towards
society and God.
Life after death in a garden-like paradise
• Born in a region poor in water
and with scarce resources,
taking into account the good
qualities and desires of his
people as well as their weak
points, Muhammad created a
wonderful after death place.
• In the Koran this garden-like
paradise, is described as a place
run through by springs and
rivers of milk and wine.
• Here rich flora and fauna at last
replace the vast desertic regions
of the Arabic peninsula and of
northern Africa.
• Unlike the Christian one, the
Muslims’ paradise was a
place where one could eat,
drink and enjoy the
company of beautiful
virgins: the huri
• Whereas on earth diet is
based on sour milk, oats,
barley and foul water, in this
Paradise the blessed can
have plenty of citrus fruit,
grapes and various kinds of
vegetables: egg-plants
(which appear in
contemporary decorations
of jewellery and embroidery
works).
• All sorts of spices make
food tastier; rice and pasta,
mutton or lamb dishes.
• Game appears to be among
the most delicious food.
Contributions from the Arabic domination
to the Sicilian language
by E.Cecchini- M. Maggiore-A. Pinello-M. Riccobono
It is possible to trace words of Arabic origin in many different fields:
geography
agriculture
common names
everyday expressions
surnames
Alcantara (the bridge)---------al-qantarah
Aspra (aloe village)------------eriat-es sabhr
Geographical names: Bagheria (place by the sea)-----Bahri
Dittaino (mud river)------------wadi et-tayn
rivers and towns
Favara (water spring)----------El-fawara
Misilmeri(the emir’s place)---Manzil’s al ’Amir
Trabia (square) ------------------Tarbi’ah
Placenames
Rahal (hamlet)--casale--Racalmuto
Qalat (castle)- -castello--Caltanissetta
Manzil (staging post) -Marsa (port)--porto--Marsala
-stazione di posta Misilmeri
Gebel (mountain)--monte--Gibellina
Qasr (palace)--palazzo--Castroreale
AGRICULTURE
 Land was divided into small plots
 Intensive and more sophisticated farming methods
were introduced as well as networks of irrigation
channels, “qanat”.
 New crops were introduced: cotton, flax, sugar
cane, rice, citrus fruit, nuts and dates.
Words relating to agriculture and irrigation
Catusu: “Qadus”(pipe of cooked clay)
Chaya: “Taya”(hedge or garden wall)
Fiskia: “Fiskia”(reservoir)
Gebbia: “Dijeb”(well)
Margum: “Marja”(inundated field)
Noharia: “Nuara”(irrigated cottage garden)
Saja: “saqiyah”(canal for irrigation)
Sulfa: “Sulfa”(advance of credit guaranteed to farmers)
Zena: “saniyah”(wheel well) pozzo a ruota, noria
water raising machines were developed
by the Muslims 900 years ago
The Arabs introduced new crops
•



Pistachio-------------pistacchio---fastuca---fustuq
Grapes with big acini ---- zibibbo---zibibbu
Orange blossom---zagara---zahara---zahr
Sesame seeds------sesamo---giuggiulena---Giulgilan
Common words and expressions
of Arabic origin still in use
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
ammatula------------- in vain = invano
balata-------balat----slab of smooth rock = lastricato
bizzeffi---------bizef-----------plenty = in abbondanza
camula ------------woodworm = tarlo
dammusu-----dammus---- loft = soffitta
filusa--------------------------(money) = denaro
sciarra----------sarra----------------- (quarrel) = lite
The Arabic alphabet is composed of 28 capital letters, the letters are written and read from right to left.
Commercial terms and….others
ENGLISH
Measure for
Oil/grain
ITALIAN
SICILIAN
ARABIC
Cafiso
Cafisu
Qafiz
Market
Mercato
Zuccu
Suq
Warehouse
Fondaco
Funnacu
Funduq
Basket
Cesta
Coffa
Quffa
Snail
Lumaca
Babbaluci
Babaluci
Cous cous
Cous cous
Cuscusu
Kouskous
Surnames
•
•
•
•
•
•
Badalà/Vadalà----Abd Allah = Allah’s servant
Cangemi------------haggam = barber/surgeon
Fidemi/Fiteni------faddan = field
Fragalà--------------farag Allah = Allah’s joy
Morabito------------ person who doesn’t drink alcohol
Zappalà-------------’izz bi-Allah = Allah’s power
by M. Cappuccio & F. Virruso (1/I)
The presence of Islam in Sicily involved the introduction of new
cultivations which consequently changed Sicilians’ eating habits
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Citrus fruits, vegetables: garlic, onions aubergines, almonds as well as spices
and herbs, widely spread in the Arabic world, are still present in many dishes
of our gastronomy.
