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    Benetnasch and Alkaid revisited
    From: Peter Fogg
    Date: 2005 Apr 6, 05:54 +1000

    Why do we have so many stars with Arabic names?
    Astronomy may be the oldest science, but most knowledge gets lost. While the
    lights of scientific knowledge were burning particularly dim, during the
    European dark ages, things were rather different in the Arabic world. Islam
    had quickly established a vast empire of many very different peoples and
    cultures that were administered with a rare tolerance and humanity. Schools
    were established in places as far apart as Spain and Samarqand (central
    Asia) that specialized in astronomy and mathematics and drew students and
    scholars from afar. Many were Jewish, some were Christian. Their knowledge
    base was Arabic and Greek and Babylonian, their lasting contribution was
    bringing it together and expanding upon it. When the European scientific
    world stirred from a long sleep during the reformation, the legacy of these
    schools was a principal source of knowledge that, for example, the
    Portuguese and Spanish drew upon to build up a new science of scientific

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