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

ҁAlī ibn Khalaf: Abū al-Ḥasan ibn Aḥmar al-Ṣaydalānī

  • Roser Puig
Reference work entry

Alternate Name

 ҁAlī ibn Khalaf ibn Aḥmar Akhīr [Akhiyar or Akhyar]

FlourishedToledo (Spain), eleventh century

ҁAlī ibn Khalaf is known for his work on astronomical instruments. No details of his biography are known. In Arabic sources, he is only mentioned by  Ṣāҁid al-Andalusī in his Ṭabaqāt as an outstanding geometer, who belonged, along with  Zarqālī, to a group of young Toledan scholars interested in philosophy.

There are several variants of his name. A footnote in BūҁAlwān’s edition of the Ṭabaqāt gives ҁAlī ibn Khalaf ibn Aḥmar Akhīr (Akhiyar or Akhyar) al-Ṣaydalānī, the apothecary. A very similar reading quoted by an anonymous Egyptian fourteenth-century source (preserved in Leiden, Universiteitsbibliotheek, MS 468) is Abū al-ḤasanҁAlī ibn Khalaf ibn Akhir (Akhiyar or Akhyar) bearing the title al-Shajjārī, the botanist. This has led D. A. King to identify him with Abū al-Shajjār, who is mentioned in Zarqālī’s treatise on the ṣafīḥa zarqāliyya(MS Escorial 962). King also...

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Selected References

  1. Calvo, Emilia (1990). “La lámina universal deҁAlī b. Jalaf (s.XI) en la versión alfonsí y su evolución en instrumentos posteriores.” In “Ochava espera” y “Astrofísica”: Textos y estudios sobre las fuentes árabes de la astronomía de Alfonso X, edited by Mercè Comes, Honorino Mielgo, and Julio Samsó, pp. 221–238. Barcelona: Instituto “Millás Vallicrosa” de Historia de la Ciencia Árabe.Google Scholar
  2. Calvo, Emilia and Puig, Roser (2006). “The Universal Plate Revisited”, Suhayl. International Journal for the History of the Exact and Natural Sciences in Islamic Civilisation 6: 113–157.MATHGoogle Scholar
  3. Charette, François (2003). Mathematical Instrumentation in Fourteenth-Century Egypt and Syria. The Illustrated Treatise of Najm al-Din al-Misri. Leiden-Boston: Brill.MATHGoogle Scholar
  4. King, David A. (1979). “On the Early History of the Universal Astrolabe in Islamic Astronomy, and the Origin of the Term Shakkāziyya in Medieval Scientific Arabic.” Journal for the History of Arabic Science 3: 244–257. (Reprinted in King, Islamic Astronomical Instruments, VII. London: Variorum Reprints, 1987.)MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  5. — (1997). “Shakkāziyya.” In Encyclopaedia of Islam. 2nd ed. Vol. 9, pp. 251–253. Leiden: E. J. Brill.Google Scholar
  6. Millás Vallicrosa, José María (1943–1950). Estudios sobre Azarquiel. Madrid-Granada.Google Scholar
  7. — (1944). “Un ejemplar de azafea árabe de Azarquiel.” Al-Andalus 9: 111–119.Google Scholar
  8. Puig, Roser (1985). “Instrumentos astronómicos universales hispano-árabes.” In Instrumentos astronómicos en la España medieval, su influencia en Europa, edited by Juan Vernet et al., pp. 31–36, 90–97. Madrid.Google Scholar
  9. — (1992). “Instrumentos universales en al-Andalus.” In El legado científico andalusí, edited by Juan Vernet et al., pp. 67–73, 228–239. Madrid.Google Scholar
  10. Rico y Sinobas, Manuel (1864). Libros del saber de astronomía del rey D. Alfonso Xde Castilla, copilados, anotados y comentados por Don Manuel Rico y Sinobas. Vol. 3, pp. 11–132. Madrid.
  11. ҁid al-Andalusī (1985). Kitāb Tabaqāt al-umam, edited by Hayāt BūҁAlwān. Beirut, 1935. (French translation with notes by Régis Blachère as Livre des catégories des nations. Paris: Larose.)Google Scholar
  12. Samsó, Julio (1987). “Sobre el trazado de la azafea y de la lámina universal: Intervención de los colaboradores alfonsíes.” Al-Qantara 8: 29–43.Google Scholar
  13. — (1992). Las ciencias de los antiguos en al-Andalus. Madrid: Mapfre. Reprinted with addenda et corrigenda by J. Samsó and M. Forcada in 2011. Roquetas de Mar: Fundación Ibn Tufayl, Fundación Caja Mar y Ayuntamiento de Roquetas de Mar.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain