Sunday, February 10, 2008

meanwhile in Al Andalus...

"The rich realm of Al-Andalus (modern Andalusia) applied innovative agronomy, abandoning the usual practice of rotating crops every two and three years. Instead, farmers intensively cultivated a diverse crop portfolio for several years running, then planted legumes (such as clover and lucerne) to help the soil recover.

This Islamic-inspired agrarian movement reached its apogee in the twelfth century in the person of Ibn-el-Beithar of Malaga, also known as Ennabâty (the botanist).

In the words of Stanley Lane-Poole in 1886: "The land deprived of skillful irrigation of the Moors, grew impoverished and neglected… and most of the populous cities which had filled every district in Andalusia, fell into ruinous decay; and beggars, friars, and bandits took the place of scholars, merchants and knights.""

Opinion piece on Muslim agriculture by Denis Murphy. I like these historical pieces, but only for their intellectual benefit, and NOT as a way of evading acknowledgment of the current technological torpor of the overwhelming majority of Arab/Muslim countries. Of course, Islam in the sense used in this piece does not refer to Arabs only, nor does it refer to Muslims only. Many of the great "Muslim" scientists where non-Muslims.

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