1st Edition

Arabic Mathematical Sciences Instruments, Texts and Transmission

By Richard Lorch Copyright 1995
    368 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book deals with the mathematical sciences in medieval Islam, and focuses on three main themes. The first is that of the translation of texts (from Greek into Arabic, then from Arabic into Latin), and close attention is paid to terminology and comparative vocabulary. The other themes are those of the technology of the sphere and of astronomical instruments, which are treated both from the mechanical and mathematical point of view. Several of the articles combine these themes, for instance the study of the self-rotating sphere of al-Khazini (12th century) or that on the transmission of spherical trigonometry to the West. Four articles also contain substantial texts, with translation and commentary.

    Contents: The Arabic transmission of Archimedes' Sphere and Cylinder and Eutocius' commentary; Some geometrical theorems attributed to Archimedes and their appearance in the West (with M. Folkerts) ; Remarks on Greek mathematical texts in Arabic; A note on the technical vocabulary in Eratosthenes' tract on mean proportionals; Some remarks on the Almagestum parvum; The astronomy of Jabir ibn Aflah; Appendix 1 to item VI: the manuscripts of Jabir's treatise; Appendix 2 to item VI: Jabir ibn Aflah and the establishment of trigonometry in the West; Abu Kamil on the pentagon and decagon; Pseudo-Euclid on the position of the image in reflection: interpretations by an anonymous commentator, by Pena and by Kepler; Al-Khazini's ’Sphere that rotates by itself’; The sphaera solida and related instruments; Habash al-Hasib's book on the sphere and its use (with P. Kunitzsch) ; The Qibla-Table attributed to Al-Khazini; Al-Khazini's balance-clock and the Chinese steelyard Clepsydra; The astronomical instruments of Jabir ibn Aflah and the Torquetum; A note on the horary quadrant; Al-Saghani's treatise on projecting the sphere; Addenda et corrigenda; Index.
    'contains ..a wealth of material necessary and useful for future research on medieval Arabic or Latin mathematical sciences and instruments.' Archives Internationales d’Histoire des Sciences, Vol. 48, No. 140