Dates, prickly pears, almonds and honey are the main ingredients of palatable
delicacies.
It seems to be Arabic the custom of adding the essence of jasmine in drinks
and sweets as well as the invention of the sorbet (from “scharbat”) and of the
“cubaita” a cake made of honey, almonds and sesame.
The Sicilian word “liccumarie” derives from “faludai” “licumi”.
The culture of sugar cane was extensively practised in the area between
Ficarazzi and Misilmeri, where the area called “Canneta” unwinds itself along
the river Eleuterio as far as Pizzo Canneta.
The area of Trabia was well known for the pasta industry.
The recipe of arancine witnesses the Arabic custom of mixing rice with minced
meat and saffron.
Camphor and cloves were widely employed for the preparation of medicines as
well as of food together with saffron, cinnamon and honey.
Farming methods in the
villages and towns
Islam spread
to farming
& herding
villages.
Here is the deep
ploughing
method
• A field tended with a hoe
• Farmers irrigated the fields and then seeded
them
Oxen, donkeys, and even camels
were employed to farm the land
 Plowing with a
team of horses.
Harvesting
Rice Crops
 Rice was grown in hot
climates and where there
was plenty of water.
 During the Middle Ages,
rice was mostly for the
wealthy because it was
brought from India,
Persia,and other
climates.
• Most people ate bread
and porridge made of
barley and wheat.
Muslim farmers made some important advances in
agriculture
A branch from one fruit
tree can be cut and
transferred to another
tree.The branch of a
green apple can be
grafted into the trunk of
a red apple tree.The
green branch will still
give off green apples.
The same is true with
grapes on grape vines,
and with some other
fruit trees.
Irrigation technology
Muslims introduced new irrigation systems. They
built canals which brought water from springs
and streams to the dry fields.
SILK
 The wealthy Muslims enjoyed wearing silk
clothing which, being light and comfortable
was suitable in hot weather.
 According to the Qur’an, men were not
supposed to wear silk, but some had clothing
partly made of silk, so that they could wear it
as well as follow the Qur’an.
Elements of Arabic Origin
in Architecture
The Aghlabites started new constructions to restore
existing buildings and to enlarge Palermo.
Maybe the highway, the Cassaro, was copied from
the main market of Kairewan. Ibn-Haukal mentioned
new factories being built (872) and a century after
that Count Roger spoke of the beauty of the
buildings he had found and in good part destroyed.
King Roger’s Book mentions an old Christian
temple converted into a mosque and eventually
transformed into a Christian cathedral.
Before the arrival of the Normans, architecture was
flourishing in Palermo as well as in other Sicilian
towns.
Palermo as splendid
as Baghdad and Cordoba
With the arrival of the Aghlabits, the old Punic town of Palermo
became an impressive, rich and densely populated town.
In 883 the monk Theodosius acknowledged its splendour: “full of citizens and strangers… blended with
Sicilians, the Lombards and the Jews, there are Arabs, Berbers, Persians wrapped in long robes and
turbans, some clad in skin and some half naked, faces oval, square or round, of every complexion and
profile and hair of every variety of colour or cut”.
There was a beautiful castle Al Qas (Cassaro) in the heart of the ancient area, named
Palermo; and Al-Halisa, surrounded by high walls, was the seat of the sultan and of
the administrative offices. It was provided with two public baths and housed the
naval dockyard and the diwan. “The town has four gates….most markets are
between the Mosque of Ibn-Saqlab (where the port was) and the Harat al-Gadidah
(the new Quarter). The whole area was rich in springs: al Fawwaral- sagira (the
small spring) and al-Bayda (the white one).
In the 10th century the merchant Ibn-Hawqal praised the city for its palaces and the 300 mosques.
They were not only used as places of worship but as schools too. Students from different European countries, eager to achieve attainments
and distinction, read at Balerm University.
 Edrisi, the famous geographer at the
court of Roger II, defined the city as
the most remarkable and….
 the Andalusian poet Ibn Giubar
described it as: “the metropolis of the
island… an elegant city … set between
its open spaces and plains filled with
gardens, with broad roads… built in
the Cordoba style, from cut stone
(soft limestone).
 A river ran through the town.
“…four springs..gush in its...suburbs...
