The influence of Arabic-Islamic science on European astronomy is still evident in the number of terms and star names which derive from the Arabic. These articles examine what the Arabs - and other peoples of the Islamic world - knew about the fixed stars and the constellations, and the astrological traditions they associated with them. Professor Kunitzsch shows how the early folk astronomy of the Arabs was radically altered, without being swept away, by the discovery of ancient Greek, also Indian and Persian, sources; by far the most important of these was the Almagest of Ptolemy. This knowledge was then transmitted to medieval Europe, to Byzantium and, especially, to Spain, as the articles go on to describe, and was a vital factor in stimulating the development of scientific thought in the West.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Star catalogues and star tables in medieval Oriental and European astronomy; Das Fixsternverzeichnis in der ‘Persischen Syntaxis’ des Georgios Chrysokokkes; Die arabische Herkunft von zwei Sternverzeichnissen in cod. Vat. Gr. 1056; Two star tables from Muslim Spain; New light on al-Battani’s Zij; On the medieval Arabic knowledge of the star Alpha Eridani; Observations on the Arabic reception of the astrolabe; Remarksregarding the terminology of the astrolabe; Al-Khwarizmi as a source for the Sententie astrolabii; On the authenticity of the treatise on the composition and use of the astrolabe ascribed to Messahalla; The astronomer Abu ‘l-Husayn al-Sufi and his book on the constellations; Zum ‘liber hermetis de stellis beibeniis’; Neues zum ‘liber hermetis de stellisbeibeniis’; Stelle beibenie - al-kawakib al biyabaniya. Ein NAchtrag; Die ‘Unwettersterne’ und die ‘Geomantie’ des Zanati; Zur Tradition der ‘Unwettersterne’; Abu Ma’sar, Johannes Hispalensis und Alkameluz; al-Kutb, as an astronomical term; al-Madjarra; al-Manazil; John of London and his unknown Arabic source; The star catalogue commonly appended to the Alfonsine Tables; Peter Apian and ‘Azophi’; Arabic constellations in Renaissance astronomy; A note on star names, especially Arabic, and their literature; Zur Namengebung Kairos (al-Qahir = Mars?); Der Sternhimmel in der ‘Dichterischen Vergleichen der Andalis-Araber’; Zeus in Bagdad. Zu einem Gedicht von Abu Nuwas; The ‘description of the night’ in Gurgani’s Vis u Ramin; Annotated index of nautical star names; Indexes.
Paul Kunitzsch is Emeritus Professor of Arabic Studies in the Institute of Semitic Studies, the University of Munich, Germany.