I'm sorry, but when making claims about history the times and places are not "minor" facts. They matter. Good verifiable information can support a person's ideas while errors will not. Dates and places are some of the important facts that are needed to establish what truely happened when and where. They are part of the context that is necessary to understand the larger picture.
Meaning no offense to you, but having a "macro perspective" of history sounds vague. If I were to make some claim about history of an event I would have to give some checkable information for other people to use to find out (if they wanted) that such a situation was True. Just because there was some idea that I liked doesn't mean that it is the truth.
I'm sorry Ebor, but what I meant, was that when it comes to history, I pay more attention to the lessons
that can be learned and less about specific dates, places, ...etc. I believe our thinking process is different, and we place emphasis on different things. I suggest you read about left-brain vs right-brain thinking.... I know that I'm more of a right-brain thinker, so that's why I said "macro perspective".
I apologize for any unintended offense, but I know more of the subject than you seem to think that I do. And I disagree with your idea as to what brought the Golden Age to an end. In Spain/Al-Andaluz for example there was suppression of the thought and philosophy of other Muslims under the Almohad rulers. I suppose that one might say that that was a change in the "political system" but it wasn't along the lines that you described above. Here is the wiki link on the Almohad reforms though I can find other material on this if desired. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almohad_reforms
Wikipedia can be a good starting place but deeper understanding comes from the sources and cited materials.
Now I'm not denying it wasn't all peaceful in the early years. Muslims were being harmed by hypocritical Muslims all the time... remember the story of Karbala where Hussein (the prophet's grandson) and his community was struggling to find peace because they didn't go along with evil monarchs who wanted to use the religion as a political force. So just like there were problems in Spain, there were problems in the mideast.
it was a peaceful time (golden age) and science/tech was advancing fast in that region. The reason why, is because the religion educated the general public what human rights are. To free slaves, to not kill female children, to be peaceful with others, to be generous, to not deceive one another in the marketplace...etc. Once freedom and human rights were recognized, then the region started to prosper. The prosperity ended when evil political changes happened, which restricted freedom in some way... that's when economic changes happened. This is what the devil does.... as the quran says 'he threatens you with poverty'. The devil took over and everything good faded... people let it happen when they didn't take the religion seriously.
Not properly credited? The constellations book that I had as a child stated (and it certainly is common knowledge in astronomy) that many star names are from Arabic. Algebra comes from then and mathematicians haven't tried to cover up the roots. However, Alchemy is not a purely Arabic word as it comes from the Greek "chemia" with an "al" added and the word then goes through Latin to Old French and then to English. http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/alchemy
Working with materials and elements was not a new development from Persia.
May I ask if you recall materials you read that did not give the historical information or, since you say "a long time ago" how long ago that was and where?
Thank you for the list of people. I know of them and mentioned Avicenna, for example, in my earlier post. I have read various works on the period and culture including in the last year the book I mentioned No god But God by Reza Aslan who is originally from Iran. The book's sub-title is The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam and it can be found in hardback, paperback and in libraries.
I'm sure you know more about this topic than I do. But when I studied a subject like optics, I rarely find Al Hazen's name in the text..... you see only Newton (who did add a lot of original ideas...someone I admire), but the book should at least have a few sentences on Al Hazen.
Similar thing with Algebra/Trigonometry texts, you always see bios of European scientists like Euler, Gauss, Euclid, ...etc.... but no mention of the Muslim scholars.
Same thing with Robotic textbooks.... no mention of al-Jazari, who is really the father of robotics.