Carl Magno


            On Christmas day 1800, Charles Magne, renamed “Charles the Great” for his success in the destruction of the Longobard  reign, in rejecting the Muslims from Spain and in forcing to convert the still pagan Germans to Christianity, was crowned emperor by Pope Leon III. Thanks to the papal patronage, Charles the Great succeeded in ruling over the Holy Roman Empire that will further exist for a hundred years.

            For the science, the centre of the awakening process was elsewhere: it was in the hands of  Damascus, Cordova and Baghdad caliphs. While Greek and Indian scientific works were being translated and commented on, the first original and innovative contributions started to be made. The most important ones were made by the mathematician Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarzmi who, with two famous arithmetic and algebra works written in about 810, clearly introduced the decimal numbering with the Indian positions and the relative figures including the nought in the Mediterranean aria. He also added some fundamental calculation methods and an interesting theory about equations.

            The setting aside of the most complicated Roman numeration and its replacement with the new Arabic numbers of Indian origins wasn’t easy and it took centuries before it was completely understood. But, in the end, the simplicity of arithmetic calculation  promoted its large diffusion  just because it was easily understood by everyone.

Con temporarily, Baghdad also became the seat of one important observatory and of Mathematical Astronomy. The newly re-born study of astronomy both promoted the diffusion of observatories and spread the use of astrolabes.

            The astronomer Ali ibn Jsa invented such instrument which will be in use until XVII th century. He became so famous to be know as al-Asturlabi. Physics, Islamic Medicine and practical Alchemy also flourished in Baghdad thus starting the chemical production of pottery; shiny coloured varnished perfumes and petrol.

Naval techniques too improved in Arabs just like in Italy particularly in Civitavecchia and in Northern Countries like Norway were ships with 30 to 60 rowing seats per side were built.

People from Byzantium keen on war technology invented grenades full of Sulphur, Saltpetre and naphtha which was similar to the mixture of gunpowder.

            Furthermore, the “Byzantium visual Telegraph” was being improved which was formed by a fire and lamp system allowing a long distance signal transmission from hill to hill up to Constantinople.

            According to the tradition, by 850 a goat shepherd in South Arabia realised that when his goats ate particular berries, they were more lively. He himself tasted the berries in order to understood the reason for that behaviour and he liked them too.

            As time went by, they understand the reason for that grains in berries could be also toasted an used to make an infusion in hot water. Coffee was born just like tee had been born in order to let people drink flavoured hot water as a means for avoiding diseases.

            Meantime, Charles the Great’s nephews after fighting among  them, divided the Empire into two parts which originated France and Germany and Viking riders also entered the Mediterranean area and destroyed the existing central power thus introducing Federalism. Landowners felt menaced and tried to defend personally their possessions.


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