• Julio Samsó
Reference work entry

Abū ˓Abd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Jābir ibn Sinān al‐Raqqī al‐ḥarrānī al‐ṣābi˒ was an extremely important Islamic astronomer of the ninth to tenth centuries. He was probably born in ḥarrān before 858, and had Sabian ancestors. He lived most of his life in Raqqa (Syria) where he made most of his observations, but there is also evidence that he visited Baghdad and Antioch.

Apart from a few astrological tracts which have not been studied so far, he compiled (after 901) his al‐Zīj (astronomical handbook with tables) also called al‐Zīj al‐ṣābi' (Sabian Zīj), a work which marks the stage of full assimilation of Ptolemaic astronomy in Islam. This process had produced its first results ca. 830 with the zījes which were the consequence of the program of observations undertaken in Baghdad and Damascus under the patronage of Caliph al‐Ma˒mūn. Al‐Battānī's zījcontains a set of instructions for the use of the numerical tables which have an essentially practical character. We do not find in them careful...

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  • Julio Samsó

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