Arabic Mathematical Sciences: Instruments, Texts and Transmission, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Arabic Mathematical Sciences

Instruments, Texts and Transmission, 1st Edition

By Richard Lorch


368 pages

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Hardback: 9780860785552
pub: 1995-11-23
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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.


'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

Table of Contents

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.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

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HISTORY / General