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Ibn Yūnus

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Ibn Yūnus, Abu'l‐ḥasan ˓Alī ibn ˓Abd al‐Raḥmān ibn Aḥmad ibn Yūnus al‐Ṣadafī was one of the greatest astronomers of medieval Islam. Unfortunately nothing of consequence is known about his early life or education. As a young man he witnessed the Fatimid conquest of Egypt and the founding of Cairo in 969. In the period up to the reign of Caliph al‐ ˓Azīz (975–996), he made astronomical observations that were renewed by order of the Caliph al‐ḥākim, who succeeded al‐ ˓Azīz in 996 at the age of eleven and was much interested in astrology. Ibn Yūnus’ recorded observations continued until 1003.

Ibn Yūnus’ major work was a monumental zīj or astronomical handbook with tables. The Ḥākimī Zīj, dedicated to the Caliph, is distinguished from all other extant zījesby beginning with a list of observations made by Ibn Yūnus and others made by some of his predecessors. Despite his critical attitude toward these earlier scholars and his careful recording of their observations and some of his own, he...

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4020-4425-0_9247
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References

Primary Sources

  • MS Leiden Cod. Or. 143 and MS Oxford Hunt. 331 (major fragments of al‐Zīj al‐kabīr al‐ḥākimī). MS Paris B.N. ar. 2496 (anonymous abridgment constituting the sole source for some additional chapters).

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  • MS Dublin Chester Beatty 3673 and MS Cairo Dār al‐Kutub mīqāt 108 (complete copies of the Cairo corpus of tables for timekeeping).

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Secondary Sources

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  • ‐‐‐. Ibn Yūnus. Dictionary of Scientific Biography. Vol. 14. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1976. 574–80.

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  • King, David A. and Julio Samsó, with a contribution by Bernard R. Goldstein. Astronomical Handbooks and Tables from the Islamic World (750–1900): An Interim Report. Suhayl: Journal for the History of the Exact and Natural Sciences in Islamic Civilisation (Barcelona) 2 (2001): 9–105.

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© 2008 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York

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King, D.A. (2008). Ibn Yūnus. In: Selin, H. (eds) Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4425-0_9247

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