Listen free for 30 days

Listen with offer

  • The House of Wisdom

  • How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization
  • By: Jonathan Lyons
  • Narrated by: Jay Snyder
  • Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)

$0.00 for first 30 days

Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection - including bestsellers and new releases.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, celeb exclusives, and podcasts.
Access exclusive sales and deals.
£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.
The House of Wisdom cover art

The House of Wisdom

By: Jonathan Lyons
Narrated by: Jay Snyder
Try for £0.00

£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.

Buy Now for £18.99

Buy Now for £18.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.
activate_primeday_promo_in_buybox_DT

Listeners also enjoyed...

Lost Enlightenment cover art
Arabs cover art
Lost Islamic History cover art
Middlemarch cover art
Stealing from the Saracens cover art
The Qur'an cover art
Mystery of the Magi cover art
Ancient Artifacts: The Rosetta Stone cover art
Introduction to Biblical Interpretation: Audio Lectures cover art
The Fate of Abraham cover art
The Anarchy cover art
The Story of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) cover art
Dangerous Mystic cover art
Cynical Theories cover art
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World cover art
The Scientist in the Early Roman Empire cover art

Summary

Here is the remarkable story of how medieval Arab scholars made dazzling advances in science and philosophy, and of the itinerant Europeans who brought this knowledge back to the West. For centuries following the fall of Rome, Western Europe was a benighted backwater, a world of subsistence farming, minimal literacy, and violent conflict. Meanwhile, Arab culture was thriving, dazzling those Europeans fortunate enough to catch even a glimpse of the scientific advances coming from Baghdad, Antioch, or the cities of Persia, Central Asia, and Muslim Spain. There, philosophers, mathematicians, and astronomers were steadily advancing the frontiers of knowledge and revitalizing the works of Plato and Aristotle.

In the royal library of Baghdad, known as the House of Wisdom, an army of scholars worked at the behest of the Abbasid caliphs. At a time when the best book collections in Europe held several dozen volumes, the House of Wisdom boasted as many as 400,000. Even while their countrymen waged bloody Crusades against Muslims, a handful of intrepid Christian scholars, thirsty for knowledge, traveled to Arab lands and returned with priceless jewels of science, medicine, and philosophy that laid the foundation for the Renaissance.

In this brilliant, evocative book, Lyons shows just how much Western culture owes to the glories of medieval Arab civilization, and reveals the untold story of how Europe drank from the well of Muslim learning.

©2008 Jonathan Lyons (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic reviews

"Sophisticated and thoughtful... In The House of Wisdom, [Lyons] shapes his narrative around the travels of the little-known but extraordinary Adelard of Bath, an English monk who traveled to the East in the early 12th century.... Mr. Lyons's narrative is vivid and elegant." ( Wall Street Journal)

What listeners say about The House of Wisdom

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    10
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Simply superb

That is the type of history I enjoy the most. It shows how the whole of humanity has worked together for the betterment of society. It shows what unites us all and shows a better way to work together in future by looking at our mutual past.
Highly recommended!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good book, bad reading

Comprehensive on the subject and really interesting. too bad that The narrator the sounds like a robot.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Misleading and disappointing

As a person with an interest in Arabia i bought this book hoping to learn something about the Arab people and their contribution to science and culture . Instead you get to listen to a badly written and poorly read narrative, which has little of substance and seems to be poorly veiled religious propaganda. Sadly for this reason it probably confirms the stereo type rather than its intended purpose of opening the eyes of the world to the contribution of the region to modern science and culture and in this they have done the Arab world an injustice

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

9 people found this helpful