The Byzantine Empire in the eastern Mediterranean preserved ancient Greek writings and made modest additions to them, often in the form of syntheses of ancient and medieval observations. One of their important legacies was to transmit this learning to the neighboring Muslim civilization and much later also to the western Latin civilization. Muslim civilization stretched from Spain across North Africa and on to the Indus Valley, and it made more important contributions to science than did the Byzantines. Their achievements included additions to Greek botany and zoology, and by the 1100s their Arabic-language writings began to be translated into Latin in Spain and Sicily. The Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II benefited from translations from Arabic and wrote an outstanding handbook of falconry. Later, Albertus Magnus wrote important encyclopedias on botany, zoology, and geography. Medieval Latin Europe founded important universities.
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