The Islamic Golden Age

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What to expect

Major BBC series rediscovering some of the key thinkers and achievements from the Golden Age of Islam.

Between the 8th and 13th Century, the Islamic world flourished. This 500-year period of monumental political and cultural change became known as its ‘Golden Age’, characterised by unprecedented advancement in the fields of architecture, invention, medicine, innovation and philosophy, which still inform huge parts of the modern world.

In these 20 episodes, we hear about some of the most remarkable events and individuals of this extraordinary epoch. Beginning with the establishment and expansion of the Islamic State, the series encompasses the rise of Shi-ism, the introduction of paper to the Western world, the brilliance and beauty of Islamic architecture and the intellectual powerhouses of Baghdad and Cairo. We also meet important historical figures, including Harun Al-Rashid (the Caliph from the Thousand and One Night tales), mathematician and astronomer Al-Khwarizmi, philosopher and physician Avicenna, influential poet and mystic Al-Rumi and the great 12th Century hero Saladin.

Each episode is presented by experts in the field, who share their knowledge and passion, among them lawyer and politician Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, scientist Jim Al-Khalili, theologian Professor Mona Siddiqui, Persian scholar Narguess Farzad and award-winning writer Kamila Shamsie.

Also included are two episodes of In Our Time hosted by Melvyn Bragg, the first expanding further on the colourful career of Avicenna, and the second discussing the life and ideas of a prescient intellectual who lived just after the Golden Age: the 14th Century philosopher of history Ibn Khaldun.

Copyright © 2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd. ? 2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
Presented by Hugh Kennedy, Professor Robert Gleave, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Professor Jonathan Bloom, Professor Julia Bray, Narguess Farzad, Jim Al-Khalili, Professor James Montgomery, Professor Peter Adamson, Dr Tony Street, Dr. Sussan Babaie, Dr Simonetta Calderini and Dr Delia Cortese, Professor Mona Siddiqui, Professor Charles Burnett, Dr. Amira Bennison, Jonathan Phillips and Kamila Shamsie
Produced by Sarah Taylor and Mohini Patel
First broadcast on BBC Radio 3 from November 2013 to February 2014.

Track list:
1. The Establishment of the Islamic State
2. Ali ibn Abi Talib
3. Imam Bukhari
4. Paper
5. Harun al-Rashid
6. Rabia Balkhi and Mahsati Ganjavi
7. Al-Khwarizmi
8. Al-Kindi
9. Al-Farabi
10. Avicenna
11. Al-Tabari
12. Islamic Architecture
13. Al-Biruni
14. Al Hakim
15. Al-Ghazali
16. Ibn Rushd
17. Cities of Learning
18. Salah al-Din
19. Al-Rumi
20. Lubna of Cordoba

21. In Our Time: Avicenna
Presented by Melvyn Bragg
With Peter Adamson; Amira Bennison and Nader El-Bizri
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 8 November 2007

22. In Our Time: Ibn Khaldun
Presented by Melvyn Bragg
With Robert Hoyland, Robert Irwin and Hugh Kennedy
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 4 February 2010

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