Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Alfonso X

  • Julio Samsó
Reference work entry

Alternate Names

 Alfonso el Sabio;  Alfonso the Learned;  Alfonso the Wise

BornCastile, (Spain), 1221

DiedCastile, (Spain), 1284

King Alfonso X reigned from 1252 until 1284. He was a patron of literature and learning and made a great effort to recover Arabic and, very especially, Andalusian astronomical materials by translating them into Spanish, thus becoming a pioneer in the use of the vernacular as a scientific language. Later, probably coinciding with the period (1256–1275) in which he aspired to become the Emperor of Germany, he had some of these works retranslated into Latin. The highest expression of this cultural policy can be found in his Alfonsine Tables, in which we find an aspiration to universality very much in keeping with a project of producing a set of “imperial” astronomical tables.

His collaborators were a Muslim convert to Christianity (Bernardo el Arábigo), and eight Christians, of whom four were Spaniards (Fernando de Toledo, Garci Pérez, Guillén Arremón d’Aspa,...

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Selected References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain