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Sharḥ-i Thamra-yi Baṭlamyūs

Dar aḥkām-i nujūm

Series:

Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsī

Edited by Jalīl Akhavān Zanjānī

Claudius Ptolemy (d. ca 170 CE) was a Graeco-Roman mathematician, astronomer, geographer and astrologer who lived and worked in Alexandria. His Tetrabiblos (‘Four Books’, Lat. Quadripartitum), in which he sets out the principles and practice of astrology, became a highly influential work that was also taught at the cream of European universities, well into Renaissance times. In the Islamic world, there existed an Arabic summary of this work, entitled Kitāb al-thamara (‘Harvest’, Lat. Liber Fructus), erroneously ascribed to Ptolemy himself. Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsī (d. 672/1274) was an influential philosopher, theologian, mathematician and astronomer, besides being the first director of the famous observatory at Marāghah near Tabriz. Author of more than 50 scholarly works, the present volume contains his Persian commentary on the Kitāb al-thamara in which he also made use of two earlier commentaries in Arabic, one by Aḥmad b. Yūsuf al-Miṣrī (4th/10th cent.) and the other by Abu ʼl-ʿAbbās al-Iṣfahānī (4th/10th cent.).

Series:

Sharaf al-Dīn-i Masʿūdī

Edited by Jalīl Akhavān Zanjānī

Sharaf al-Din Mas’ūdi (6th/12th cent.) was a philosopher, astronomer, mathematician and logician. A native of Marw, he spent a large part of his life in Bukhara and Samarqand, Transoxiana. In Bukhara he had a number of debates with the philosopher and theologian Fakhr al-Dīn Rāzī (d. 606/1210), described in the latter’s Munāẓarāt jarat fī bilād Mā warāʾ al-nahr. From among his philosophical works, his critical notes to Avicenna’s (d. 428/1037) al-Ishārāt wal-tanbīhāt deserve special mention. In the sciences, he wrote a work on astronomy and geography called al-Kifāya fī ʿilm al-hayʾa. In the introduction to this work he explains that he composed it at the request of a friend and that it is based on the works of others, among then Ibn al-Haytham (d. ca. 432/1040-41) and Kushyār b. Labbān (fl. late 4th/10th cent.). Afterwards, he translated it into Persian—this time without mentioning his sources—calling it Jahāni- dānish, published in this volume.

Series:

Shahmardān b. Abi ʼl-Khayr

Edited by Jalīl Akhavān Zanjānī

In the first centuries of Islam, Arabic gradually replaced Middle Persian to become the language of the new religion and the administration of Iran. Works in Middle Persian were translated into Arabic and Persian authors also started writing directly in Arabic. From the fifth/eleventh century onward, there arose a need for works in New Persian, either translated from Arabic or composed in New Persian straightaway. The work published in this volume is a product of that period. Not much is known about the life of its author, Shahmardān b. Abi ʼl-Khayr. A resident of Gurgān and Astarābād, he was a scholar who also worked as a secretary and financial officer. In astronomy, he was a student of Abu ʼl-Ḥasan Nasawī (fl. 2nd quart. 5th/11th cent.). Shahmardān’s work is an accessible, popularized compilation of the works of others, among them Abū Maʿshar (d. 272/886), Kushyār b. Labbān (fl. late 4th/10th cent.), and Bīrūnī (d. 440/1048).