Karajī’s Discourse on Hydrology *

In: Oriens
Kaveh Niazi Stanford Online High School

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The hydrological concepts presented in Inbāṭ al-miyāh al-khafīya, Muḥammad Karajī’s 11th century text on the construction of the qanāt, contain unexpected premises and theories that set this text apart from its contemporaries. Even when not straying far from the Aristotelian cosmology of the medieval world, Karajī’s hydrological discussions often represent a fresh take on the common scientific wisdom regarding the flow of water at and near the earth’s surface. These discussions serve as well to moor the practical considerations in Karajī’s engineering text to a remarkably coherent scientific framework.

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