The king roams through the gardens…
The Christian women follow the
fashion of Muslim women, are fluent of
speech, wrap their cloaks about them
and are veiled”.
Flavia Gangi (I sez.I)
& Daniela Manzella (II sez.E)
The palace, started in 1166 shortly before the death of
King William I, was finished by his successor William II.
Its name derives from
the Arab “el aziz” that is
“the splendid”.
The Zisa, intended as a summer residence and for
recreational purposes, was situated in the large royal park of
the Genoard overlooking a large artificial lake in front of the
vestibule.
The Zisa remained in royal hands for centuries but, after Palermo ceased to be the capital, it finally passed into private
hands at the end of the 15th century. The palace fell into disuse and decay.
Giovanni de Sandoval bought the estate in 1635. In the following years the Zisa was restored and altered, both in
interior and exterior. Sandoval was later given the title “Prince of the Royal Palace”.
The palace remained in the hands of the Sandoval family until
1808, when it passed to Francesco Notarbartolo, Prince of Sciara,
and eventually fell into disrepair.
In 1951 it was in part expropriated by the Region of Sicily, the
remaining part was expropriated in 1968.
On October 13, 1971 parts of the palace collapsed, causing serious
damage to the internal structure and the western façade.
Restauration started the year after.
Though commissioned by the Norman rulers of Sicily, the Zisa is in effect an Arabic building.
It was designed by Arab architects and built by Arab craftsmen according to Arab tradition. It is a prime
example of Fatimid architecture and the particular Arab-Norman style.
The Zisa is built on a rectangular base, extended by two narrow
square towers on the short sides.
The building, three storeys
high, presents:
three pointed arches in
the façade,
four double lancet
windows on the first
floor and five on the top
floor (later changed into
rectangular glazed
ones).
Two smaller windows on
the second floor were
added later.
The original building was crowned by a heavy cornice, the
preserved parts contain an Islamic text about the foundation of
the castle.
The ground floor is preceded
by an open gallery with three
gates. At the centre of the
gallery is the open entrance to
the Fountain Hall, which boasts
a splendid fountain, wall
mosaics
and
special arches with the socalled “muqarnas” (a highly
decorative honeycomb of
miniature vaults and stalacite
pendants, usually meant to
enrich niches and windows).
The upper floors contain a large
number of rooms and passages
which were originally the royal
apartment. On the roof there
were originally three open
rooms which were later domed.
The Fountain Hall
A mosaic frieze of peacocks and archers ornates the fountain hall.
From here a series of rooms received cool air thanks to a special ventilation system, by which draughts of fresh air
could circulate through the gaps in the walls.
The palace was positioned so that the arches on
the façade would catch the summer breeze,
which were cooled by the pool in front.
The air then entered the Fountain Hall and
passed through hidden passages upwards in
the building, implementing an ingenious form
of natural air conditioning.
The three open rooms on the roof were intended
as recipient for rain water, which were
channeled downwards through hidden canals
within the building towards the fountain in
the ground floor, ultimately feeding the
outside pool.
The edifice has a rectangular plan, with massive forms.
The four façades are marked by blind arcades, small windows
and niches.
The origin of its name is uncertain, it might refer to its cubical
form. The palace shows a strong influence of Fatimid art.
It was, at least partially, designed and decorated
by Arab artists who were living in Palermo
after the Norman conquest.
The Cuba was built in 1180
by William II of Sicily, as
his personal pleasure
pavilion.
It stood at the centre of a
fishpond surrounded by
the great royal park,
whose Arabic name
“Gennet-ol-ardh” meant
“paradise on earth”.
 The origin of its name is uncertain, it might refer to its cubical
form or to a cupola (qubba) surmounting the building
 The edifice has a rectangular plan, with massive forms
 The four façades are marked by blind arcades, small windows
and niches
The interior is
represented by a
single square
room.
On the top of the wall the
engraved kufic
inscription celebrates
the completion of the
building.
Its vaulted exedras are decorated
with muqarnas, stucco stalactites.
Originally filigree windows filtered
the sunshine and the walls were
embellished with marbles and
mosaics.
Rain water was collected in an eight
pointed star pool.
Photo taken on 18th May 2006
CHURCH OF
SAN CATALDO
CHURCH OF SAN GIOVANNI
DEGLI EREMITI
by
Filippo Benanti ( VE )
Alessandro Buttitta ( IIIE )
Church of San Cataldo
• The church of San Cataldo is a
typical example of the period in
which Arab workers were in the
service of Christians.
