• Gregg De Young
Reference work entry

Al‐ḥajjāj ibn Yūsuf ibn Maṭar was one of the earliest translators of Greek mathematical and astronomical texts into Arabic. Few details of his life are known. According to a report of the biobibliographer, Ibn al‐Nadīm, he prepared an Arabic version of Euclid's Elements under the sponsorship of the ‘Abbāsid caliph, Hārūn al‐Rashīd (170–193 AH/AD 786–809). Later, under caliph al‐Ma'mūn (198–218 AH/AD 813–833), he prepared a second (and improved) version. There are some hints that the mathematician, Thābit ibn Qurra (died 288 AH/AD 901), may have helped to revise the latter version.

Neither version is extant. Quotations from what purports to be the second version serve as the basis for a commentary by al‐Nayrīzī (d. early fifth century AH/AD tenth century). These quotations seem, however, to have been edited by the commentator on the basis of the later translation of Isḥāq ibn Ḥunayn (215–298 AH/AD 830–910). There appear to be other traces of the transmission of al‐ḥajjāj in commentaries...

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  • Gregg De Young

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