While Europe was in decline and had lost most of its intellectual heritage, the intellectuals of the House of Wisdom (8th century) translated many of the Greek works into Arabic, preserving them for later generations. With an incredible openness to new and different ideas, they also were inspired by Jewish, Christian, Persian, and Indian knowledge.
The image is beautifully illustrated Maqamat, which can be look into for free in the Bibliotheque Nationale de France. It depicts intellectuals reading in a Baghdad library.
"The Great World History Book"