Astronomy in the Islamic World

  • David A. King
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4425-0_9213

From the ninth to the fifteenth century, Muslim scholars excelled in every branch of scientific knowledge; their contributions in astronomy and mathematics are particularly impressive. Even though there are an estimated 10,000 Islamic astronomical manuscripts and close to 1,000 Islamic astronomical instruments preserved in libraries and museums, and even if all of them were properly catalogued and indexed, the picture that we could reconstruct of Islamic astronomy, especially for the eighth, ninth, and tenth centuries, would still be quite deficient. Most of the available manuscripts and instruments date from the later period of Islamic astronomy, i.e., from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century, and although some of these are based or modeled on earlier works, many of the early works are extant in unique copies and others have been lost almost without trace; i.e., we know only of their titles. The thirteenth century Syrian scientific biographer Ibn al‐Qifṭī relates that the...

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  • David A. King

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