Arabic/Islamic civilization is one of three cultures that succeeded the classical period of Greece and Rome. However, this civilization, unlike the Byzantine Greek and the Latin West, did not just inherit from the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome; it also inherited a great deal from the empire that it had completely conquered, the Sassanian Persian.
The last and largest of the great middle eastern empires before Alexander the Great was the Persian Empire, often referred to as the Achaemenid Empire (after a Greek form of the name of the dynasty that ruled it). Alexander the Great conquered it in 331 B.C.E. and the area was subsequently ruled for a time by his general Seleukos and his descendants, what is known as the Seleucid Empire. However, another Iranian people, the Parthians, founded a new state in what had been eastern Persia. Its founder was one Arsaces I who established the new Parthian state in 248-247 B.C.E. As time passed, the Parthian Empire gradually conquered all of the Seleucid Empire except the regions along the Mediterranean coast which were conquered in turn by the Romans.
By Stephanie Soibelman, Kepler BA Candidate
Course: 376-G Literature of the Natural Philosophers
Faculty: Carol Tebbs
23 June 2010
Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was an English Natural Philosopher who used inductive reasoning in attempts to improve the errors made by Aristotle, and is known for advancing the (scientific) method. As Bacon never actually made any experimental discoveries, nor did he have a laboratory to work in, why has he been given the utmost credit and is considered one of the most prominent Natural Philosophers?
In his first encyclical letter “Deus Caritas Est” (God is love), Pope Benedict wrote: “Everything has its origin in God's love, everything is shaped by it, everything is directed towards it.” The equivalent of what Benedict says about what God’s love means to Christians was, for the ancient Egyptians, transformation.
If there was one thing that embodied the concept of the divine for the ancient Egyptian, it was transformation. That a thing can become another thing was the essence of Egyptian magic. The Afterlife books are filled with spells for transforming, for coming into being in other forms. The process of mummification, called beautifying in Egyptian, served to transform the corpse from rotting mortal remains into something of a cult statue, immune from decay, a form which enabled the deceased to live in another way. The natural world was transformed every year by the annual flood of the Nile; without it, there was no life in Egypt. In their understanding of the universe, of nature, and of the divine, everything had its origin in transformation, everything was shaped by it, everything was directed towards it.