Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Ādamī: Abū ҁAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn Muḥammad al-Ādamī

  • Marvin Bolt
  • F. Jamil Ragep
Reference work entry

FlourishedBaghdad, (Iraq), circa925

Ādamī is noted for his work on instruments. Ibn al-Ādamī, presumably his son, wrote an influential astronomical handbook with tables (zīj) that was based on Indian sources. The father is mentioned in Ibn al-Nadīm’s Fihrist (dating from the tenth century), where he is called al-Ādamī. Because of the similarity in names, the two have often been confused in modern sources.

According to the Fihrist, Ādamī is the author of a work on sundials, and indeed there is an extant Paris manuscript by him that deals with vertical sundials and contains universal auxiliary tables that are used to simplify calculations. These enabled the drawing of lines for vertical sundials inclined to the local meridian at any desired angle for any latitude.  Bīrūnī tells us in his great work on astrolabes (the Istīҁāb) that Ādamī was the first person to construct a “disc of eclipses” for demonstrating solar and lunar eclipses.

The son,  Ibn al-Ādamī, was famous for a zīj entitled N...

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Selected References

  1. Ibn al-Nadīm. (1970). The Fihrist of al-Nadīm: A Tenth-Century Survey of Muslim Culture, edited and translated by Bayard Dodge. 2 vols., vol. 2, p. 663. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Kennedy, E. S. (1956). “A Survey of Islamic Astronomical Tables.” Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, n.s., 46, pt. 2: 121–177.Google Scholar
  3. King, D. A. (1987). “Universal Solutions in Islamic Astronomy.” In From Ancient Omens to Statistical Mechanics: Essays on the Exact Sciences Presented to Asger Aaboe, edited by J. L. Berggren and B. R. Goldstein. Vol. 39, pp. 121–132. Acta Historica Scientiarum Naturalium et Medicinalium, Copenhagen: Copenhagen University Library.Google Scholar
  4. — (1993). “Mizwala.” Encyclopaedia of Islam. 2nd ed. Vol. 7, pp. 210–211. Leiden: E. J. Brill.Google Scholar
  5. Ragep, F. J. (1993). Nasīr al-Dīn al-Tūsī’s Memoir on Astronomy (al-Tadhkira fīҁilm al-hay’a). 2 Vols., Vol. 2, pp. 400–408 New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  6. Rosenfeld, B. A. and Ekmeleddin, Ihsanoğlu (2003). Mathematicians, Astronomers, and Other Scholars of Islamic Civilization and Their Works (7th-9th c.). Istanbul: IRCICA, pp. 43, 62.Google Scholar
  7. ҁid al-Andalusī (1912). Kitāb Tabaqāt al-umam, edited by P. L. Cheikho. Beirut: Imprimerie Catholique, pp. 49–50, 57–58. (French translation with notes by Régis Blachère (1935) as Livre des catégories des nations. Paris: Larose.)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Adler PlanetariumChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Islamic StudiesMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada