Friday, March 10, 2017

March 10

On this day in 1609, King Phillip II of Spain called a meeting with the leading academics fromThe University of Salamanca, demanding an explanation for the steady decline in the institution's academic quality and reputation. He had been sure his decree banning the use of the Arabic language in Spain, mass burnings of most of the Arabic books in the Iberian Peninsula, and the recent expulsion of all Muslims from the country should have given decent, Christian Europeans the sorely needed opportunity to excel, which the machinations of the godless Moors had prevented for centuries. When Diego Santoro-Lopez, a humble mathematics scholar, suggested that perhaps the destruction of thousands of academic texts, the banning of the language in which so many academic subjects had their origins, and the expulsion of the world's foremost experts in mathematics, science and engineering had not been in the best interest of scholarly progress, he was arrested and tried for heresy. 

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