“I found in this library such books, about which I had not known and which I had never before seen in my life. I read them, and I came to know each scientist and each science. Before me lay the gates of inspiration into great depths of knowledge which I had not surmised existed.” — Ibn Sina (Avicenna)
Avicenna (980 – 1037) — philosopher, poet, astronomer, mathematician, physicist, the father of early modern medicine, among many other things — has been known to us as a Persian polymath. But he was, in fact, born in Uzbekistan. His early education began here in Bukhara.
The library in the Ark of Bukhara has not survived the many conquests that Bukhara has been through, although this enormous structure that dwarfs me continued to be a fortress from circa 500CE until it fell to the Red Army in 1920.
Sadly, there is no way for me to find the books of which Avicenna wrote, but the book wide open before me now is Bukhara… and I am savoring every line.