The Islamic empire had a huge impact on the development of medieval Western Europe. It is possible to argue that the Islamic world provided the foundations for developments in western civilisation:
Many Western musical instruments were copied from instruments that originated in Islamic societies, including the lute, the guitar and the violin. It is said that Spanish flamenco dancing was influenced by the rhythms of Arab music.
European noblemen bought goods that Muslim’s traded in – silk, spices etc – as the height of fashion. Western sailors adopted devices that had been refined by Arabs, eg the astrolabe, which aided navigation, and the triangular sail, which increased manoeuvrability. Without these Columbus would never have reached America.
The pointed arch from Muslim mosques was copied in western Gothic architecture. Western castle-designers adopted the idea of concentric castles, with layers of walls, from Muslim castles they had seen on Crusade.
War and conquest
sent a stream of refugees and tremors of fear, shock and despair throughout Christendom. Some historians believe that 1453 marks the end of the Middle Ages.