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Arabic Thought and its Place in History, by De Lacy O'Leary, [1922], at

p. 295


We have now traced the transmission of a particular type of Hellenistic culture through the Syrian Church, the Zoroastrians of Persia, and the pagans of Harran to the Islamic community, where it was rather compromised by the patronage of those whom the official Muslim teachers decided to regard as heretics. In spite of this censure it has left a very distinct and enduring impression on Muslim theology and on popular beliefs. After a chequered career in the East it passed over to the Western Muslim community in Spain, where it had a very specialised development, which finally made a deeper impression on Christian and Jewish thought than on that of the Muslims themselves, and attained its final evolution in North-East Italy, where, as an anti-ecclesiastical influence, it prepared the way for the Renascence. But this main line of development is not really the most important; all along that line it was branching off on one side or another, and its richest fruits must be sought in these side issues, in the scholasticism which, in Islam, in Judaism, and in Christianity, was a reaction from its teaching, and in the medical, chemical, and other scientific studies of the Middle Ages, which largely owed their inspiration to its influence. It is the most romantic history of culture drift which is known to us in detail.

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