First published as a special issue of the journal
Medieval Encounters (vol. 23, 2017), this volume, edited by Josefina Rodríguez-Arribas, Charles Burnett, Silke Ackermann, and Ryan Szpiech, brings together fifteen studies on various aspects of the astrolabe in medieval cultures. The astrolabe, developed in antiquity and elaborated throughout the Middle Ages, was used for calculation, teaching, and observation, and also served astrological and medical purposes. It was the most popular and prestigious of the mathematical instruments, and was found equally among practitioners of various sciences and arts as among princes in royal courts. By considering sources and instruments from Muslim, Christian, and Jewish contexts, this volume provides state-of-the-art research on the history and use of the astrolabe throughout the Middle Ages.
Contributors are Silke Ackermann, Emilia Calvo, John Davis, Laura Fernández Fernández, Miquel Forcada, Azucena Hernández, David A. King, Taro Mimura, Günther Oestmann, Josefina Rodríguez-Arribas, Sreeramula Rajeswara Sarma, Petra G. Schmidl, Giorgio Strano, Flora Vafea, and Johannes Thomann.
Josefina Rodríguez-Arribas, Ph.D. (2004, Universidad Complutense, Madrid) is a Researcher at the Institut für Judische Studien at the University of Münster.
Charles Burnett, Ph.D. (1976, University of Cambridge), is Professor of the History of Arabic/Islamic Influences in Europe at the Warburg Institute, University of London and a Fellow of the British Academy.
Silke Ackermann, Ph.D. (1996, Goethe University, Frankfurt), is Director of the Museum of the History of Science at the University of Oxford.
Ryan Szpiech, Ph.D. (2006, Yale University) is Associate Professor in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and the Department of Jewish Studies at the University of Michigan.
Preface to the New Edition Ryan Szpiech
Preface Astrolabes in Medieval Cultures Josefina Rodriguez-Arribas, Charles Burnett, and Silke Ackermann
Introduction Hic Sunt Dragones—Astrolabe Research Revisited Silke Ackermann
Astrolabes as Eclipse Computers: Four Early Arabic Texts on Construction and Use of the Ṣafīḥa Kusūfiyya Johannes Thomann
The Astrolabe Finger Ring of Bonetus de Latis: Study, Latin Text, and English Translation with Commentary Josefina Rodriguez Arribas
Some Features of the Old Castilian Alfonsine Translation of ‘Alī Ibn Khalaf’s Treatise on the Lamina Universal Emilia Calvo
From the Celestial Globe to the Astrolabe: Transferring the Celestial Motion onto the Plane of the Astrolabe Flora Vafea
Knowledge in Motion: An Early European Astrolabe and its Possible Medieval Itinerary Petra G. Schmidl
A Monumental Astrolabe Made for Shāh Jahān and Later Reworked with Sanskrit Legends Sreeramula Rajeswara Sarma
Saphaeae and Hay’āt: The Debate Between Instrumentalism and Realism in al-Andalus Miguel Forcada
Astrolabes on Parchment: The Astrolabes Depicted in Alfonso X’s Libro Del Saber De Astrologia and Their Relationship to Contemporary Instruments Laura Fernández Fernández
Fit for a King: Decoding the Great Sloane Astrolabe and Other English Astrolabes with “Quatrefoil” Retes John Davis
European Astrolabes to ca. 1500: An Ordered List David A. King
Too Many Arabic Treatises on the Operation of the Astrolabe in the Medieval Islamic World: Athīr al‐Dīn al-Abharī’s Treatise on Knowing the Astrolabe and His Editorial Method Taro Mimura
Changing the Angle of Vision: Astrolabe Dials on Astronomical Clocks Günther Oestmann
Astrolabes for the King: The Astrolabe of Petrus Raimundi of Barcelona Azucena Hernández
A New Approach to the Star Data of Early Planispheric Astrolabes Giorgio Strano
Epilogue Reconstruction of the Plate of Eclipses according to the Description by ʿAlī ibn ʿĪsā Flora Vafea
All interested in astrolabes and other astronomical instruments, the history of medieval astronomy and astrology, medieval science, and the transfer of scientific knowledge between Jewish, Christian, and Muslim cultures.