Skip to content
Skip to main content

When the World Spoke Arabic Film Series – Apr 22

Join us for the fourth evening in a six-part series of When the World Spoke Arabic: The Golden Age of Arab Civilization.


“The Secrets of the Human Body: Islam’s Contributions to Medicine” (27 min.)
This program investigates the practice of medicine during the Abbasid Caliphate, offering profiles of Jurjis ibn Jibrail, personal doctor to Caliph al-Mansur; Yuhanna ibn Masawayh, head of Caliph al-Ma’amun’s House of Wisdom; Rhazes, whose Kitab al-hawi outlines an exemplary clinical approach; Avicenna, universally known for his Canon of Medicine; and Abul Qasim al-Zahrawi, the father of modern surgery.

“Everything under the Sun: Astronomy, Mathematics, and Islam” (26 min.)
Picking up mathematics and astronomy from where the ancient Greeks had left off, Arab scholars paved the way for the Copernican revolution and the rebirth of science in Europe. This program reveals the Empire of the Caliphate’s role in developing the Indo-Arabic decimal system, algebra, and algorithms and in refining the science of optics and the Ptolemaic model of the solar system.

The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City Public Library, UI Middle East and Muslim World Studies Program, African Studies Program, and Medieval Studies Program are sponsors of this film series.

All films will be introduced by Edward Miner, International Studies Bibliographer, University of Iowa Libraries, with discussion to follow. This film series will be shown in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name in the north foyer of the University of Iowa Main Library. For more information, contact Edward Miner at (319)335-5883 or