O ye Gentlemen explores two vital strands in Arabic culture: the Greek tradition in science and philosophy and the literary tradition. They are permanent and, though drawing on Islam as a dominant religion, they are by no means dependent on it. That the strands freely interweave within the broader scope of Schrifttum is shown by more than thirty essays on subjects as varied as the social organisation of bees, spontaneous generation in the Shiʿite tradition, astronomy in the Arabian nights, the benefits of sex, precious stones in a literary text, the virtue of women in Judaeo-Arabic stories, animals in Middle Eastern music and the transmission of Arabic science and philosophy to the medieval West.
Arnoud Vrolijk, Ph.D. (1998) in Arabic, Leiden University, is Curator of Oriental Manuscripts and Rare Books at the Leiden University Library. He has published extensively on various aspects of the Leiden Oriental collections and on Mamluk literature (
Bringing a Laugh to a Scowling Face, Leiden 1998).
Jan P. Hogendijk, Ph.D. (1983) in mathematics, is Professor of History of Mathematics at the Universities of Utrecht and Leiden, the Netherlands. He has published extensively on the history of Islamic mathematics. He is co-editor of
The Enterprise of Science in Islam, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003).
All those interested in the history of science in Arabic culture and the Arabic literary heritage.