Ishaq Ibn Hunayn's Arabic translation of Euclid's Elementa.

Western knowledge of many works of the greatest thinkers of ancient Greece, including Euclid, was lost during the so-called Dark Ages (the period from about the late fifth century AD to the year 1000). However, between the late eighth century and the tenth centuries, most o

A Sense of Freedom Mathematics Geometry Euclid Translations


Jahangir celebrates the Hindu festival of Holi from the Minto Album.

This folio is from an album compiled for the Mughal emperors Jahangir (r. 1605-27) and Shah Jahan (r. 1627-58) between about 1612 and 1640. In his memoirs, Jahangir, whose mother was Hindu, describes Holi, the exuberant Hindu festival: ‘Thursday is the Holi, which in their

A Sense of Place Manners and customs Religion Hinduism Festivals Holī (Hindu festival) Jahangir, Emperor of Hindustan, 1569-1627


Illuminated opening from a Qur'an.

This Qur'an is one of the great treasures of the Chester Beatty Library. It is important on a number of counts, but especially as it is a rare example of the work of Ibn al-Bawwab (d. 1022), one of three great medieval masters of Islamic calligraphy. Ibn al-Bawwab is espe

A Sense of Identity Qur'an Islamic calligraphy Sacred books Religion Islam


Illuminated heading for Chapter 32 from a Qur'an.

Usually, an illuminated heading marks the beginning of each of the 114 chapters of the Qur'an. This one marks the start of chapter 32, which bears the title al-Sajda (The Prostration) and which deals with the mysteries of Creation, Time and the Final End.

A Sense of Identity Qur'an Creation (Islam) Islamic cosmology Sacred books Religion Islam Illumination of books and manuscripts


Device for raising water, from the Book of Ingenious Mechanical Devices, by Al-Jazari.

Badi al-Zaman Al-Jazari wrote his Book of Ingenious Mechanical Devices in 1206 in response to a request from his patron, a minor king in Diyarbekir (in what is now south-east Turkey). The text includes diagrams and instructions for the construction of fifty mechanical dev

A Sense of Freedom Technology Mechanical devices Hydraulic machinery Pumping machinery Islamic civilization Illumination of books and manuscripts