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Jack Leach (26)


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Jack Leach

Course: ECON 3R03 - The History of Economic Growth Section: CO1 Instructor: J. Leach Date: 17-01-13 Euclid Study of geometry did not begin with Euclid he was simply summarizing what was known at the time. Even though the Chinese had interactions with the Arabic world they didn’t encounter Euclidean geometry until the Europeans arrived in China many years later. Euclid also wrote on optics and many of ‘his books were translated pretty soon after by the Arabs. Claudius Ptolemy He created a map of the known world to the Greeks at the time, plotting everything in terms of latitude and longitude, with great accuracy. His map- ping work was hugely influential but also led unknowningly to the discovery of the New World. Ptolemy’s map made the distance to China via the west seem much shorter than it actually was which caused Columbus to set out for China westward, eventually landing in the Americas. His astronomy model remained the gold standard until the Copernican revolution. The Antikythera sunk around 100BC, in the early 1900s the first artifacts were recovered from the shipwreck. This was the first time we know that the Greeks had the concept of gears and how to build more complex machines from them; these advances were lost to us for a long time. While the Romans were able to inherit a lot of this Greek science most of it ended up going to the Islamic world where progress would be centered for the next era of history. 1 Islamic World Expansion & Conquest At the time of Mohammed’s death the Islamic world expanded quickly through Syria and Egypt. The Persians were exhausted from a continuous fight with the Romans which allowed the relatively smaller Islamic armies to easily overrun the Persian empire. Eventually the Islamic forces took control of the Mediterranean Ocean as well as the islands of Crete and Sicily. Most of this early expansion was driven by disorganized tribesmen who wanted to gain more territory and not so much with the goal of converting peoples to the Islamic religion. Many of the conquered peoples were co-opted into administrating their territories. As a consequence of the Islamic takeover being ochestrated by a collection of smaller armies there was no unique Islamic culture and the main languages of the empire was Greek & Palovy. There was no unique architecture at the time either. Stabilization The best thing that happened to the empire was the stabilization of its borders. At some point in time the armies discovered they couldn’t expand any farther. These borders were established by the battle of Talis, which determined the farthest east the expansion could go (fought against the Chinese) and the failed conquest of northern Europe. There were two options to go through Europe being north to France through Spain or through the
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