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Connecting Water

Environmental Views in Premodern Arabic Writings

Massimiliano Borroni    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



This book investigates how selected writers from the Abbasid-era Islamic world viewed water as a crucial element within their worldview. By examining water’s role across diverse authors, Connecting Waters offers new insights into the various approaches to water and its importance in the natural environment, as described in Arabic sources from the Abbasid period. The study focuses on the significant works of Thabit ibn Qurra, whose research on seawater salinity and the role of mountains in precipitation phenomena laid the groundwork for future scholars in the field of hydrology. Through comprehensive analysis of these works and their reception by authors who either cited or concurred with Thabit ibn Qurra’s theories on the water cycle, the book explores a wide range of subjects, from theology to natural sciences and the sea’s role in sustaining global environmental equilibrium. By examining the consistency and diversity of Islamic views on water and the environment, the book seeks to challenge cultural stereotypes and offer novel insights into the Arabic literature of the premodern Islamic world. In light of current environmental challenges, this examination of water-related knowledge within the Islamic tradition could contribute to ongoing discussions about environmental ethics and the complex relationships between humans, societies, and the natural environment.

March 19, 2024
Jan. 9, 2024
May 17, 2023
Number of pages
16x23 cm
Copyright: © 2024 Massimiliano Borroni. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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English Text
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Arabic Text
March 19, 2024