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...
KeywordsUniform Motion Diurnal Motion Uniform Circular Motion Conceptual Disjunction Greek Manuscript
- Mozaffari, S. M., & Zotti, G. (2012). Ghāzān Khān’s astronomical innovations at Marāgha observatory. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 132, 395–425.Google Scholar
- Mozaffari, S. M., & Zotti, G. (2013). The observational instruments at the Maragha observatory after AD 1300. Suhayl: International Journal for the History of the Exact and Natural Sciences in Islamic Civilization, 12, 45–179.Google Scholar
- Ragep, F. J. (1993). Naṣīr Al-Dīn Al- Ṭūsī’s memoire on astronomy (Vol. 2). Berlin/Heidelberg/New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Saliba, G. (1994). A history of Arabic astronomy: Planetary theories during the golden age of Islam. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
- Saliba, G. A. (2003). Arabic planetary theories and their impact on Copernican astronomy. In S. Colafrancesco & G. Giobbi (Eds.), Cosmology through time: Ancient and modern cosmologies in the Mediterranean area (pp. 153–160). Milan, Italy: MIMESIS.Google Scholar
- Sayılı, A. (1988). The observatory in Islam and its place in the general history of the observatory (2nd ed.). Ankara, Turky: Turk Tarih Kurumu Basimevi.Google Scholar
- Seeman, H. (1928). Die Instrumente der Sternwarte zu Maragha nach dem Mitteilungen von al-ʿUrdī. Sitzungberichte der physikalisch-medizinischen Sozietät zu Erlangen, 60, 15–126.Google Scholar
- Vardjavand, P. (2003). Rapport préliminaire sur les fouilles de l’observatoire de Marâqe. Farhang: Quarterly Journal of Humanities and Cultural Studies, 15–16, 145–157.Google Scholar