Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī’s Memoir on Astronomy (al-Tadhkira fī by F.J. Ragep

By F.J. Ragep

I was once brought to Tiisi: and his Tadhkira a few 19 years in the past. That first assembly used to be neither satisfied nor auspicious. My graduate scholar notes from the time point out a definite point of bewilderment and frustration; I appear to have had hassle with such phrases as tadwlr (epicycle), which used to be to not be present in my general dictionary, and with the concept that of solid-sphere astronomy, which, while chanced on, used to be pooh-poohed within the usual assets. I had one other, much more decisive response: boredom. basically the top of the time period introduced reduction, and that i was once thankful to be directly to different, extra fascinating features of the historical past of technology. many years later, i discovered myself, due to fellowships from Fulbright-Hays and the yank learn middle in Egypt, fortunately immersed within the manu­ script collections of Damascus, Aleppo, and Cairo. notwithstanding I had meant to paintings on an issue within the background of arithmetic, i used to be drawn, might be unavoidably, to a definite kind of astronomical writing falling less than the rubric of hay' a. at the start this fascination used to be according to sheer numbers; that such a lot of medieval scientists can have written on this sort of topic needs to suggest anything, I instructed myself. (I used to be in a sociological mode on the time.

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Additional info for Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī’s Memoir on Astronomy (al-Tadhkira fī cilm al-hay’a): Volume I: Introduction, Edition, and Translation

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29. 4 Pingree [1975] has summarized the contents, pp. 9-12. See also Sezgin, GAS, 6: 129. 5 As Pingree [1975], p. 6 But were these early Islamic forays into physical cosmography sufficient to define a genre or to establish a tradition that can account for the Tadhkira? Based on the testimony of Ibn al-Haytham, a prominent, not to say crucial, figure in developing that tradition, the answer must be no. s ... their goal is to collect that which has been stated in a detailed way and to present it as a summary (jumal) free of proofs ...

6 Wright [1973], pp. 171-172. We need not follow him down the slippery slope of analogy with Kepler and Newton to accept his fundamental point. 7 Only the first part of Book I is extant in Greek. Both books are available in an anonymous Arabic translation "corrected" by Thabit ibn Qurra. There is also a Hebrew translation from the Arabic. The Greek text of Book I (lacking the part on sizes and distances) with a French translation is in Halma [1820], pp. 41-56; the Greek text is also in Heiberg [1907], which in addition contains a German translation begun by L.

E. ) to see that this view of cum al-hay'a and all that it entailed had become commonplace. 8 Thus under this classification one finds, among other things, theoretical works, astronomical handbooks (zijes), books on the making and use of instruments, treatises on observational astronomy, and tables of prayer times. 9 But just as with Avicenna, cum al-hay'a among these later categorizers does not include works on astrology or the body of literature related to Aristotle's De caelo (al-samii' wa-'[-Ca[am), both of which were usually considered to fall under the Peripatetic rubric of physics.

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