The Islamic Golden Age is traditionally dated from the mid-7th century to the mid-13th century at which Muslim rulers established one of the largest empires in history.
During this period, artists, engineers, scholars, poets, philosophers, geographers and traders in the Islamic world contributed to agriculture, the arts, economics, industry, law, literature,navigation, philosophy, sciences, sociology, and technology, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding inventions and innovations of their own. Also at that time the Muslim world became a major intellectual centre for science, philosophy, medicine and education. In Baghdad they established the “House of Wisdom“, where scholars, both Muslim and non-Muslim, sought to gather and translate the world’s knowledge into Arabic in the Translation Movement. Many classic works of antiquity that would otherwise have been forgotten were translated into Arabic and later in turn translated into Turkish, Sindhi, Persian, Hebrew and Latin. Knowledge was synthesized from works originating in ancientMesopotamia, Ancient Rome, China, India, Persia, Ancient Egypt, North Africa, Ancient Greece and Byzantine civilizations. Rival Muslim dynasties such as the Fatimids of Egypt and the Umayyads of al-Andalus were also major intellectual centres with cities such as Cairo and Córdoba rivaling Baghdad. The Islamic empire was the first “truly universal civilization,” which brought together for the first time “peoples as diverse as the Chinese, the Indians, the people of the Middle East and North Africa, black Africans, and white Europeans.”A major innovation of this period was paper – originally a secret tightly guarded by the Chinese. The art of papermaking was obtained from prisoners taken at the Battle of Talas (751), spreading to the Islamic cities of Samarkand and Baghdad. The Arabs improved upon the Chinese techniques of using mulberry bark by using starch to account for the Muslim preference for pens vs. the Chinese for brushes. By AD 900 there were hundreds of shops employing scribes and binders for books in Baghdad and public libraries began to become established. From here paper-making spread west to Morocco and then to Spain and from there to Europe in the 13th century.