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Page out of Tashrīḥi Manṣūri, about 1450
visible are arteries and nerves

Even if the "dark"' Middle Ages in Christian Europe was not as backward as often claimed, the high culture of Islamic countries was amazing.

  • writings, knowledge from ancient times                          
  • trade with Africa, India, China                          
  • promotion of science and art  
  • tolerance towards "book believers"

provided for a rich culture, which was often adopted by the crusaders.

Cultural Exchange

The crusaders encountered many things in the Orient that they did not yet know. Often they did not invent their own words for new things, but adopted the already existing Arabic word. Many terms show the influence of Arabic on the English language:

Orange Sliced White Background.jpg fruit, originally from South and East Asia,
known in Sanskrit as naranga, which became the Arabic naranj.
Glencairn Glass-pjt.jpg an extraction process from a mineral,
European chemists began to refer to anything involving extraction/distillation as alcohol.
Chemistrylogo.svg put together
Algebra2 sistnlin fig002 prbl.svg a mathematical discipline
(from قندي)
Ambigram Candy icon - pink animated.gif “hard sweets made by boiling cane sugar”
Roasted coffee beans.jpg for long snubbed by Europeans as the “wine of the infidels”—that is,
many centuries before the age of Starbucks and instant coffee!

part 2

Sofa Clip Art.jpg cushioned item of furniture
for seating multiple people
raised, carpeted platform
on which people sat.
Sugar cubes.jpg Sanskrit (śarkarā),
meaning "ground or candied sugar"
"0" - - 2112765.jpg Arabic word for zero صفر (sifr) not easily understood,
so used for encrypted code
Three early medicine bottles.jpg like a syrup
Gin and Tonic with ingredients.jpg chemical compounds containing sodium
ARTICHOKE Adolphe Millot artichaut de laon.jpg variety of a species of thistle cultivated as food.

part 3

(أميــــــــر الرحلة)
Rear Admiral Suraj Berry.jpg commander of the fleet
( دار الصناعــــــــــــــــة )
View of the entrance to the Arsenal by Canaletto, 1732.jpg manufacturing house
where weapons for the navy are made
( مجلة)
South African Naval Museum Simon's Town.jpg store house
Assassination.png hitman, murderer
Upland cotton pulled out of a boll before harvest. (24490308693).jpg soft, fluffy staple fiber
used for textiles
Pillowtop-mattress.jpg large, usually rectangular pad where you can lie and sleep

Arabic, Latin or Greek?

Some words originated in Greek, were translated into Arabic and found their way into the English language:

Sort the loan words after their original language:

Arabic guitar alcohol cipher algebra safran tariff tambourine artichoke safari
Greek philosophy tragedy Maths democracy monologue
Latin cherry wine process jurist peach chamber street

Sort the following Arabic loan words after topics:

Spice / Fruit
coffee alcohol lemonade safran muskat orange sugar peach
Textiles cotton damast jacket German: Kittel German: Mütze
Furniture mattress sofa mosaik diwan baldachin
Music lute
(German: Laute)
guitar tambourine fanfare trumpet
Science cipher algebra elixir azure algorithm risk

counting and calculating

The merchant and mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci from Pisa triggered a mathematical revolution with his book "Liber abaci". He noticed:

The nine numbers of the Indians are: 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 I.
With them and with the sign 0, which is called "sifr" in Arabic,

you can write every number you want.

  1. Where do the "Arabic" numbers really come from?
  2. How do you pronounce 0 in English? Do you know which original language it's from?
  3. Compare the addition tasks below with each other and then fill in the missing words in the following text.

Roman Numerals


+     XVIII




Arabic Numerals


+         18




The numerical values are the same in both tasks. There are two advantages to written arithmetic with Arabic numerals:

With the Roman numerals, there is no numeral sign for the numerical value zero.

In the spoken form, Roman numerals, like Arabic numerals, are structured according to the ten system. In the written form, however, the Roman numerals lack the division into "ones", "tens", "hundreds", "twos" and "threes". hundreds, etc.

fun stuff

I can't believe this:

Umfrage, ob man Arabische Zahlen in Schulen lehren sollte.


crusader = Kreuzzügler, Kreuzritter

crusade = Kreuzzug

crusade = religious war to free the Holy Land (= Jerusalem, Palestine)

Why - because pilgrims wanted to visit the place where Jesus had lived.