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

Jābir ibn Aflaḥ: Abū Muḥammad Jābir ibn Aflaḥ

  • Emilia Calvo
Reference work entry

Flourishedprobably Seville, (Spain), twelfth century

Jābir ibn Aflaḥ was a mathematician and astronomer in twelfth-century Andalusia, who wrote a treatise entitled Ial-Majisi (Correction of the Almagest) in which, as the title suggests, the author made a long series of criticisms and corrections of  Ptolemys main astronomical treatise.

Little is known of Jābir’s life. It seems that he was from Seville, since he is referred to in several sources as al-Ishbīlī. One of these sources is  Maimonides; in his Guide for the Perplexed, he claims to have met Jābir’s son. This reference suggests that Jābir was alive sometime between the end of the eleventh century and the first half of the twelfth century.

Jābir’s main work is a commentary on Ptolemy’s Almagest, a treatise that he had seen in two translations from the Greek. The Almagestis both the great synthesis and the culmination of mathematical astronomy of the ancient world, composed in Alexandria in the second century. It was...

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Selected References

  1. Hugonnard-Roche, H. (1987). “La théorie astronomique selon Jābir ibn Aflaḥ.” In History of Oriental Astronomy:Proceedings of an International Astronomical Union Colloquium No. 91, New Delhi, India, 1316 November 1985, edited by G. Swarup, A. K. Bag, and K. S. Shukla, pp. 207–208. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Lorch, Richard P. (1975). “The Astronomy of Jābir ibn Aflaḥ.” Centaurus 19: 85–107.ADSMathSciNetMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. — (1976). “The Astronomical Instruments of Jābir ibn Aflaḥ and the Torquetum.” Centaurus 20: 11–34.Google Scholar
  4. — (1995). “Jābir ibn Aflaḥ and the Establishment of Trigonometry in the West.” In Lorch, Arabic Mathematical Sciences:lnstruments, Texts, Transmission, VIII. Aldershot: Variorum.Google Scholar
  5. Samsó, Julio (1992). Las ciencias de los antiguos en al-Andalus. Madrid: Mapfre, pp. 317–320 and 326–330.Google Scholar
  6. — (2001). “Ibn al-Haytham and Jābir b. Aflaḥ’s criticism of Ptolemy’s determination of the parameters of Mercury.” Suhayl 2: 199–225.Google Scholar
  7. Swerdlow, Noel M (1987). “Jābir ibn Aflaḥ’s Interesting Method for Finding the Eccentricities and Direction of the Apsidal Line of a Superior Planet.” In From Deferent to Equant:A Volume of Studies in the History of Science in the Ancient and Medieval Near East in Honor of E. S. Kennedy, edited by David A. King and George Saliba, pp. 501–512. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, vol. 500. New York: New York Academy of Sciences.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain