Abū'l‐ṣalt is known as Abū'l‐ṣalt al‐Dānī. He was an Andalusian polymath born in Denia in 1067. In about 1096 he went to Egypt where he lived for sixteen years. An unsuccessful attempt to rescue a boat loaded with copper which had sunk in the harbor of Alexandria cost him 3 years in prison, after which he migrated to Mahdiyya (Tunis) where he died in 1134.
He wrote about pharmacology (a treatise on simple drugs, Kitāb al‐adwiya al‐mufrada, translated into Latin by Arnold of Vilanova), music, geometry, Aristotelian physics, and astronomy, and he seems to have been interested in a physical astronomy, different from the Ptolemaic mathematical astronomy which predominated in al‐Andalus. His treatise on the use of the astrolabe, Risāla fī‐l‐˓amal bi‐l‐asṭurlāb, written while he was in prison, probably introduced into Eastern Islam the characteristic Andalusian and Maghribi device, present in the back of Western instruments, which establishes the relation between the date of the Julian year...
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