History of Arabic Astronomy Planetary Theories During the Golden Age of Islam

ISBN-10: 0814780237
ISBN-13: 9780814780237
Edition: 1994
Authors: George Saliba
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Description: A History of Arabic Astronomy is a comprehensive survey of Arabic planetary theories from the eleventh century to the fifteenth century based on recent manuscript discoveries. George Saliba argues that the medieval period, often called a period of  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 1994
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 7/1/1995
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

A History of Arabic Astronomy is a comprehensive survey of Arabic planetary theories from the eleventh century to the fifteenth century based on recent manuscript discoveries. George Saliba argues that the medieval period, often called a period of decline in Islamic intellectual history, was scientifically speaking, a very productive period in which astronomical theories of the highest order were produced. Based on the most recent manuscript discoveries, this book broadly surveys developments in Arabic planetary theories from the eleventh century to the fifteenth. Taken together, the primary texts and essays assembled in this book reverse traditional beliefs about the rise and fall of Arabic science, demonstrating how the traditional age of decline in Arabic science was indeed a Golden Age as far as astronomy was concerned. Some of the techniques and mathematical theorems developed during this period were identical to those which were employed by Copernicus in developing his own non-Ptolemaic astronomy. Significantly, this volume will shed much-needed light on the conditions under which such theories were developed in medieval Islam. It clearly demonstrates the distinction that was drawn between astronomical activities and astrological ones, and reveals, contrary to common perceptions about medieval Islam, the accommodation that was obviously reached between religion and astronomy, and the degree to which astronomical planetary theories were supported, and at times even financed, by the religious community itself. This in stark contrast to the systematic attacks leveled by the same religious community against astrology. To students of European intellectual history, the book reveals the technical relationship between the astronomy of the Arabs and that of Copernicus. Saliba's definitive work will be of particular interest to historians of Arabic science as well as to historians of medieval and Renaissance European science.

George Saliba is Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies in the Department of Middle East and Asian Studies at Columbia University. He is the author or editor of six other books in Arabic and English.

Preface
Introduction
General Background of Arabic Astronomy
The Development of Astronomy in Medieval Islamic Society
Astrology/Astronomy, Islamic
Development of Planetary Theories
Iban Sina and Abu Ubayd al-Juzjani: The Problem of the Ptolemaic Equant
The First Non-Ptolemaic Astronomy at the Maraghah School
The Original Source of Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi's Planetary Model
A Medieval Arabic Reform of the Ptolemaic Lunar Model
The Role of the Almagest Commentaries in Medieval Arabic Astronomy: A Preliminary Survey of Tusi's Redaction of Ptolemy's Almagest
Observations and Observatories
An Observational Notebook of a Thirteenth-Century Astronomer
Solar Observations at the Maraghah Observatory before 1275: A New Set of Parameters
The Determination of the Solar Eccentricity and Apogee According to Muayyad al-Din al-Urdi
The Determination of New Planetary Parameters at the Maragha Observatory
Theory and Observation
Theory and Observation in Islamic Astronomy: The Work of Ibn al-Shatir of Damascus
Arabic Astronomy and Copernicus
The Role of Maragha in the Development of Islamic Astronomy: A Scientific Revolution before the Renaissance
The Astronomical Tradition of Maragha: A Historical Survey and Prospects for Future Research
Arabic Astronomy and Copernicus
Bibliography
Index
About the Author

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