• Gregg DeYoung
Living reference work entry

The observatory, located just outside Marāgha, the capital of the Ilkhānid kingdom, represents one of the most comprehensive examples of an astronomical research institution within the context of Islamic civilization. The remains of the observatory buildings still occupy a hilltop near the city in Azerbaijan.

It is reported, on the authority of Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī, its first director, that construction of the observatory began under the patronage of Hūlāgū, Mongol conqueror of the region, in 657 AH/AD 1259. Construction was overseen by Muʾayyad al-Dīn al-ʿUrḍī, who wrote a treatise describing his efforts. In addition to the main observatory building, the site included a mosque and a residence for Hūlāgū, who reportedly took an active part in the work of the astronomers. The main building was described by contemporary witnesses as “huge,” and there are reports that its library exceeded 400,000 treatises. There is also a report of a “high tower,” as well as a domed structure which may...


Uniform Motion Diurnal Motion Uniform Circular Motion Conceptual Disjunction Greek Manuscript 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The American University in CairoCairoEgypt