• It rises on the mezzanine in
Piazza Bellini next to the church
of Santa Maria
dell’Ammiraglio.
• It is a notable example of
Norman architecture, in fact it
was built between 1154 and
1160 by admiral Majone di Bari
under the reign of William I.
• The church is characterized by
a parallelepipedal outer
structure composed by regular
stone layers horizontally set one
on the other.
• The façade is decorated by
blind arches, partially occupied
by windows.
• The roof has three
characteristic red, bulge domes
(cubole) and an Arab-style
crenellation decorates the
parapet.
• The interior has a nave with
two aisles.
• The naked walls are faced by
spolia columns with Byzantine
style arcades.
• The nave is roofed with three
red domes rising from a
drum.
Each aisle shows cross vaults
and two little apses which can
not be seen from the outside.
On the original altar a cross
and the symbols of the four
evangelists are carved in.
• A splendid mosaic
characterizes the original
floor.
• It shows the traditional
Muslim iconic patterns.
CHURCH OF SAN GIOVANNI
DEGLI EREMITI
San Giovanni degli Eremiti was built
in 1142 on commission of Roger
II by Arab architects and by his
admiral.
The Church, now deconsecrated, is
one of the most typical
monuments of the Norman
domination in Palermo.
It was built upon a mosque.
That may explain its Arabic style
with the five reddish cupolas.
Roger II started the construction for
the Benedictine Order in 1130.
It looks as if he asked for the domes
to show his support for Arabic
influence in the architecture of
Palermo at the time.
The bell tower bears a distinctive
Norman appearance in the Gothic
lines and mullioned windows.
Were it not for the bell tower, Saint
John's could easily be mistaken for
a mosque.
St. John's visual impact results
mainly from its external
features, with its charming
Arabesque domes.
Its elegant cloister, at the
moment on restoration,
blends harmoniously with the
Church and its
surrounding gardens.
During the didactic visit to the
site on 30th April,
we saw part of it through a
space between the fences.
Anthropological and
palaeopathological aspects
INTRODUCTION
• Historical sources have given us a great deal of information
about Arabic Sicily and its population, but what we know
about the Muslims from a biological point of view is only
thanks to the small number of Islamic necropoleis found in
the western part of the island.
• We are going to analyse the archaeologic sites of Palermo
(Castello S. Pietro, Oratorio dei Bianchi, S. Maria degli Angeli,
Palazzo Abatellis), Entella, Monte Iato, Monte Maranfusa,
Caliata (AG), Segesta (TP).
• In the end we will notice that, during the last period, there
was the cohabitation between two different ethnic groups:
the Arabic and Berber Muslims with the Christians, who lived
together peacefully in a context of natural integration.
PALERMO
Characteristics of Castello S.Pietro necropolis
 The oldest necropolis;
 Single-corpse graves;
 NW-SE oriented bodies,
with the head to south, in
right lateral decubitus and
without any funeral set;
 Men with a Berber
morphology and women
with an Arabic morphology;
 A healthy society using
cooked meals.
Oratorio dei Bianchi
Typical Arabic tombs with bodies
on right side
The children were covered by
rooftiles.
Santa Maria degli Angeli
Necropolis damaged by the
superposition of later buildings
we can see both Muslim and Christian
tombs in the same area
Palazzo Abatellis
The corpses were buried lying on
their right side
Entella
There were very narrow graves
where the corpses were buried in
right lateral decubitus;
Most of the corpses were of
Mediterranean type, but there
were also some of the Berber
kind.
Monte Maranfusa
All the corpses were buried
lying on their right side,
according to the Muslim custom;
Only one grave was wider and
deeper than the others. The body
was buried on its back.
Monte Iato
A Christian and a Muslim necropoleis were discovered here;
The graves of both cemeteries free of burial goods;
In Muslim tombs the corpses were buried according to the Islamic
ritual;
In the Christian tombs the corpses were buried face up.
