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Scholars at an Abbasid library. Maqamat of al-Hariri Illustration by Yahyá al-Wasiti, Baghdad 1237

{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Merge from |date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Message box|mbox}} }} The House of Wisdom (Arabic: بيت الحكمة‎{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}; Bayt al-Hikma) was a major intellectual center during the Islamic Golden Age. The House of Wisdom was founded by Caliph Harun al-Rashid (reigned 786–809) and culminated under his son al-Ma'mun (reigned 813–833) who is credited with its formal institution. Al-Ma'mun is also credited with bringing many well-known scholars to share information, ideas, and culture in the House of Wisdom. Based in Baghdad from the 9th to 13th centuries, many learned scholars including those of Jewish or Christian background<ref>Hyman and Walsh Philosophy in the Middle Ages Indianapolis, 1973, p. 204' Meri, Josef W. and Jere L. Bacharach, Editors, Medieval Islamic Civilization Vol.1, A-K, Index, 2006, p. 304.</ref> were part of this research and educational institute. Besides translating books into Arabic and preserving them, scholars associated with the House of Wisdom also made many remarkable original contributions to diverse fields.<ref>Meri, p. 451.</ref><ref name="AK">Al-Khalili, pp. 67-78</ref>

During the reign of al-Ma'mun, astronomical observatories were set up, and the House was an unrivaled center for the study of humanities and for science in medieval Islam, including mathematics, astronomy, medicine, alchemy and chemistry, zoology, and geography and cartography. Drawing on Greek, Indian and Persian texts, the scholars accumulated a great collection of world knowledge, and built on it through their own discoveries. By the middle of the ninth century, the House of Wisdom was the largest repository of books in the world.<ref name="AK"/>

It was destroyed in the sack of the city following the Mongol Siege of Baghdad (1258).


House of Wisdom sections
Intro   History    Main activities    People    Other houses of wisdom   See also  Notes and citations  References  

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