Mathematical Instrumentation in Fourteenth-Century Egypt and Syria

The Illustrated Treatise of Najm al-Dīn al-Miṣrī


This volume contains the critical edition with English translation of a richly-illustrated Arabic treatise on the construction of over one hundred various astronomical instruments, many of which are otherwise unknown to specialists. It was composed by Najm al-Dīn al-Misrī, a rather shadowy figure, in Cairo ca. 1330. The edition is accompanied by a detailed technical and historical commentary, which is framed as a self-standing essay on Islamic mathematical instrumentation. While this essay/commentary is mainly based on Najm al-Dīn's treatise, it also benefits from the consultation of a large number of previously unstudied manuscripts, and includes a discussion of all relevant sources from the period 800–1500.

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François Charette, Dr.Phil. nat. (2001) in History of Science, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology, MIT. His work deals with the history of astronomy and scientific instrumentation in Islam.
' Darüber hinaus beweist allein die Existenz dieses arabischen Traktats eindringlich, dass auch im Mamluken-Staat wissenschaftliche Durchbrüche sehr wohl möglich waren.' Herbert Eisenstein, Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes, 2004. ' This young author deserves high praise for his devotion to and absorption in the history of Islamic mathematical and technical sciences. I wholeheartedly recommend the present work to historians of Islamic and Western science, specialists of historical scientific instruments, as well as specialists of the Mamluk period.’ Irina Lyuter, Mamlῡk Studies, 2004.
This book will appeal to historians of Islamic science, specialists and connoisseurs of historical scientific instruments, and also specialists of the Mamluk period.