National Centre for Translation releases first volume of Greek Science

Ahram Online, Wednesday 22 Feb 2012

Prominent author tracks the genesis of Greek ideas on nature - now in Arabic

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Egypt's National Centre for Translation (NCT) has just released the first volume of the Arabic edition of the Al-Ilm Al-Ighriqi (Greek Science) by Benjamin Farrington, as a part of the series (Legacy of Translation). The book tackles the beginnings of Greek Science, when humans were looking to themselves as the outcome of nature, believing their ability to speak came through communicating with peers and using science as a tool to control nature. According to the book, these daring ideas appeared among the Ionians after BC 600 and were modified and reformed over two subsequent centuries. These ideas, the author says, are inclusive and integrated in a way that can still impress us nowadays.

The author refers the formation of these ideas to the materialistic environment in which Greek citizens lived. He analyses their circumstances to understand its genesis, tackling science as the human behavioural tendency to control nature and the one discipline that produces the useful ideas. What is genuine about Greek Science is that it is the first attempt to interpret the whole world on a naturalistic basis, leaving mythology aside.

Benjamin Farrington (1891-1974) is one of the most prominent figures in the field of the classics; he wrote several books on the development of science in Western culture, and held the chair of classics in many universities in England and Ireland, where he was born.

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