On his deathbed, Copernicus published the book that founded modern astronomy.
Three centuries before, Arab scientists Mu’ayyad al-Din al-‘Urdi and Nasir al-Din Tusi had come up with the theorems crucial to that development. Copernicus used their theorems but did not cite the source.
Europe looked in the mirror and saw the world.
Beyond that lay nothing.
The three inventions that made the Renaissance possible, the compass, gunpowder, and the printing press, came from China. The Babylonians scooped Pythagoras by fifteen hundred years. Long before anyone else, the Indians knew the world was round and had calculated its age. And better than anyone else, the Mayans knew the stars, eyes of the night, and the mysteries of time.
Such details were not worthy of Europe’s attention.
Eduardo Galeano, Mirrors. Portobello Books, 2009 (2008).
I especially like the bit about calculating the “age of the world”.
Yes, me too.