The Iberian peninsula’s uniqueness derives from the fact that its shores have been washed by successive cultural waves: Roman, Gothic, Arab, and then indigenous Christian. No other region of Europe has acted as a similar crossroad, or has stimulated a comparable fermentation. Each of these civilizational tides altered the terrain as it flowed in, and then receded. We now turn, once again, to the world of medieval Arabic scholarship, and attempt to pry open its chests of mysterious treasures.
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