Astronomical Instruments in the Islamic World

  • David A. King
Reference work entry

Most Islamic observational instruments are lost and known to us only through texts. The state of documentation of the other, smaller Islamic astronomical instruments that do survive leaves much to be desired. Many of the most important instruments are still unpublished, and much that has been written on instruments is on a very amateur level. For these reasons a project has been underway in Frankfurt to catalogue all Islamic instruments (and European ones) to ca. 1550 as well as various historically significant later Islamic pieces.

Also the most important writings on instruments have not yet received the attention they deserve. For example, a hemispherical observational instrument for a fixed latitude was devised by the tenth century astronomer al‐Khujandī, the leading instrument maker of the early period, and this was modified in the twelfth century to serve all latitudes. There are no surviving examples, and the available manuscripts have yet to be studied. An important work on...

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008

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  • David A. King

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