al-Jahiz

views updated

al-Jahiz

776-868

Arab scholar whose works include one of the first and most significant encyclopedias of zoology produced in medieval Islam. Al-Jahiz produced more than 200 works, of which approximately 30 survive, and was one of the first Muslim scholars to write on scientific subjects in the language of laymen. His most famous work was the Kitab al-hayawan (Book of animals). Among the topics addressed in this seven-volume encyclopedia are animal communication and psychology, forms of social organization among ants and other creatures, and the impact of diet and climate on animal life.

About this article

al-Jahiz

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article