TRAPANI
Charateristics of Segesta necropolis
 Situated next to the Greek
Segesta theatre;
 Not very deep burials, a heap
of soil was used a grave
marker;
 Some of the graves were
covered by a limestone slab
 All the corpses were buried
according to the Muslim
ritual;
 Both Christian and Muslim
groups were unearthed in
this area.
by …
PAOLA
BASTA
GIULIA
MANTO
AL IDRISI:
THE NEW GEOGRAPHY
OF SICILY
ISABELLA LEONE
ELISA DI SALVO
NOEMI DEBOLE
FEDERICA CIMINATO
(II B)
AL-IDRISI




HE WAS BORN IN 1099 IN CEUTA
AND EDUCATED IN CORDOVA;
HE IS BEST KNOWN IN THE WEST
AS A GEOGRAPHER. INVITED BY
ROGER II HE MADE AN UP-TO-DATE
WORLD MAP;
HE ALSO MADE MAJOR
CONTRIBUTIONS IN THE SCIENCE
OF MEDICINAL PLANTS AND WROTE
SEVERAL BOOKS THAT WERE
POPULAR FOR CENTURIES;
HE BECAME FAMOUS MORE THAN
OTHER MUSLIM GEOGRAPHERS
BECAUSE SHIPS AND NAVIGATORS
FROM THE NORTH SEA, THE
ATLANTIC OCEAN AND THE
MEDITERRANEAN SEA VISITED
SICILY, WHICH IS LOCATED IN THE
MIDDLE OF THE MEDITERRANEAN
SEA.
ROGER’S BOOK


THE BOOK, IN HONOUR OF THE KING OF SICILY,
ROGER II, IS A GEOGRAPHICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA
OF THE TIME, CONTAINING INFORMATION NOT
ONLY ON ASIA AND AFRICA, BUT ALSO ON
WESTERN COUNTRIES;
IN THIS BOOK AL-IDRISI PRAISES PALERMO
AND HE SAYS THAT IT IS A WONDERFUL CITY,
FULL OF LUXURIOUS BUILDINGS, MOSQUES,
AND SHOPS OF RICH MERCHANTS. IT HAS
SEVERAL GARDENS AND MAGNIFICENT WATER
CANALS.
THE MAP OF SICILY


THE LONGEST RIVERS AND THE
HIGHEST MOUNTAINS ARE EASILY
RECOGNIZABLE;
THE ETNA VOLCANO IS THE MOST
VISIBLE;
24 TOWNS ARE INDICATED ON
THE MAP.
AL-IDRISI REPRESENTED THE
MOST FAMOUS DRAWING OF
MUSLIM SICILY;
ON HIS MAP, SICILY, TRIANGULAR
IN SHAPE, IS LOCATED IN THE
CENTRE OF THE SICILIAN ISLES,
NOT FAR FROM THE ITALIAN
PENINSULA;
MEDICAL SCIENCE
•
Modern historical research established that the earliest human
civilization dates back to about 7,000 years ago. The Romans inherited
their knowledge from Greek intellectuals as Socrates and Plato,
Aristotle and Pericles, Demosthenes and Sophocles.
However after the downfall of the Roman Empire there was a period of
intellectual stagnation; and the Arab population was the only one to
save the cultural progress.
•
The golden era of Muslims’ achievement in the field of scientific and
philosophical research began in 900 A.D. and lasted for two centuries.
•
The physicians and scientists of the Islamic world having stood on the
firm foundation of Greek science began to rely upon their own
resources and to develop from within.
MEDICAL SCIENCE
•
Jabir, known as the father of Arabic
alchemy was a mystic and was known as
“Ceber” in medieval Latin literature.
Closely attached to the family of the
ministerial dynasty of the Abbasid
Caliphate. He founded a laboratory at
Kufa, ruins of which were discovered
200 years later.
•
Al-Razi (known in the West as Rhazes)
was one of the greatest physicians of all
time. In his young age he practised as an
alchemist but later he devoted himself to
the development of medical science both
in theory and practice.
He wrote Kitab Al-Masuri (called Liber
Almatsoris in Latin) a 10 volume treatise
which was published in several editions.
Another book of his, Al-Judari-walHasbah, that was translated into Latin
and other European languages and
published more than forty times between
1498 and 1866 A.D. contains detailed
information regarding smallpox and
measles.
MEDICAL SCIENCE
• The greatest achievement of Al-Razi is
his celebrated work Al-Hawi the most
comprehensive encyclopaedia of
medicine in 20 volumes.
• This book translated into Latin by the
Sicilian Jewish physician, Faraj Ibn
Salim, on the order of Charles I, King of
Sicily, was entitled “Continens”.
It influenced the European medicine and
contributed to gynaecology, obstetrics,
ophthalmology. He also wrote a valuable
treatise on the treatment of some
common diseases in the East, including
stones in the bladder and kidneys.
