• Julio Samsó
Reference work entry

Abū'l‐Fatḥ (or Abū Manṣūr) ˓Abd al‐Raḥmān (also called in some sources ˓Abd al‐Raḥmān Manṣūr) was an astronomer and expert in mechanics and scientific instruments. He lived in Marw (Khurāsān) ca. 1115–ca. 1131. A slave (and later a freedman) of Byzantine origin, he was bought by a treasurer (khāzin) of the Seljuk court at Marw, called Abū'l‐ḥusayn (or Abū'l‐ḥasan) ˓Alī ibn Muḥammad al‐Khāzin al‐Marwāzī, who gave him a good scientific education.

As an astronomer his main work is his al‐Zīj al‐Sanjarī, an astronomical handbook with tables, compiled between ca. 1118 and ca. 1131 and dedicated to the Seljuk Sultan Sanjar ibn Malikshāh (1118–1157). This zījseems to be influenced by the work of Thābit ibn Qurra, al‐Battānī and al‐Bīrūnī, but parts of it seem to have been checked against a limited number of his own observations (planetary, solar, and lunar in moments of conjunctions and eclipses) made in Marw. He is credited with a careful determination of the obliquity of the ecliptic (the...

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  • Julio Samsó

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