In Our Time: 25 Landmarks in Military History

In Our Time: 25 Landmarks in Military History

A BBC Radio 4 Collection


Melvyn Bragg and guests explore the history of the Islamic world through its religion, thinkers, poetry, empire and rulers

'An ever-growing library of wisdom' The Economist

Since 1998, In Our Time has been the go-to radio programme for knowledge seekers and inquiring minds. Tackling big topics with a light touch, it has introduced weekly audiences of over 2 million to subjects ranging from Romulus and Remus to the Renaissance.

This special themed collection provides a focussed, wide-ranging introduction to 25 of the ideas and events that shaped the Islamic world, highlighting the numerous connections between Islamdom and the West throughout history. We learn the origins of Sharia law, and how prophets became important to Islam, Judaism and Christianity alike; discover how the Translation Movement introduced the Arabic world to Greek philosophy, medicine, engineering and maths; and find out how settlers and invaders from both East and West transformed and refashioned the civilisations they touched, from the Arab Conquest, Muslim Spain and the Volga Vikings to the Third Crusade and the Siege of Vienna.

Here, too, are key scholars and writers, among them al-Kindi, the first significant thinker to reconcile philosophy and Islam; Averroes, who worked to integrate Islamic theology with the rationality of Aristotle; Maimonides, a titan of Jewish intellectual history who was much influenced by the Islamic world; and Rumi, the Persian poet and Sufi mystic whose work transcends borders of time, faith, language and geography.

Hosted by Melvyn Bragg with a panel of experts including Mona Siddiqui, Jim Al-Khalili, Tariq Ali and Amira Bennison, these enlightening, accessible discussions will illuminate, inspire and surprise.

Production credits
Presented by Melvyn Bragg
Produced by Thomas Morris, Simon Tillotson, Victoria Brignell

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on the following dates:

Part I: Religion
Islamic Law and its Origins 5 May 2011
Sunni and Shia Islam 25 June 2009
Prophecy 13 June 2013

Part II: History of Ideas
Maths in the Early Islamic World 16 February 2017
The Translation Movement 2 October 2008
Al-Kindi 28 June 2012
al-Biruni 10 June 2010
Avicenna 8 November 2007
Al-Ghazali 19 March 2015
Averroes 5 October 2006
Maimonides 17 February 2011
Ibn Khaldun 4 February 2010

Part III: Literature
Antarah ibn Shaddad 28 February 2019
Rumi's Poetry 11 February 2016

Part IV: Empire
The Sassanid Empire 13 December 2007
The Arab Conquests 26 June 2008
Muslim Spain 21 November 2002
The Battle of Tours 16 January 2014
The Volga Vikings 11 November 2010
The Almoravid Empire 3 May 2018
Third Crusade 29 November 2001
The Siege of Vienna 14 May 2009

Part V: Rulers
The Abbasid Caliphs 2 February 2006
The Mamluks 26 September 2013
The Safavid Dynasty 12 January 2012

© 2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd. (P) 2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd.

About the author

Melvyn Bragg

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