He settled in Baghdad where he founded
a hospital called Bimaristan.
.
MEDICAL SCIENCE
• Ali Ibn Al-Abbas-al-Majusi known in the west as Haly Abbas, who died
in 994 A.D., was the author of a celebrated work Kitab-al-maliki known
as Liber Regius in Latin, an encyclopaedia dealing with both the theory
and the practice of medical science.
It remained a standard book until it was superseded by the Canon, the
masterpiece of the great Avicenna. Perhaps Majusi was the first physician
to write about the capillary system and to describe accurately the way in
which a child is born.
• Abu Alì Al-Husain-al-Sina, known in the west as Avicenna, was one of
the greatest intellectuals of the Islamic world who is ranked second only to
Aristotle.
His gigantic work AlQanun-Fil-Tib, known as Canon in Latin, is the
culmination and the masterpiece of Arab systematisation.
It is a medical encyclopaedia dealing with 760 drugs, as well as with
general medicine, simple drugs, and diseases affecting all parts of the body.
MEDICAL SCIENCE
•
•
•
Particularly concerned with
Pathology and Pharmacopoeia it
was translated into Latin in the
12th century by Gerard of
Cremona.
Publications including sections
from this work as well as
commentaries on it in various
languages of both the East and
West are innumerable. Avicenna
also discovered the spreading of
diseases through water.
Avicenna was responsible for
elevating Islamic medicine to its
zenith, and his portrait as well as
that of al-Razi still adorns the
grand Hall of the Faculty of
Medicine in the University of
Paris.
MEDICAL SCIENCE
• Abu-Al-Jarrah-Al-Zahrawi, as
Abul Casis, was a great surgeon
who wrote Al-Tasrif, containing 30
sections of which the last one
deals with surgery. Muslim
physicians at that time did not pay
any attention to surgery.
• Al-Tasrif, fully illustrated with
sketches of surgical instruments,
profoundly contributed to the
development of surgery both in the
East and the West.
It was translated into several
European languages.
MEDICAL SCIENCE
• Ali Ibn Isa of Baghdad, known in Latin
as Jesu Occulist, wrote an excellent
treatise on ophthalmology, a branch of
medicine dealing with eye diseases. It
was translated into Latin and was
considered the authoritative work on
eye diseases in Europe till the middle of
the 18th century.
• Abu Ali al-Hasan, known as Alhazen in
the West, is recognised as the greatest
authority for his valuable contributions
to the development of medicine and
physics but his outstanding
achievement is in the realm of optics.
MEDICAL SCIENCE
• Alhazen corrected the
• The two greatest luminaries of
theories of Euclid and
the Islamic world Ibn Sina and
Ptolemy on the subject, and
Al-Beruni shared and fully
his Opticae Thesaurus
endorsed Alhazen’s opinion
influenced such great
that, “It is not the ray that
writers on optics as Roger
leaves the eye and meets the
Bacon, Leonardo da Vinci,
object that gives rise to vision,
John Kepler and all medieval
rather the form of the
western writers, who based
perceived object passes into
their works on the research
the eye and is transmitted by
of Alhazen.
its transparent body”.
MEDICAL SCIENCE
• Ibn Rushd: known as
Averroes in the West, was
among the greatest
intellectuals.
• Besides being an Aristotelian
philosopher and the author of
“Tahafut al tahafut”; he wrote
about astronomy, grammar and
medicine.
• He is the author of 16 medical
works of which one, Kulliyat Fil
Tib, dealing with general rules
of medicine, was translated
into Latin as Colliget. It was
printed several times in
Europe.
MEDICAL SCIENCE
Ibn Katina: wrote a remarkable book on the severe plague in
Alemaria (Spain 1348-49 A.D).
Thanks to this work, which was edited and translated
in Europe in the15th century A.D., the contagious
character of the plague and its remedies, which were
not known to Greek physicians, were revealed.
.
MEDICAL SCIENCE
The study of medicine in Europe began
at Salerno, where Costantine the African,
a disciple of an Arab physician,
organized the first medical school.
The medical school of Montpellier soon
followed.
It was founded on the pattern of Cordova,
under the guidance of Jewish doctors.
Other schools on the same lines were
opened at Pisa and later at Padua (Italy).
Avicenna’s“Canon”and Abul Qasim’s “Surgery”
remained, until the 17th century, the textbooks
of medical science throughout Europe.
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Diapositiva 1 - Liceo Classico "Francesco Scaduto"