(62) Influence of the Arab Mind
In a word, the literature, arts, and sciences of the Arabs formed the connecting-link between the civilizations of ancient and modern times; and the culture which they introduced into the countries they conquered has in almost every instance outlasted the rule of the conquerors themselves. To them, directly, and indirectly, we owe the revival of learning and philosophy in Western Europe, and the first awakening of the critical and inquiring spirit that has in great measure rescued Europe from the lethargy of monkish ignorance and ecclesiastical bigotry; to them also, at least indirectly and by deduction, are due most of the useful arts and practical inventions laboriously perfected by later nations. Wide-spread as was the empire of the Arab sword, it has been less extended and less durable than the empire of the Arab mind. (W. G. P.)
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Arabia - Table of Contents
This article was written by William Gifford Palgrave, B.A., missionary in Syria for the Society of Jesus; penetrated central Arabia on a secret mission from Napoleon III; British Minister to Uruguay, 1884; author of Narrative of a Year's Journey through Central and Eastern Arabia and Essays on Eastern Questions.